May 18th, 2006

Vista's new security "features".

In Vista, the next version of Windows, Microsoft introduces additional security checks that make it harder for you to do simple file operations.

According to Paul Thurrott, who tested a recent build, if you want to delete a shortcut on your desktop, you will have to answer not one but two annoying security dialogs before Vista will agree to carry out your request.

As far as i can tell, all that is achieved by these dialogs is to:
  1. Terrorize new users.
  2. Teach users that security is painful.
  3. Allow blame to fall upon "stupid users" when something goes wrong.
  4. Reinforce the idea that we just have to accept bad computer security because we can't win.
Notice that "improved security" is not among these items; it doesn't belong on this list because these dialogs contain nonsense and don't help anyone avoid malicious software.

These dialogs are bad for both usability and security. I wrote a little more about what to do about this problem over at Usable Security.