May 30, 2010 by Ramesh
Windows Vista and Windows 7 ships with three new folders namely “Local”, “LocalLow” and “Roaming” which has been created by Microsoft intentionally for the following reasons
• Better performance during logon
• Segregation of application’s data based on the usage level
The folder “Roaming” by design ensures that ONLY absolutely essential data like “Favorites” “Desktop” and “Documents” travel with the user thereby making it as a roaming profile. Data stored inside this folder would be user’s preference for a particular application. For instance, Adobe products stores user’s settings in this folder. It is worth to remember that “Roaming” folder is synchronized with the server meaning bigger the size of roaming folder longer the time required to logon to a PC.
The folder “Local” is designed to store any machine specific information which wouldn’t be synchronized with the server at logon time. Usually, this data is machine specific. This folder is equivalent to C:\Documents and Settings\Local Settings\Application Data on Windows XP.
This folder stores what Microsoft calls as “Low Integrity” data. IE8, for example, can only write to the locallow folder (when protected mode is on).
The data that would go into any of the above three folders would be a vendor specific design. For instance, Adobe products install the custom dictionaries to “LocalLow” whereas Microsoft products install the same to “Roaming”