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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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My sarcasm detector needs batteries..
By Demon-Xanth on 4/11/2008 11:05:05 AM , Rating: 4
Seriously, I can't tell if this is parody or not!

RE: My sarcasm detector needs batteries..
By mmntech on 4/11/2008 11:12:49 AM , Rating: 1
People seem to have a tough time sarcasm. Seems people have struck a nerve with Microsoft over UAC.

Apple went a different approach with Leopard. It only asks for confirmation if the program was downloaded from the internet. Even I find that annoying at times. I think you can be too intrusive with these warnings but I will say that there are a lot of dumb users out there who need them. UAC has never been my primary criticism of Vista.

RE: My sarcasm detector needs batteries..
By Oroka on 4/11/2008 12:03:14 PM , Rating: 5
I think you can be too intrusive with these warnings but I will say that there are a lot of dumb users out there who need them.

You hit the nail right on the head there. Most people here are power users, and UAC is not really needed, but it wasnt intended for power users, but for Grandma Jane who just clicks OK OK OK OK NEXT OK OK NEXT OK FINISH and dosent read anything that happens. I left UAC on to see what would happen over time, and the only time I see it is when I am doing a power user task that could screw something up.

By FITCamaro on 4/11/2008 12:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It's made for idiots. And thats what the majority of people using computers are when it comes to their computer.

I set up Vista Home Premium for my parents and upon initial setup you get a lot of UAC popups. After that though you don't really. I left it on for them so when they're making an important change, they'll know it. They haven't complained about UAC at all. More about things that weren't Vista's fault (memory went bad).

About the only thing that Vista was responsible for was the difficulty in trying share the printer hooked to the Vista machine with an XP box in another room.

By murphyslabrat on 4/11/2008 12:37:31 PM , Rating: 1
"Most users, on a daily basis, actually have zero UAC prompts."

and 66% of Windows sessions do not encounter UAC prompts

Yep, Two-thirds counts as most in Congress.

By jvillaro on 4/11/2008 3:34:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's true. And although it did annoy me alot (I just turned it off) I considered it to be, as in many features in Vista, a necessary evil.
There had to be a point where they started to revamp many things including security, even if it meant annoying users and companys like Symantec. I would have even preferred they released only x64 versions (eventualy it will have to happen) but all the fuzz would have been even worse.
I think Vista will not me remembered like a great or popular OS (altough I like it alot and haven't had any real problem), but it is a step in the correct direction and the things that will come from it will be very important.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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