I have posted on Microsoft’s new approach to security in Vista, User Account Control, before. As I said then, constantly popping up messages asking permission to carry out tasks is likely to wear thin. In his inimitable style, Neil Rubenking writes about the problem of constant messages in Vista and other software:
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the closer Vista got to final release the more UAC pop-ups appeared. The dozenth time an Administrator has to trek across the cube farm because a user wants to set the clock, adjust the overall font size, or look (just look!) at processes in Task Manager, she’s going to give serious thought to awarding everybody full Administrator privileges. Right. Just like what happened with XP. Those brand-new -Administrators will quickly grow accustomed to merrily clicking away the UAC boxes without reading them.
Trying to train the vast hordes of computer users to micromanage security is like trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig. The right place for that sort of decision-making is in the software itself. Designers need to work toward making security software more self-directingâ€”or find a different line of work.