Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Get a Mac?

Ok, so I admit that I like the Mac ads on TV that have been appearing over the last year or so, you know the ones with John Hodgeman and that other guy. They're funny, sometimes pretentious, but generally amusing. I am a Windows user, but I'd love to have a Mac too. I am not wedded to one computing lifestyle.

But as much as this one is really, really funny, it annoys me just a little:

Yes, it's true that Windows Vista asks for permission to do a lot of things, something that Windows XP never did. However, Mac OS X does the same thing, but maybe not as often. It's not unique to Windows Vista or even Mac OS X. It all began with UNIX many years ago: the Principal Of Least Privilege.

User Access Control (UAC), which uses this principal, is one of the most important features of Vista. It allows you to run your personal account as a standard user and only use administrator privileges when necessary. This is when the pop up occurs. If you didn't instigate the process that make the pop up occur, you should cancel the action and investigate why your system is acting weird.

Windows has been open for way to long without this principal ingrained in the security of the system. Now it's there, at least more fully than in earlier Windows. Is it annoying? Yes, especially to seasoned Windows users as we have not had it before. But is it so bad? Not at all. As Martha says, "It's a good thing."