Ars Technica looks at the new incarnation of Sahdow Copy that will likely ship with Vista.  Having 5 previous versions of files can be very handy, if you’ve mistakenly changed and saved a file, but it can also making getting rid of files difficult.  You will also have to be careful the backups don’t bloat your hard drive to death.
“With Windows Vista, the operating system will make “shadow” (that is, backup) copies of files and folders for users who have “System Protection” enabled (the default setting). The feature will be called Previous Versions, and will be accessible via the right-click properties menu as “Restore previous versions.”

The utility will show multiple versions of a file throughout a limited history and users will be able to restore, delete, or copy those versions. The service is configured to monitor modifications to files up to and including the latest “restore point,” although this behavior could be modified by the time Vista ships. “Previous Versions” will also monitor file backups conducted with Vista-aware backup applications and it will list those versions as well, and only monitor changes made after the most recent backup or restore point has been created. That is, a given document may show 5 previous versions but it will not show any “versions” older than the latest official backup.”

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