User Account Control on Vista discussion
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 by Frogboy | Discussion: WinCustomize News
In a new Macintosh advertisement, the PC has what looks like a body guard who keeps interupting the conversation with the Mac in the name of "security". The feature Apple is making fun of is called the User Account Control.
The idea behind UAC is to protect users from malicious software and other content that could affect the stability and integrity of the user's computer. But many users have expressed utter disdain for it. As a result, UAC ends up being disabled by users much to the chagrin of Microsoft.
But what if there was a different solution? What if third-parties were able to modify how UAC worked?
For example, imagine the UAC remembering what users had given it permission to previously? Right now, every time I open up Stardock Central, I'm prompted by UAC. Very annoying. What if after I selected "continue" it saved Stardock Central and its checksum such that it wouldn't come up again for that program as long as it was unchanged?
Another example would be after I select continue on the UAC, the account remains in an elevated state for say 5 minutes (or some user-defined time) so that anything else that needs UAC would automatically be passed.
I think just these two changes would significantly improve the usability of UAC to the point where most of the complaints would go away.
And I think these kinds of changes are absolutely necessary because, right now, users are just turning it off completely which is definitely not a good thing. You should definitely not turn off UAC but it is very understandable how annoying its current implementation can tend to be.
Microsoft has stated that any attempt to alter the functionality of UAC would be considered a security violation that would be dealt with accordingly. It's scary sounding stuff. But if the alternative is that millions simply turn off this functionality or the bad reputation of UAC slows migration to Windows Vista then what's the best path?
Which brings us back, should third-parties like Stardock step in and fix UAC on their own? Or should the user base wait and hope that Microsoft enhances the UAC experience?
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