A technology used in Windows operating systems since Vista. Registry virtualization is intended to ensure the compatibility of programs developed for earlier releases of the OS. The need arose because most pre-Vista applications ran under Windows with administrator rights and accessed system elements in the registry. When such applications are started in Windows Vista and later OS versions, registry virtualization automatically redirects requests from system partitions to user ones. For example, a call to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software is redirected to HKEY_USERS\_Classes\VirtualStore\Machine\Software.