Vista; To Be Or Not To Be…

An administrator that is.

For about six months now I’ve tried to follow Microsoft’s advice and not have my user account have administrative privileges. It sounded like a really good idea; I haven’t had administrative privileges on my network servers for years, so I figured I could learn to navigate over the “speed bumps” on a desktop by not having administrative privileges.

In all honesty, it would probably work out fine if software vendors really understood the security model, and made their software properly use the security model. But they don’t, and it doesn’t.

My advice is go ahead and make yourself an administrator on the local machine (but not on servers); this will still require that your approve the elevation of privileges, it just won’t require you to present different user credentials — and most things seem to work fine (for some software you will manually have to elevate your privileges before installing and/or running).

By the way, this is EXACTLY how OS-X works (contrary to those Apple ads)… and I can’t give you an idea of how most software behaves; I’ve really only installed Microsoft and Apple software on my Macs… and from my perspective it is a good design to ask the user if they want to allow a piece of software to change the system state.

Originally posted 2008-07-07 23:45:26.