Ownership in Windows 7
Takeown is a command-line utility program that famously allows "an administrator to recover access to a file that was denied by reassigning file ownership." It is most often used in a "quick and dirty" fashion to wrench away ownership of a file or folder when Windows inexplicably decides that it owns the sole rights to it.
The ownership model in Windows includes everyone, users, administrators, and system. Permissions and ownership are related, but they are not the same thing. For example, the system can own a file that administrators and users are granted "full control" over. These are permissions.
For another example, let's look at a log file that is generated in the Vista Windows directory. Microsoft is pretty clear that users have no need to be mucking around in the Windows folder, but what if we need to manipulate the file? We can copy it out to the desktop, but the permissions come with it. The user cannot change or edit the file without becoming an administrator. Not only is this a minor pain, it's also unneeded for what is really just a text file.
So we right-click the file and go into the security settings. We click "Continue" and add our name as a party to have some control over the file. We click "Check name" and if the system finds us (ComputerName/User is the usual reply), then we have Windows' blessing to become a concerned party. With this, we can select "Full Control" and obtain all the permissions to do what administrators or the system itself can do to the file.
This effectively renders all the trappings of ownership, allowing us to manipulate the log file at will, but we don't actually own the file. Let's take a closer look at ownership in Windows 7 and Vista.