I was just reading a Slashdot article about Microsoft improving User Access Control (UAC) in Windows 7. In the cited PC Pro article, Microsoft engineer Ben Fathi says:
We’ve heard loud and clear that you are frustrated. You find the prompts too frequent, annoying, and confusing. We still want to provide you control over what changes can happen to your system, but we want to provide you a better overall experience.
It seems that Microsoft engineers do have a good grasp on the issues that users have with Windows Vista. On the other hand, CEO Steve Ballmer doesn’t seem to have a clue:
the biggest trade-off we made was sacrificing security for compatibility. I’m not sure the end-users really appreciated that trade-off.
Ummm, yeah… Mr. Ballmer, you sacrificed security for usability not compatibility. I suspect he’s probably still running Windows XP on his desktop, so he really has no idea what he’s talking about. The compatibility issues with Vista have little to do with UAC. Vista’s compatibility problems pale in comparison to the usability issues that UAC introduced.
At least Microsoft engineers do seem to have a good handle on the problems with UAC. It sounds as though Windows 7 should bring some big improvements. Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft actually intended Vista to be the New Coke of the Windows world, so that Windows 7 can bring them back with a bang. Probably not, but it does make for a nice conspiracy theory.