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Windows Vista RC2 Preview - From installation to benchmarking

By: Cameron Wilmot | Benchmarks in Software | Posted: Oct 12, 2006 4:00 am

Our first impressions of Vista - The Bad


While our good first impressions of Vista stretched over two pages, there are quite a number of negative areas focused around security warnings that we found in RC2 of Vista, which are just down right dog ugly and suck.


UAC or User Account Control would have to be one of the most annoying features and possibly one of the most useless in any Windows OS yet. Whenever you want to make a change in Vista, start an application (Microsoft or not) or run a program or file from unknown publisher, you need to accept the security warning and then continue.



Let's consider the following scenario: You load up IE7, go to your website and download the file - already Vista has asked you once if you are sure the file is safe and you want to download it. Now you try and open that file and it will ask you again if you are sure you want to execute the file - that's the second warning. Now you install the program and you may or may not be asked if you are sure again - let's call that the third warning. Now you are ready to open the program but Vista doesn't recognize it, so you'll need to accept yet another security warning to open the program - from download to execute, that's a total of four security warnings and that's just ridiculous, especially considering it's the same application from the start of the process!



Microsoft has done such a bad job of the UAC security "technology" that it will effectively become useless in very short time. Users constantly have to click their approval for files and applications and soon enough they will just start ignoring it and not pay any attention - they will know if they want something to work, just click the magic button and they're off and racing. We actually thought there was something wrong during testing - like we were in a restricted mode of Vista or something, even though we had logged in as "Administrator".


We'll, we were right - there was something wrong! Even though we are in fact logged in as the administrator, we don't have proper administrator rights as you would expect like in Windows XP - far from it, in fact. For some crazy reason, you still are treated as a regular user and just about every change or addition requires approval. Sure, you won't need to enter a password because you're logged in as the administrator but you still need to accept every little move by accepting the security dialog. It's shocking and highly annoying and Microsoft needs to tweak UAC damn quickly before the final release.


Fortunately after enough digging around, you can effectively disable UAC. Although, you shouldn't need to do any of this and it should work much better than this straight out of the box, as it is a good idea which is well overdue but just horribly executed. The UAC garbage has been present in Vista builds for sometime now and it's unknown whether or not Microsoft intends on doing something about it. Soon we will publish a dedicated guide into disabling UAC and sending it to the grave for good as that's pretty much all it's good for in its current state.


Vista is now a fairly polished OS from what we can see and it's looking pretty good and the features are good and work well but something must be done about UAC - it needs to be totally scrapped or completely re-worked but Microsoft probably doesn't have enough time for that now with the final release due to come out soon.

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