The feature causing so much trouble for vendors is called User Account control (UAC). UAC’s main function is to protect users. In previous versions of the windows operating system, all users were administrators by default. And an administrator could make any change to system files they wanted.
With UAC, administrators will see an approval dialog. This dialog requires the user to click a “Continue” button in order to resume the task at hand. Standard users, meanwhile, will receive a credentials dialog that forces them to enter the administrator password.
Standard Windows users are so used to the administrator level of control that most of them don’t even understand it is unsafe. UAC is intended to secure the user. Unfortunately, vendors were snared in the same loophole as users in that they wrote their software with the administrator level of control and it is now biting them.
In all fairness, though, it is not just the vendors’ fault they are unprepared. Microsoft also had five years to campaign to get vendors to get in line with the security changes in Windows Vista, and had opportunity to offer incentives to vendors to be ready when Vista came out of the chute.
Regardless of who should have reached out to whom, the alignment between Vista and the vendors is not there. And I can’t imagine that I’m the only user out there who’s frustrated by it.
So, the question you need to ask is Vista ready for business? I have to say no and I do not see it being ready until vendors are ready with drivers and the kinks are worked out.
Steven Warren is an IT consultant for the Ultimate Software Group and a freelance technical writer who has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic, TechProGuild, CNET, ZDNET, DatabaseJournal.com and CIO Update. He is the author of “The VMware Workstation 5.0 Handbook” (Charles River Media, 2005) and holds the following certifications: MCDBA, MCSE, MCSA, CCA, CIW-SA, CIW-MA, Network+, and i-Net+.