Property System Developer's Guide
In Windows Vista and later, metadata became central as a method of organizing items such as files, e-mail, or contacts. To enable a system where items can be searched based on their metadata and where users can read or write that metadata, Windows Vista introduced a new property system. Metadata in this system is represented by an extensible set of properties. With the introduction of properties in Windows Vista that abstracted the specifics of items such as photos, music, documents, messages, contacts, and files, Independent software vendors (ISVs) can now introduce their own properties to the platform if no existing property meets their needs.
This section describes the following development scenarios within the Windows Property System: