Microsoft to improve Vista's problematic UAC in Windows 7

In Windows 7 Microsoft plans to improve the user account control (UAC) feature, a new feature it put in Vista that caused problems for users.

Microsoft is taking into consideration user feedback and the effect UAC has already had on third-party software to make changes to UAC in Windows 7, according to the blog.

Vista users said the reason the UAC prompts were so frequent and misguided is because many third-party Windows applications that predated Vista weren't developed to work with UAC's "Standard User" designation. Because of this, applications would default to requiring Local Administrator rights and prompt people who used the Standard User setting if they wanted to perform functions deemed as administrative tasks.

Third parties already are making changes to software that runs on Windows to accommodate UAC's Standard User designation, something Fathi said in his post is a good thing.

"UAC has resulted in a radical reduction in the number of applications that unnecessarily require admin privileges," he wrote, saying this "improves the overall quality of software and reduces the risks inherent in software on a machine which requires full administrative access to the system."

Microsoft is no stranger to dealing with flack over UAC. The company even called it one of Vista's "misunderstood" features in a paper it published on its Web site in May that tried to explain how best to work with certain Vista features Microsoft felt were barriers to people adopting the OS.

Windows 7 is the next major update to the Windows client OS and is expected to be released late next year or in early 2010. Microsoft plans to give developers an early look at Windows 7 at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles next month.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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