PDC 2008: Sinofsky acknowledges Vista UAC is a problem, Windows 7 adds options

Giving a nod to developers who've apparently given a lot of feedback, as well as "certain commercials," Microsoft's platform chief Steven Sinofsky acknowledged that perhaps User Account Control in Windows Vista may have been...a little annoying. In turn, Windows 7 has additional UAC settings.

"We got a lot of feedback about Windows Vista," Sinofsky said, before pausing several seconds for the inevitable developer response. Given the vast amount of response he received, he said, "We have to do what developers do." That is, to sit back, re-evaluate, and say, "What did we learn from that?" That, he said, is what engineering is about.

Sinofsky said that with UAC, Microsoft had what he described as "the best intentions" in mind. But its attention to informing the user about what's going on and getting consent "possibly went too far."

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A similar acknowledgment came with regard to the device driver model, which he said probably wasn't ready for prime time at the time of Windows Vista's launch. Third-parties and developers weren't completely on board for the new device driver model, he said -- this after well over two years of the company saying that its communication with developers on device drivers was unprecedented.

But what's the final solution? Sinofsky managed to terminate the topic before answering that question, saying only that he invites more discussion with the developer community on the Windows Engineering blog.

For now, in the Pre-Beta version of Windows 7, there are now four settings for configuring how intrusive UAC will be: Never notify me, Only notify me when programs try to make changes, Always notify, and Notify and wait for my approval.

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