Sven Groot said:Option Strict has no bearing on the problem.ZippyV said:*snip*
And yes, VB considers Nothing and "" to be equivalent in string comparisons. It has done so since the first version of VB.NET (can't remember how VB6 behaved). I find it a very useful behaviour as writing foo = "" is easier than String.IsNullOrEmpty(foo), which has the same effect.
If you must make the distinction, use String.Compare as Littleguru suggested.
Note that String.IsNullOrEmpty is much faster then == "". If your in a loop (for example, when parsing a file) you can defiantly see the difference.