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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: Zero Click Security?
By amanojaku on 4/11/2008 11:59:42 AM , Rating: -1
I'm sure the number of attempted exploits against Windows is higher than UNIX simply because people know Windows is less secure and they will have a greater chance of success. Additionally, Windows dominates the computer world so there's more profit in breaking Windows.

When I say UNIX I don't mean Linux or MacOS, neither of which are true UNIX variants. I mean AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, etc... Again, I'm willing to bet that the success/attempt ratio favors UNIX.

RE: Zero Click Security?
By imperator3733 on 4/11/2008 12:21:22 PM , Rating: 3
There are more attempted exploits against Windows because of Windows's higher market share. Therefore, more disruption will be caused by an attack on Windows than there would be if the attack was against UNIX. UNIX may be more secure than Windows (and it probably is), but security isn't the reason for the higher number of attacks. Crackers just want to cause the most damage possible, so they go after the OS that is largest.

It's the same reason why the Mac isn't attacked as much as Windows. I would guess that it would be easier to damage Macs that it would be to damage Windows but it doesn't happen because of the market share.

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