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Vista UAC and Amazon.com -- MSFT staff Please read this!

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  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Hi,

    I recently tried out the new amazon.com video thing called "Unboxed".

    I found that on Vista it does a UAC on *EVERY BOOT* it's starting up a "tray app" / notification thing that asks for the admin rights.

    so I sent Amazon an email asking when they would fix this as it should not have to work that way.

    I got an email that is just plain wrong.... it will prompt many users to turn off UAC... due to the horribly bad wording they use.

    and it makes UAC sound like some kind of evil thing... built to harm the user and make life hard.... 

    here is the text of the email:

    "Greetings from the Amazon Unbox Team!

    Thank you for your continued interest in Amazon Unbox video downloads.

    I am truly sorry for any frustration you have experienced using Amazon Unbox on Windows Vista.

    User Account Control (UAC) is a new security mechanism introduced in Windows Vista, whose primary goal is to force users to work using restricted accounts, instead working as administrators.  And because Amazon Unbox requires the user to have administrators privileges, Windows Vista users receive an UAC prompt before loading Amazon Unbox.

    For further information on UAC please contact Microsoft.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com."

    --Edit:  fixed formatting of email.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    I hate it when they do that - don't answer your question and act as if you don't know what you're talking about.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Incredible! Seems like they don't know how to code or perhaps this thing is some kind of spyware that collects all different data and returns it to their servers.

    I would uninstall it and write them an e-mail that you can't have something that requires admin rights on your computer.

    This is definitively the wrong direction that Amazon is taking here. I wonder if the devs ever had a security lecture at university, or if they have forgotten everything about that.

    Somebody from Microsoft should really call them and clarify!

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    littleguru wrote:
    Incredible! Seems like they don't know how to code or perhaps this thing is some kind of spyware that collects all different data and returns it to their servers.

    I would uninstall it and write them an e-mail that you can't have something that requires admin rights on your computer.

    This is definitively the wrong direction that Amazon is taking on this here. Somebody from Microsoft should really call them and clarify!


    yeah, here is the lowdown:

    they do a few things that they did state when you install the software:

    1) check for new previews and updates.
    2) make sure that pay-per-view content works per agreement.
    3) *IF* a content owner revokes Amazons rights or your rights to the content they update the local cache.

    I don't like DRM but I see it as a thing we have to live with to some degree.

    but why it wants admin rights is a whole nother thing....

    also the wording they use that implies that users should all run as an admin....

    thats a really big error they are making in saying that!

  • User profile image
    fknight

    Unfortunately, I believe that this is a trend that will continue, just as it has continued for years.  Even with the lack of UAC in previous versions of Windows, software vendors have consistantly flat out refused to follow guidelines as to writing software which doesn't require administrator privileges (yet, for some reason, the same software vendors don't seem to have a problem following the same guildines for Mac or Linux). 

    If, in the past, software vendors have gone so far as to program a macro that automatically clicks "continue anyway" when a driver isn't signed, we have no reason to believe things will change, and we'll see software that includes as #1 on the installation instructions :  "Disable UAC" with technical support groups for these software vendors helping the end-users do it.

    UAC will defnitely be a failure.  It won't be Microsoft's fault though.

    It also doesn't help that a ton of computer geeks inhabiting our planet are also regularly turning off UAC on their Grandma's computer "because it's lame."



  • User profile image
    figuerres

    fknight wrote:
    Unfortunately, I believe that this is a trend that will continue, just as it has continued for years.  Even with the lack of UAC in previous versions of Windows, software vendors have consistantly flat out refused to follow guidelines as to writing software which doesn't require administrator privileges (yet, for some reason, the same software vendors don't seem to have a problem following the same guildines for Mac or Linux). 

    If, in the past, software vendors have gone so far as to program a macro that automatically clicks "continue anyway" when a driver isn't signed, we have no reason to believe things will change, and we'll see software that includes as #1 on the installation instructions :  "Disable UAC" with technical support groups for these software vendors helping the end-users do it.

    UAC will defnitely be a failure.  It won't be Microsoft's fault though.

    It also doesn't help that a ton of computer geeks inhabiting our planet are also regularly turning off UAC on their Grandma's computer "because it's lame."





    well it may be that folks have to tell the them to change.

    if no one complains they can keep doing it.

    if more developers follow the guidelines and if enough users "Get it" then they will change (or go out of business).

    and I'd love to have the "old bad guys" get hit with perhaps a law suit or two!

    like: you told me to run as admin and my pc got infected after that so you have liability for giving me bad information that led to the infection.

    or something like that....  hold them accountable for the bad info.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    What's really annoying is that Vista refuses to run startup applications that are manifested to require elevation just to avoid this.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    fknight wrote:
    If, in the past, software vendors have gone so far as to program a macro that automatically clicks "continue anyway" when a driver isn't signed,


    I would see that as a major breach of trust if I had a piece of hardware that did that, possibly to the point that I would return it. It's my decision, not the drivers manufacturers as to whether I want to run unsigned hardware or not, and in some circumstances where stability is highly important driver signing could be or considerable significance.

    I have no problem with unsigned drivers if I choose to run them, but if MS see fit to give me a warning then I shoud see it and act on it, it's not up to the hardware manufacturer to decide that for me.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I've seen installers that specifically instruct you to not install on the system drive if you're running Vista, just to avoid the default file system permissions of Program Files. This demonstrates a particular ignorance to the fact that their app would also not work under XP if the user isn't an administrator...

