Sven Groot said:
ZippyV said:
Option Strict has no bearing on the problem.

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.