> How  would you install any programs if you can't write to that folder?

Installation is different. You can install programs into Program Files, but
the programs aren't allowed to write their own data there after

I had also forgotten something else in my earlier reply, which is why legacy
programs that try to write to Program Files should still work. The data they
try to write there gets put into a virtual store, which is actually a real
folder in the user's space. For example, IrfanView does this, and its data
ends up (on my system) in Users\Chris\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program
Files\IrfanView. When IrfanView tries to read/write in Program Files, Vista
will quietly use the virtual store instead.

A lot of people forget (or don't know) that Program Files was not writable
under XP either--if you ran as a standard user. But since nobody did, it
wasn't an issue.

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