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Vista or XP: User Access Control Issues

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 6/9/2010

In this article we take a look at how Vista and XP differ in terms of User Access Control and PC Security Permissions. Helping you to further decide if it's time for an upgrade?

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    UAC in Vista

    Ever since Vista rolled out, I was one of its early supporters. I wasn't disappointed, and still am not to this day, that I upgraded from XP - however, Vista is not without its quirks. One particular quirk of Vista's is the User Access Control that was built into the OS from day one. As an early supporter, it took weeks to finally get rid of that plague and when I finally did, I couldn't be happier.

    Let me vent a little. As an avid XP supporter, I had gone years without needing to give anyone my permission to run a file, open a website, and play a video. Yet, here was this annoying little banner that popped up every time I wanted to do what I wanted to - knowing that I wasn't about to mess up my computer in any way, shape or form. That banner became the bane of my existence, torturing me at every possible moment, forcing me to stop my train of thought in order to say "yes, I want to do the thing I already said I wanted to do". For that, I'll never quite be able to enjoy Vista the same way I did XP.

    Most people have gripes about the interface being too heavy, the installation eternal, and the day-to-day infernal, but I only have a problem with Vista's security features. Rather than protecting me silently, like I expect most of my programs to do, the Vista security features tend to jump up and announce they are subverting your every action. Without a doubt, for those weeks that I had to deal with that prompt, I nearly lost my mind. Mostly because I was running a beta build of Vista and didn't have access to a help file.

    Of course, not everything about the OS is problematic. I very much enjoy the ability to flip through various windows with the click of a mouse, or seeing a nice new sleek UI that is presentable and functional. The one thing I enjoy in Vista above all else are the Internet settings. As frustrating as they can be, they don't even compare to the ridiculous XP settings, which I bet even IT pros balked at. The Vista Internet settings are not only easy to use, they are also simple to fix and determine where a problem in the network resides.

    The programs that function on Vista have greatly increased - with every known software I know now running on Vista as well as on the previous platforms. If you're still not convinced that Vista is a good, if flawed product, I recommend you stick with XP for as long as you can, or at least until Windows 7 rolls out. The reality is that Windows 7 is promising some great new features and good compatibility, which I can only hope they deliver on.

    And that's it - to see how to disable the UAC, check out my Disabling Vista Security Center article, it's sure to make the time you spend with your computer much less of a hassle and much more fun.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Vista

Thinking of making the move from Windows XP to Windows Vista, in this series we take a look at the aesthetics, security, performance and design features of both Microsoft Operating Systems, and offer up advice on when and why it might be a good time to make the change to Vista?
  1. XP or Vista: Why Change your OS?
  2. Vista or XP: User Access Control Issues