updated 01:35 pm EDT, Fri April 11, 2008
Vista UAC meant 'to annoy'
One of Windows Vista's design features was deliberately implemented "to annoy users," a Microsoft executive admitted yesterday at the RSA 2008 conference in San Francisco. David Cross, a product unit manager, explained to an audience that Vista's User Account Control scheme was built to discourage people from running as an administrator on their computers, which in case of attack can grant hackers deeper access than they might otherwise be allowed. "We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it," said Cross.
The problem, many Vista owners have complained, is that it is common for users to run as administrators regardless, and UAC can harass people regularly and unnecessarily. Cross dismisses these concerns, noting that "most users" have no UAC warnings on an average day, although only 66 percent of sessions are said to be alert-free. Cross also rejects the notion that that users are shutting off UAC, citing Microsoft statistics that 88 percent of Vista users keep it active.
"Are there some annoyances with UAC? Yes, but advanced users know how to get around them," says Cross.