Sunday, May 06, 2007

Microsoft gives guidance on OS design

Some of you may have tried Windows Vista. It has a great new feature 'User Account Control', or UAC.

UAC allows users with administrative privileges to use the PC without the privileges enabled, until they are required. When a program requires the extra privileges, Windows pops up a dialog, describing what program is asking for administrative rights, and you must enter your password to continue. This is a great feature, and it makes using the computer for everyday tasks much more secure. For example, if your web browser was compromised, it would be limited in what damage it could cause, unless you had previously granted it administrative rights.

You may wonder why I am telling you this (you probably already know about UAC). However Microsoft have publicly said last week how great UAC in Vista is (though it hasn't stopped Apple making fun of it!). In fact they recommend that other operating systems should support it too!

"If you look at it from an architectural direction User Account Control is a great idea and strategically a direction that all operating systems and all technologies should be heading down," -- Peter Watson, Microsoft Australia's chief security advisor.

Chief security adviser? He must have used Linux, even briefly, at some time, right? This is a feature that Linux has had since the beginning, in the form of 'su' and 'sudo'. Before you think otherwise, no, Windows Vista was not even the first OS to bring it to the desktop! Here is a screenshot of Ubuntu:


Sebastian said...

Right on! Hahahahahaha! Laugh at M$!