Much has been discussed since Microsoft’s release of Windows Vista on its security features and the User Account Control (UAC) in particular.  This one seems to top many lists of Windows annoyances as an intrusive dialog box that makes you click on a button when you want to do just about anything with your system.  It is critical to the prevention of malicious bots invoking system changes automatically and without your knowledge.  Thus, says Microsoft, you disable it at your peril.

As you may know from reading this blog, I have been experimenting with the Ubuntu distribution of Linux both in my personal and professional life, having installed it on a laptop and a desktop in my basement.  One of the things I have learned from this is that Linux, which is known for its stability and security, has a feature much like UAC when it comes to installing new software and changing system settings: it pops up a dialog box and requires you to enter an administrator’s password.  Thus you have to do more than click on a button with your mouse here to do these things.  I say this to ask you to consider two things when thinking about Vista’s UAC:

  1. Microsoft is not alone in requiring this sort of thing of users; and
  2. Other operating systems consider this to be an important feature for the protection of the security of a computer.

Microsoft has taken a lot of heat for security holes and problems with its OS.  Now it has implemented something to address this that is not unique to them.  UAC may well be annoying, but please cut Microsoft a little slack as you curse out that dialog box every time it pops up.

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