Microsoft: We Designed Vista User Account Control to Piss You Off

Illustration for article titled Microsoft: We Designed Vista User Account Control to Piss You Off

The truth is out! Windows Vista's User Account Control makes you want to put your computer through a wall because that's what Microsoft wanted. David Cross, a product manager who designed UAC (sadly, not that one), told attendees at the RSA 2008 conference, "The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious."


It must not be too aggravating, since 88 percent of all Vista users leave it on, according to Microsoft's data. Cross claims that "most users, on a daily basis, actually have zero UAC prompts." Actually, I usually get at least one or two a day. But over time it should actually get better, since part of the reason UAC is designed to be annoying to you, the little people, is so that software developers don't entrench their programs too deeply into the OS.

I still think UAC is too over-the-top agitating, like a fly buzzing around my food that keeps juking past my karate chops, but Microsoft believes it's exactly what we needed, according to Cross:

"We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it." What do you think, too heavy, just right or not enough? [CRN via DailyTech]


Given the fact that Vista is clearly much more secure than previous Windows versions (and, apparently more secure than OS X), they did succeed in their goal of a truly secure OS. (Ignoring the fact that Ubuntu achieve better security without quite as many annoying prompts.. Although, don't kid yourself, nutbastard, it still has plenty of prompts to go around.)

The problem with a truly secure OS is that the only way to achieve complete security is to lock a system in a box that can not be accessed by any human. The more access you give, the security degrades. You can try to fight that lack of security with annoying messages (aka Vista), but ultimately the end result is always the same.

Oops. I think I am rambling now. Sorry. I'll stop typing now.