August 12th, 2010, 22:20 PM
Vista paved the way for secure Windows, Microsoft says
Despite being widely derided, the Vista OS was instrumental in finally bringing to the world a secure version of Windows, at least if a presentation by a Microsoft security expert at the Usenix Security Symposium, being held this week in Washington, D.C, is any indication.
And it was the most widely hated feature of Vista -- User Access Control (UAC) -- that can take the credit.
It was all the users complaining about the annoying UAC pop-up boxes that finally spurred many application developers to rewrite their programs, explained Crispin Cowan, a Microsoft senior program manager for the Windows core security team.
These programs were rewritten so that they did not require full administrative privileges to run, which, in turn, cut down on the UAC boxes and allowed users to slowly grow more comfortable running in more limited, but safer, user modes.
"The purpose of UAC was to move applications away from using administrative privileges. Its job was to spank programs that used administrator that don't need to," Cowan said.
UAC, in effect, caused a "massive decimation of the population of ill-behaved [Windows] programs," he said. "The number of programs asking for admin rights dropped precipitously."
Full story: Computerworld