Is getting rid of Vista's UAC prompts worth $30 to you?

Is getting rid of Vista's UAC prompts worth $30 to you?

Summary: BeyondTrust has unveiled software that will, for $30 a seat, make Vista's UAC prompts disappear.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

BeyondTrust has unveiled software that will, for $30 a seat, make Vista's UAC prompts disappear.

Privilege Manager 3.5 allows companies to run Vista systems with UAC on but eliminate all UAC prompts.  It works by applying policies before a UAC dialogue box appears if UAC is on. If UAC is off, policies will automatically elevate privileges for any activity authorized by the administrator.

My question is this - Is getting rid of Vista's UAC prompts worth $30 to you?

[poll id=170]

Has Microsoft added a feature to Windows that people are not only annoyed with, but who are willing to pay to get rid of?

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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  • What a great solution...

    ...after you have paid $hundreds for your shiney new Vista machine, you find that in order to make it work you need to spend $30 more actually to be able to use it.

    What were they thinking at the Redmond Bloatfarm when they launched this half finished clumsy junk.

    Was there no one at the Bloatfarm with enough clout to say that this mess should not be foisted on the public?
    Jeremy W
  • I don't know who to be more mad at

    BeyondTrust for making Windows a less secure platform with this software, or MS for creating a market for this software in the first place by not fixing the initial (and obvious) problems with UAC in a timely manner.

    The basic idea behind UAC is an excellent one. It's just the implementation that sucks. But it's not so bad that it couldn't be tweaked into a decent system rather quickly if MS would only make it a priority.
    Michael Kelly
    • Flying Pigs

      " It's just the implementation that sucks. .....if MS would only make it a priority."

      Will pigs fly? Can the bloated Bloatfarm deliver on anything that works right?

      It is in the nature of bloated monopolists NOT to be concerned about the market but, instead, to be concerned with maximising their revenues.

      Since monopolists have no effective competition, they can afford to foist third rate shoddy schlock-junk on the public knowing that (at least in the short term) there can be no effective alternate.

      In the longer run, the most effective way is for consumers to renounce useage of the Bloatfarm products.
      Jeremy W
      • Explain how

        not fixing this will maximize their revenues. If anything it's keeping people on the old MS software, which is even worse P&L-wise than losing them to Linux or Mac because at least if they lost them entirely they wouldn't have the support expense of maintaining the older system.
        Michael Kelly
        • I'm still . . .

          trying to figure out if he gets paid per use of the non-word "Bloatfarm" . . . :)
    • I have to ask

      What would you change about UAC? You make a system change, it asks for credentials.
      • If it worked that perfectly

        I'd have no problems.

        The biggest problem I see is that with some legacy software, you need to run in legacy mode, and for that to work you need to enter your credentials time and time again. Some people on these boards like No_Ax_To_Grind have suggested adding a checkbox to the credential screen to prevent asking credentials from this executable ever again would elevate the problem. And while the conservative side of me hates that solution and would rather just fix or replace the legacy software (it would do nothing to discourage programmers from bad habits), I have to admit it would solve a lot of problems with legacy software. There may be a better solution out there, and if there is I'd love to hear it because like I said I'm not crazy about this as a solution.

        But on my Vista machine I have stripped all legacy software (well I have some old games, but they seem to cope well) and just run Office 2007, some modern security software, and what came with the system. And while I use it mostly for testing and playing those old games, I'm not having problems with UAC at all mostly because I have no legacy software causing me problems. So personally I am seeing UAC working as it should. But it's unreasonable to expect you won't have the majority of the installed base using legacy software.
        Michael Kelly
        • One idea

          is for UAC to have an audit mode that keeps track of objects that a program accesses. Instead of elevating privileges, UAC could modify the ACLs on objects that these legacy programs access so that privilege elevation isn't needed. privilege elevation would only be needed the first time the program is run, so that UAC could change the ACLs. The feature could even send the audit results back to Microsoft, so the audit results could be used by other Windows users who use the same program.

          All of this would take quite a bit of engineering, and might be hard to implement without confusing the hell out of users.
        • Then you need to update your software

          "The biggest problem I see is that with some legacy software,"

          This is not a failing of Windows but the software developer.

          The suggestion to cache the elevation is a bad one. Malware authors would likely be able to exploit the caching and defeat the purpose of UAC. Then we'd have the ABMers whining about how Microsoft isn't taking security seriously by allowing such a glaring hole.
          • I agree on every count

            However knowing what the problem is hardly solves the problem, because in many cases it just is not possible or practical to just say "well let's just update all our software". Costs are involved, and especially if you have a custom application (or even an old game you just have to have) these costs can be astronomical. So astronomical that in the end one may decide it is cheaper to stick with XP and just fortify that as well as you can, or to simply ditch that program and go with another more portable program, one that won't cause this kind of headache seven years down the line. And neither solution benefits Microsoft in the end.

