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 plans to improve the much-maligned user account control (UAC) feature in the next version of its Windows client OS, acknowledging that the new security feature it built into Windows Vista has caused unnecessary problems for users.

On the company's Engineering Windows 7 blog, Microsoft called UAC one of the "most controversial" features of Vista, and said it will tweak UAC in Windows 7 so it works more closely with Microsoft's intended goal for the feature.

Microsoft added UAC to Vista in an effort to improve the security of the system and give people who are the primary users of a PC more control of its applications and settings. However, UAC turned out to be more of a headache for many users than a benefit.

"UAC was created with the intention of putting you in control of your system, reducing cost of ownership over time and improving the software ecosystem," according to the post, which is attributed to Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of development for Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division. "What we've learned is that we only got part of the way there in Vista and some folks think we accomplished the opposite."

UAC prevents users without administrative privileges from making unauthorized changes to a PC. But because of how it was set up in Vista, it can prevent even authorized users on the network from being able to access applications and features they should normally have access to.

UAC does this through a series of screen prompts that ask the user to verify privileges, and it may require a user to type in a password to perform a task. Vista users reported that these prompts would interrupt a user's normal workflow, even during some mundane tasks, unless a user is set as Local Administrator. UAC prompts became so problematic that competitor Apple even spoofed them in a television commercial.

Microsoft said that in Windows 7, it will work to reduce UAC's "unnecessary or duplicated prompts in Windows and the ecosystem, such that critical prompts can be more easily identified," according to Fathi's blog post. It also plans to make the prompts "more informative" so that users can make better choices about how to proceed once prompted, and will provide "better and more obvious control" over UAC in Windows 7.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 7user account control

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?