from the what-do-you-really-lose-if-it's-turned-off dept.
Abtin Forouzandeh asks: "Having used Vista for a few months, something keeps nagging me about the user account control. For the UAC to be useful, the user needs to have a fair amount of knowledge about: what the UAC is; what application it is blocking; the consequences of blocking the action; and an alternate approach if the blocked action did something useful. Anyone who has ever worked with end-users can tell you that they are generally disinterested in learning anything about computer usage beyond how to use word and make a spreadsheet. Frankly, even as a highly technical user, I nearly always approve the UAC dialog, even if I don't know the consequences. Since users lack knowledge, and Vista keeps asking esoteric/ambiguous questions, then users will always approve UAC dialogs. Since the UAC so clearly fails in its goal of making computing more secure, and substantially increases complexity, why is it common wisdom that turning off UAC is 'not recommended'? For 99% of users, is there any true downside? Has the community come up with ways to make UAC useful?"
The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or
give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.
-- Jane Bryant Quinn