Microsoft: Don't misunderstand UAC, other Vista features

Microsoft tried to explain some of Vista's most "misunderstood" features in a document posted to -- then removed from -- its Web site.

"It's an annoyance," he said, which is why most IT administrators will turn off the feature when installing Vista across desktops, which defeats the purpose of Microsoft putting it in to protect the OS in the first place.

One way to get around UAC is to use third-party software, such as Privilege Manager from BeyondTrust, to set user privileges, Brown said. Microsoft even recommended BeyondTrust's product to customers when the company, based in Portsmouth, N.H., came out with Privilege Manager 3.5 last August. That was the first version of the product designed to work with UAC.

John Moyer, CEO of BeyondTrust, said Privilege Manager lets network administrators configure in advance which applications can run or be installed on Vista machines on a network. It assigns the appropriate elevated privileges to Standard Users so they are not prompted even if third-party software does not recognize them as an authorized user of a task. "There is no interruption to the workflow," he said.

Brown said that without Privilege Manager, UAC would probably be turned off for the 30 to 40 Vista desktops his company is testing in its information systems department. He said the incessant prompting from UAC can be turned off from within Vista, but it's extremely time-consuming for the IT department to do that for each user on the network.

Gwinnett Medical Center eventually is planning a broader Vista deployment, but that "won't be this year," Brown added.

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