Print 134 comment(s) - last by kayronjm.. on Apr 17 at 5:26 PM

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: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 11:25:34 AM , Rating: 5
UAC only is a constant annoyance for power users. I left it enabled permanentely on my laptop just to see how often it shows up and I see it maybe 2-3 times a week (pretty much only when installing something).

I had it disabled on my PC, but turned it on after my last clean build to see how often I see it. On my PC, it was much more agrivating since I'm running speciality tools like process viewer, core temp, etc. Those are things most people will never use, very few people actually run programs that need a UAC prompt.

What UAC was designed for is people that don't have a clue and it works great in that regard! My wife just does basic internet browsing and some casual gaming and asks me when she gets a prompt if she should continue. Those are the people it was designed for! At most, she gets maybe 2-3 per month, which I think is probably typical for your average joe user.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By callmeroy on 4/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2008 12:57:31 PM , Rating: 3
Who the hell is Microsoft to tell a paying customer for their product how they should use their system?

The company who provides the product? They made it so they can do whatever they want with it.

And they'd rather it annoy people than have tons of people calling in saying,
"Yeah my computer doesn't work anymore....What was the last thing I did?.....I went to this web page..."

UAC stops programs from changing things without the user knowing it. If a virus tries to install itself you'll know it because UAC will be like "This process is trying to make itself a startup program. Did you want this to happen?"

For people like my dad its invaluable.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By callmeroy on 4/11/2008 4:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
The company who provides the product? They made it so they can do whatever they want with it.

So? Its my computer and more importantly its my money that paid them for the product so where's my choices of whether to have this annoy me or not. Without the money they have no product to make. Them being the makers of it or not its rather arrogant to force such annoyance / hindrance on a user of their product by default. See my post elsewhere on this though - if I'm just being ignorant and its VERY easy to disable UAC (I mean for say grandmom , not power users) then I'll concede I'm talking out my ass. However, as of right now with the little playing I did with Vista I only noticed doing this by the command line.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By JustTom on 4/12/2008 3:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
Open up Control Panel, and type in "UAC" into the search box. You'll see a link for "Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off":

By theapparition on 4/12/2008 1:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
then I'll concede I'm talking out my ass.

Where's your concession?

It's so easy to turn off, but I would highly advise against it for your "grandmom". That's exactly who UAC was meant for.
And let me get this don't even use Vista, just played with it and saw UAC over someone's shoulder? Try using it and you'll find it almost is never intrusive. The only time it pops up is if you are installing programs (for most not a daily or weekly event) or trying to do some system level configuration. I hardly ever see it, and to be quite honest.......I like it when it pops up, gives me a feeling that the protection is doing something.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By stonemetal on 4/11/2008 1:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Your brother installs software every time he turns his computer on? I would call him crazy or fickle, maybe a power user depending on the software.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By callmeroy on 4/11/2008 4:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Brother -in-law and if you knew how we get along at times you'd know why I'm stickler for sighting his isn't my brother.

But anyway, obviously the point is you can turn it off. And it prompted more than just installing software, even on updates we applied it prompted which is ridiculous.

Because I (remember though I use XP) have some add-ons for games that require updates as frequently as once or twice a week, I'd hate to think if I used Vista it would prompt me each and every update.

I still stand by more - UAC is overboard. And while my own ignorance on the OS may shine here (and if that's the case I'll take the scorn) the only way I know how to disable UAC is from the command prompt.

If it was VERY simple to do this I'd have less a problem with it (I really think UAC should be disabled by default and then on first use -- the famous OOBE (out of box experience) it asks the user if it would like the feature enabled or not).

Now again, being that I have only little Vista experience if it already does what I just said -- then I'll bow to myself being ignorant.

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By Hoser McMoose on 4/11/2008 7:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'd hate to think if I used Vista it would prompt me each and every update.

Only if the software is designed very poorly. So yes, you probably would get prompted every time since a LOT of software for Windows is quite poorly designed. A shockingly large quantity of Windows software is written as if we were still all running Win95 (ie every user is an admin and no file permissions anywhere).

the only way I know how to disable UAC is from the command prompt.

Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Turn User Account Control On or Off

RE: Hmmmmmm, dear Mr. Cross...
By ajdavis on 4/11/2008 10:34:53 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea, do you? A program update in most cases updates executable code. Microsoft does not allow you to write to the program files directory without elevating priveleges. How then would you suggest a person design around that fact?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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