Interviewed by CNN on 19/02/2012 14:04, John Shotsky told the world:
> If all this sounds confusing, it is. Microsoft pulled one of the dumbest stunts of all time when it protected the
> Program Files folders. It should have left that alone, and created NEW folders that were protected, but then it would
> have had to re-release all of its products to use the new folders. So instead, it broke almost all traditional software,
> gave us UAC, Shadow Copy and who knows what else in order to achieve its goals.
No, actually, they were right. Do you want to know for HOW LONG the
Program Files has required administrative rights to write in?
Since *1993.* Since the very first version of Windows NT. People in
corporate environments (where permissions are taken seriously) have
worked with restricted Program Files since... well, since NT 4, in 1996
(pretty much nobody used NT 3.x).
Yeah, that's how long programmers have been told not to save files in
the Program Files tree. (Although Microsoft programmers themselves were
guilt of violating this; I remember having to temporarily elevate users'
rights on first run of Office 2000, because it didn't fully comply with
And then, by Windows XP (when the NT family actually hit the home
market), this happened if you used a "restricted" account instead of an
Administrator account. That's back in 2001, by the way.
Only... people kept using Administrator accounts for day-to-day tasks.
It may be convenient, but security-wise, it's a REALLY DUMB idea. That's
why in Linux/Unix/OSX you have to explicitly invoke root privileges
(like by using sudo) for some tasks.
So, Microsoft came with UAC. Which basically removes from Windows the
stupid "all admin, all the time" behavior.
Now we see people whining about "Oh, I can't write to the Program Files
folder without invoking admin privileges." "Oh, viruses have a hard time
installing themselves." "Oh, I can't delete my System32 folder." Tough
luck. You shouldn't be doing that anyway. It's bad practice. There have
been documented ways to keep application profiles in userland for years
and years. And if you wanted to sell your applications to corporate
users, you would already be doing that.
So no, UAC did not break "almost all traditional software." Only the
ones which were still written assuming Win9x practices (that is, for an
OS family which had been out of the market for *five years* when Vista
If you ask me, Microsoft has coddled bad programming habits and bad user
habits for too long. It was high time for them to clamp down.
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