Take this (certainly simplified) description from the HoboCopy tool:
HoboCopy is a backup/copy tool. (...) It uses the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) to "snapshot" the disk before copying. It then copies from the snapshot rather than the "live" disk.
Since Windows allows applications to fully lock files for read+write access I was wondering how Volume Shadow Copy Service handles locked files. (Locked as in an application does not share any access to a file it has opened, thereby essentially preventing any xcopy style backup of said file.)
Since Windows apps do their fair amount of locking, is there any chance to ever get a consistent backup this way?