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The truth comes out about User Account Control

Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has been lambasted ever since it was launched for consumers in January 2007. Diehard Windows users balked at the steep system requirements, sometimes sluggish performance, inadequate driver support, and varying products SKUs at multiple price points.

One feature that has caused quite a bit of controversy with consumers has been the User Account Control (UAC) that is included in Windows Vista. UAC prompts nag users for simple operations such as going to device manager, emptying the recycle bin, or installing/uninstalling an application.

David Cross, a product manager responsible for designing UAC, gave the real reason for UAC at the RSA 2008 conference in San Francisco yesterday. "The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," remarked Cross.

Cross added that Microsoft's unorthodox method to stop users from wreaking havoc with their systems and to stop software makers from making applications that delved too far into the Windows subsystem was a necessary move.

"We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it," Cross added. Cross went on to say that although UAC may be seen as an annoyance to some, but its lasting implications are far more beneficial to Vista users. "Most users, on a daily basis, actually have zero UAC prompts."

Many would say that many users have zero UAC prompts on a daily basis because they have already disabled UAC -- not so says Microsoft. According to Cross, 88% of Vista users have UAC enabled and 66% of Windows sessions do not encounter UAC prompts.

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By StevoLincolnite on 4/11/2008 11:00:25 AM , Rating: -1
Many would say that many users have zero UAC prompts on a daily basis because they have already disabled UAC -- not so says Microsoft. According to Cross, 88% of Vista users have UAC enabled and 66% of Windows sessions do not encounter UAC prompts.

Although I have tried vista, but it was not for very long, and it was a fair while back, but I am pretty sure UAC gives you a prompt every time you open a program, so what were these systems doing? procrastinating?

RE: Huh?
By Chemtype on 4/11/2008 11:03:50 AM , Rating: 5
Completely wrong, UAC only prompts when sensitive resources are being accessed, and learns users behavior to cut down on prompts from known software.

Power users may hate UAC, but its a godsend for the other 90% of PC users.

RE: Huh?
By ChronoReverse on 4/11/2008 11:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the software I use daily (Visual Studio 2008, Virtual PC 2007, Office 2007) don't ever trigger UAC. For those that do there's the Vista Software Compatibility Toolkit.

RE: Huh?
By UNCjigga on 4/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Huh?
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 12:21:08 PM , Rating: 3
Non-MS software wouldn't trigger it either if it was coded properly. Software apps should not need admin/power user rights just to execute. It's not MS's fault that some software dev's (hiya Intuit, I'm looking at you) take the easy road and code in a way that requires admin privileges.

RE: Huh?
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 12:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
*Should be "most" software apps should not need admin/power user rights.

Stuff that interacts directly with hardware or the kernal is a different story.

RE: Huh?
By majorpain on 4/11/2008 11:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
are those only MS appz or is it just me?

RE: Huh?
By tekzor on 4/11/2008 11:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
I googled "UAC off" as soon as I first saw it in vista ;).

RE: Huh?
By archcommus on 4/11/2008 11:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, no, Vista does not display a UAC prompt every time you open a program. You must not have used it for more than 2 minutes.

RE: Huh?
By therealnickdanger on 4/11/2008 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
I rarely ever see the UAC prompt. After I got everything in my system setup how I wanted it, it doesn't interupt day to day operation. Even on the machine downstairs which has multiple user accounts on it (non-administrator level) doesn't trigger the UAC.

Much ado about nothing.

RE: Huh?
By imperator3733 on 4/11/2008 12:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
The only time that I regularly have a UAC prompt come up is that whenever I start up my computer, I need to allow Clean Access Agent to run (a stupid program that my school uses to make sure the computers are updated). It's a little annoying, but not bad.

The only other times that I see UAC prompts are when I open some Windows utility that normal people wouldn't use anyway.

RE: Huh?
By Lastfreethinker on 4/11/2008 11:27:22 AM , Rating: 5
I love it. I am the IT guy for my family. They call me into the room to ask if they should continue and I usually tell them yes but there have been times where it has stopped installing programs that would implant spy-ware. I have it enabled on my computer because even the best of us can make mistakes, and I hardly ever get a prompt, as do my family members.

RE: Huh?
By majorpain on 4/11/2008 11:47:51 AM , Rating: 1
Get linux! pretty sure you will ever make any mistake :D
Installed kubuntu on my daughters box, and she never called me to help.
And btw, shes 12.

RE: Huh?
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 12:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yah I've tried that one, I'm sure your 12 year old isn't out trying to buy software too.

Granny doesn't understand that all that pretty software sold at Wally world won't run on Linux.

RE: Huh?
By majorpain on 4/11/2008 1:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
NOT buying software was the main point right??
Theres tons of free and Linux capable apps and games, so i really dont get it M$ fanboy...
And if you ever tried it, you should know about wine...

RE: Huh?
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 2:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
I know about Wine, it doesn't work nearly reliably enough to set it up at a relatives house 500 miles away and hope it works with whatever software they buy. Regadless of what the free software fanatics push, most people do BUY their software and you can't get every kind of software for free. My grandma happens to love game show based games, sure their might be knock offs available for free on Linux, but if you want the real thing you'll be paying for it and it will be a Windows product!

I have multiple Linux distros setup on my virtual lab, I don't claim to be an Linux expert, but I do use it on a nearly daily basis and it is not something I'd every install for a typical user.

RE: Huh?
By anonymo on 4/11/2008 11:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. I really do not see what the big problem is. Power users will turn it off on their machines and be thankful it is on on their users' machines.

UAC has literally saved me countless hours on my mother's laptop due to her calling me every time it pops up (9/10 it is spy/malware) as opposed to me backtracking when whatever she installed causes a problem.

Even for powerusers, if you had spent enough time with Vista when you first got it you really shouldn't see it much unless you're constantly adding apps etc. in which case you probably turned it off from the get-go.

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