Windows Vista User Account Control

One of the most talked about (both good and bad) features of Windows Vista is the new User Account Control. Lots of the tech types are whining about how it is invasive, or asks too many questions. Even Apple (watch the “Security” ad) is getting in on it.

I’d like to take an opportunity and say that maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe UAC is what will change the face of computer security, though not the way that Microsoft thinks it will. I think that computer users in general are unaware of all the things that are going on on their computer at any given time. And perhaps that’s the problem. While Vista’s new prompts may be slightly annoying (although even that is debateable – I’ve been running Vista for a few months now, and I don’t really notice them anymore) I think it will turn on the light bulb for a whole lot of people. Maybe that awareness is all that they need to start to get a grasp on things.

I also think that we’re not giving people enough credit. Lots of the IT folk that I’ve talked to don’t think that their users are going to be able to handle the new Vista UAC prompts – they think they will be too confusing. I think that people will be just fine. Sure, there will be a bit of a learning curve (there always is), but I think that in the end people will be fine.

I also wonder if maybe the “ease of use” claims by Apple are going to come back and bite them. Let’s say someone did write some sort of malware to take over Macs. The Month of Apple Bugs project has already proved that there are definitely some significant bugs in Apple’s code. Would the vast majority of Mac users ever know? Is there anything in the operating system that would tell them something is wrong? The short answer is, not really. Thank goodness for low market share, I suppose.

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~ by jerquiaga on February 20, 2007.

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