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Microsoft Says Vista User Account Control Designed to Annoy

Armen Hareyan's picture

This is true about Windows Vista User Account Control. There is at least one feature in Windows Vista that was implemented on time, to spec, and fully functional when Vista was initially released: User Account Control (UAC).

In XP, if you're an administrator, you can do anything. In Windows Vista, however, if User Account Control is enabled, whenever a user that is a member of the local administrators group tries to perform a task that requires administrative privileges, Vista prompts the user prior to running the task.

This can be annoying. And for most home users, it would seem to be totally unnecessary - and it's the first thing I disable on a new Vista install or new Vista PC.

Thursday at RSA 2008, David Cross, a product unit manager at Microsoft who was part of the team that developed UAC, admitted it was designed to annoy. But the reason wasn't just so Microsoft could get its jollies. It was designed to annoy users and ISVs into changing their behavior.

Microsoft wanted to get end users from running as administrators, but also to force ISVs to stop building apps that require administrative privileges to install and run.

"The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," said Cross. "We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it."

Moreover, Cross said that 88% of Vista users run with UAC turned on, and 66% of sessions have no prompts. Still I think if Microsoft managed to change our behavior, it's in this way: encouraged us to search for "how to disable UAC" in Google.

By the way, if you want to disable User Account Control in Windows Vista do the following:

* Launch MSCONFIG by from the Run menu.
* Click on the Tools tab.
* Scroll down till you find "Disable UAC". Select that entry
* Press the Launch button.
* A CMD window will open. When the command is done, you can close the window.
* Reboot.

You can re-enable UAC by selecting the "Enable UAC" line and then clicking on the Launch button.

Source: Tech Ex

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