Microsoft: Vista UAC was supposed to piss you off

Windows Vista UAC
One of the first things Windows XP users will notice if and when they switch to Vista is the User Account Control, affectionately referred to as UAC or "Why the hell does this window keep popping up!" The UAC prompt is a security feature that will alert you if you are about to make changes to your computer that could technically expose it to some threats.

Some users get around this by disabling or modifying the UAC using programs like TweakUAC. Others insist that Microsoft put it there for a reason, and disabling will result in your computer bursting into a ball of flames. But if you're tired of looking at UAC prompt after UAC prompt, here's something that should give you a little comfort: Microsoft knew all along that the UAC prompt was annoying and designed it to be that way.

Microsoft product manager David Cross says the goal was to make users think twice about making changes to their system willy nilly. It's also designed so that software developers will think of ways to write programs that don't burrow too deeply into your operating system. The less system configuration changes a program makes, the less often you're going to see a UAC prompt.

Cross says that 88% of Vista users have not disabled UAC, and 66% of Windows sessions do not lead to a UAC prompt showing up. And that makes sense if you're someone who just runs the software that came with your computer and a handful of other applications. But if you're constantly looking for cool new programs to add features to your computer -- in other words, a typical Download Squad reader -- we're guessing you see the UAC prompt a lot more often than most users.


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