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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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RE: Sluggish Performance
By Chris Peredun on 4/11/2008 11:25:25 AM , Rating: 5
Does anyone else get the impression that the more our hardware advances the less programmers worry about actually shrinking and making code more effective?

Yes, especially in the learning environment. XNA isn't helping that matter much - from my strolling around the XNA Developers forum, far too many people seem content to use horrifically inefficient methods and letting the PC/360 grind its way through them.

Though I would love to see their heads explode if you asked them to code something for an ARM platform without floating-point; say, the Nintendo DS.

RE: Sluggish Performance
By Mitch101 on 4/11/2008 3:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Any of you played the game Transportation Tycoon when it was a DOS based game? In its game format back in the dos days? Chris Sawyer should have taken a shot at making the game into an OS. Multitasking in that game was excellent and having the many windows open tracking various items. It took a lot to slow that game down and that was in the 66Mhz cpu days. Plus the game never crashed. I think the original game fit on a floppy too.

That game had me amazed at how well he had programmed that game.

The game did in the end have a bug that he must have not used double for the cash amount because you could exceed the cash limit late in the game. It didn't crash but your money would turn from positive to negative billions. Just one bit!. Still awesome programming at its best.

Most code is a mess today. Calling the same objects multiple times instead of once just kills me. Why didn't he get all the elements the first time he connected to the database? Why so many calls? Grrr!

RE: Sluggish Performance
By smitty3268 on 4/11/2008 10:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
No need to use a double, just a long. Or at least an unsigned int which would have doubled the limit and caused the overflow to go back to a more reasonable 0 rather than -2 billion.

Was just reading this blog which was also talking about repeating the same code over and over again.

RE: Sluggish Performance
By BladeVenom on 4/11/2008 7:29:14 PM , Rating: 5
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away.

RE: Sluggish Performance
By leidegre on 4/12/2008 5:55:23 AM , Rating: 4
I'll have to disagree, there are great talented people out there, but the bar is not as high as it used to be.

Yet, I can not just ignore the fact that people seem to waste computational power, a lot. As a developer myself I'm very picky about a particular software. I expect optimal performance and if that is not the case, I go otherwise.

The worst lie of them all is that we seem to have so much computational power that it doesn't matter any more. That's just out right stupid.

RE: Sluggish Performance
By Funksultan on 4/14/2008 7:45:13 AM , Rating: 4
Well, there is a ripple effect that becomes important here...

The purpose of marking you down is so that you truly understand the difference between int and long, not because it is going to effect the performance of your immediate program, but because it's important for you to know. An easy analogy is ebonics. Yes, we all can understand slang, but if we use ti to the point where we forget the use/spelling of the proper words, we lose something.

In the same way... yes, my quad-core is gonna chew up any code I write for it, pretty much no matter how sloppy I am, so I suppose I don't have to worry about long vs int. I might go years not caring, and eventually forget about ints all together.

What happens when I'm an OS programmer? Or what happens when I've trained 2 generations of junior programmers, and nobody uses ints anymore? Now, instead of a few occurances, the problem starts to magnify.

A coder who knows how things work vs. one who doesn't is like the difference between an architect, and someone nailing boards together. (yes, a Costanza moment)

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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