Channel 9 - UAC Video

The guys at Channel 9 posted this video a while back which details the inner workings of UAC, also known as User Account Control.

Ever since the early beta's of Vista, there have always been questions around UAC - the typical ones I receive are around the fact that 'it's really annoying and I just turn it off!'.  Well, don't turn it off.

Sure, at first, when you build a system and you are performing a number of administrative tasks such as installing and configuring software, you are going to get quite a few responses, but after that, if you are just using the computer to do typical tasks such as using Office, blogging, surfing the web etc, you will not be bothered by the UAC and you can sit safe in the knowledge that you are being protected, from others, and from yourself.

I've been using my machine for a few hours this morning, and I've had 1 UAC prompt, and that was to install an ActiveX control, for PhotoSynth.  That's all.  Nothing else.  I do know however, if I venture on to any sites, or receive a harmful spam email, that, with UAC switched on, nothing is going to install or utilise administrative privilege without my say so.  If you turn off UAC, you also lose IE7 Protected Mode, which, like I said, helps to keep you safe online.

The interview covers:

  1. What problems does UAC attempt to solve?
  2. How does UAC actually work?
  3. Why did we implement UAC UI to be so aggressive, from a user experience point of view?
  4. How will UAC evolve?
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