            I agree that MS needs to enforce secure coding on its platform, but the way they are doing it now they run a serious risk of alienating developers and end users. Personally I think the only right way to do this is for MS to advise everyone that if they plan to run legacy software (I would think anything on the .NET or Java platforms would be safe from this and most everything else at least runs a serious risk) that they should NOT purchase Vista but rather purchase XP, and that support for XP will have a time limit so they should start converting to Vista-friendly apps ASAP. But of course, this is the last thing MS would want to do, because it would give the appearance of a failure on their part.
            Michael Kelly
          • My point is to place the blame where it belongs.

            For too long people have been blaming Windows for the bad coding habits of
            software developers. Microsoft is slowly enforcing secure coding practices. The first
            was enabling the built in firewall by default (look at the ruckus that created), the next
            is Administrators running with standard privileges until elevated through UAC (with
            the ability to disable UAC if need be). The next step is to enable DEP by default. This
            is necessary due to the vast amount of poorly coded software that exists on the
            platform. If Microsoft were to make one big change just imagine the howles we'd
          • Blame

            Absolute hogwash.

            Microsoft developed open architecture. Microsoft cultivated and endorsed sloppy
            and undisciplined code. They practice it themselves. Microsoft was found legally
            liable for coercive licensing. Microsoft cashed the cheque of the only other party
            culpable for the current fiasco... You.

            You endorsed the OS that subsequently endorsed sloppy code. Take the blame
            Harry Bardal
          • What does "coercive licensing" have to do with the topic at hand?

            Do try and stay on track.

            "Microsoft cultivated and endorsed sloppy and undisciplined code."

            Microsoft was not alone. Macintosh cultivated and endoresed sloppy and undisciplined code too. In their early years Microsoft, like Apple, had hardware constraints with which to work around. These constraints led to compromises which ended up causing problems in the future.
          • "just imagine the howles we'd hear"

            I hear more howling out of you than anyone
            else here. Or is that squealing?
            Ole Man
  • Just turn it off

    - delete post -
    Karel Online
    • process isolation

      turning off UAC is a bad idea. If you're truly annoyed by elevation, there's been a method of keeping UAC on while not seeing a single elevation prompt:

      Why pay $30 for something windows lets you do already.
  • Larger Issues

    There is a market share split happening between Vista and XP. Vista is not
    considered an "inevitable" evolution anymore. Vista requires a critical mass to
    upgrade programing discipline. It may happen eventually. In the mean time
    however, open architecture, which has been seen as the vehicle of choice and the
    wellspring of abundance, is now looking like a hungry cash register. The price
    sensitive are, only now, adding the cost of their time to the equation. Even if they
    low-ball their own value, it's starting to look like less of a deal. The rest of us have
    a word for this, and that word is "Duh".

    Real open market dynamics are the only thing that is inevitable. With Apple being
    the only real open market competition to Microsoft, MS devolves into competition
    with itself. Partners become parasites, and customers become captives. Welcome
    to the walled city... you can never leave.

    If 30 bucks to torpedo Vista security and bypass Microsoft a## covering starts to
    look worthwhile?please remove a RAM sim, file it to a point, and perform a ritual
    suicide. When you arrive at the pearly Bill Gates, review the man-years you've put
    into fighting this stuff, and reject your deity to his face.
    Harry Bardal
    • It will happen. People who think otherwise are only fooling themselves.

      "There is a market share split happening between Vista and XP. Vista is not
      considered an "inevitable" evolution anymore. Vista requires a critical mass to
      upgrade programing discipline. It may happen eventually."

      Replace Vista with XP and XP with 98 and you'll see nothing has changed.
      • Stasis

        Glad to see you're so sure of yourself and your choices. Life certainly becomes a
        lot easier when you remove doubt, and the need for critical judgement that comes
        with it.

        The Windows user base now extends from Windows 95 to Vista. Even the choice
        between Vista SKU's is baffling for many. Windows must outwardly compete with
        itself because there is no other sources for the variety, and visible abundance that
        drives consumer confidence. Only Apple, but that's simply not an option right?
        Why was that again?

        All Windows boxes offer essentially the same experience, with essentially the same
        software. Your "choice" amounts to hobbled software, and painted plastic. I've
        never seen a group so prepared to celebrate fake choice.

        When a competitive and divergent experience comes along, the heads go deeper
        into the sand. It represents a threat to your investments and your record of
        advocacy. This stopped being about technology a long time ago. Apple fanboys
        are the irrational ones, and we're "fooling ourselves" by lumping the Windows
        ecosystem together. You're right I suppose, you now get to "choose" whether you
        want to spend an extra 30 to remove UAC prompts that never should have been
        there to begin with. Sadly, 2 wrongs didn't make a right, but keep trying, 5 or 6

        Every problem Adrian has brought up could be solved in one decision. Every rant,
        every bug report, and every, problem, gone...overnight. But how can a PC
        repairman do anything, but continue to endorse the culture of repair.

        Besides, it's too expensive! Well you're right, computers aren't that important to
        us. It's not like we're pro's. It's not like these are our tools right? Computers are
        the things we should be bargain hunting for.

        In your words, "nothing has changed"... Absolute genius.
        Harry Bardal
        • Of course I'm sure of myself. This is about as sure a thing...

 you can get. You can pretend that Vista won't become the most popular OS if
          you want. That's your choice.