    This kind of reasoning is inexcusable (and MS is guilty of it too with the way the "Visual Studio requires admin rights" message is worded if you run VS2005 SP1 under Vista). There should be a fine or something.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    LarryOsterman wrote:
    What's really annoying is that Vista refuses to run startup applications that are manifested to require elevation just to avoid this.


    Hey there Larry!

    glad to see you read this...

    my new Sony Vaio laptop -- FZ140 has an app they ship on vista that also has this kind of sillyness.

    they run it so you can change bluetooth and wireless settings.

    so 99.99% of the time it's not even needed!
    but 100% of the boots it asks for elevation!

    so stupid! 

    one simple fix would be to put the admin bits in a dll that is only loaded when the user wants to change settings.

    so simple but not done!

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Sven Groot wrote:
    I've seen installers that specifically instruct you to not install on the system drive if you're running Vista, just to avoid the default file system permissions of Program Files. This demonstrates a particular ignorance to the fact that their app would also not work under XP if the user isn't an administrator...

    This kind of reasoning is inexcusable (and MS is guilty of it too with the way the "Visual Studio requires admin rights" message is worded if you run VS2005 SP1 under Vista). There should be a fine or something.


    Seven:  I do not know if you have tried the VS2008 B2 yet but it does not need run as admin (at least not yet) and I do not see the docs saying it needs admin.

    I hope that means MSFT got that fixed!

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    figuerres wrote:
    
    Sven Groot wrote:
    I've seen installers that specifically instruct you to not install on the system drive if you're running Vista, just to avoid the default file system permissions of Program Files. This demonstrates a particular ignorance to the fact that their app would also not work under XP if the user isn't an administrator...

    This kind of reasoning is inexcusable (and MS is guilty of it too with the way the "Visual Studio requires admin rights" message is worded if you run VS2005 SP1 under Vista). There should be a fine or something.


    Seven:  I do not know if you have tried the VS2008 B2 yet but it does not need run as admin (at least not yet) and I do not see the docs saying it needs admin.

    I hope that means MSFT got that fixed!

    I hope so. I mean, sure there are some development tasks that require you to have admin rights, but they are so rare. I never need to elevate VS for my development needs. Of course, this is going to vary depending on what kind of development you're doing, but it's still stupid to put up a blanket statement suggesting all developers run VS as admin all the time, when it's plainly not needed.

    If VS2008 gets rid of the message, great. If it actually put the admin-required tasks in separate processes and supports elevating when they are required, even greater! Anyone running VS2008 on Vista who can check what happens here?

    EDIT: Also, I am not a number. Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Sven Groot wrote:
    
    figuerres wrote:
    
    Sven Groot wrote:
    I've seen installers that specifically instruct you to not install on the system drive if you're running Vista, just to avoid the default file system permissions of Program Files. This demonstrates a particular ignorance to the fact that their app would also not work under XP if the user isn't an administrator...

    This kind of reasoning is inexcusable (and MS is guilty of it too with the way the "Visual Studio requires admin rights" message is worded if you run VS2005 SP1 under Vista). There should be a fine or something.


    Seven:  I do not know if you have tried the VS2008 B2 yet but it does not need run as admin (at least not yet) and I do not see the docs saying it needs admin.

    I hope that means MSFT got that fixed!

    I hope so. I mean, sure there are some development tasks that require you to have admin rights, but they are so rare. I never need to elevate VS for my development needs. Of course, this is going to vary depending on what kind of development you're doing, but it's still stupid to put up a blanket statement suggesting all developers run VS as admin all the time, when it's plainly not needed.

    If VS2008 gets rid of the message, great. If it actually put the admin-required tasks in separate processes and supports elevating when they are required, even greater! Anyone running VS2008 on Vista who can check what happens here?

    EDIT: Also, I am not a number.


    I'm downloading it right now. I'll install it on Vista. Perhaps, of nobody else did before., I can report Smiley

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Sven Groot wrote:
    
    figuerres wrote:
    
    Sven Groot wrote:
    I've seen installers that specifically instruct you to not install on the system drive if you're running Vista, just to avoid the default file system permissions of Program Files. This demonstrates a particular ignorance to the fact that their app would also not work under XP if the user isn't an administrator...

    This kind of reasoning is inexcusable (and MS is guilty of it too with the way the "Visual Studio requires admin rights" message is worded if you run VS2005 SP1 under Vista). There should be a fine or something.


    Seven:  I do not know if you have tried the VS2008 B2 yet but it does not need run as admin (at least not yet) and I do not see the docs saying it needs admin.

    I hope that means MSFT got that fixed!

    I hope so. I mean, sure there are some development tasks that require you to have admin rights, but they are so rare. I never need to elevate VS for my development needs. Of course, this is going to vary depending on what kind of development you're doing, but it's still stupid to put up a blanket statement suggesting all developers run VS as admin all the time, when it's plainly not needed.

    If VS2008 gets rid of the message, great. If it actually put the admin-required tasks in separate processes and supports elevating when they are required, even greater! Anyone running VS2008 on Vista who can check what happens here?

    EDIT: Also, I am not a number.


    Sorry Man!  My Bad Perplexed

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    littleguru wrote:
    
    I'm downloading it right now. I'll install it on Vista. Perhaps, of nobody else did before., I can report


    Cool, it will need at least 1 or two reboots
    first one is to load .Net 3.5

    so far seems ok, still messing with it while I do chores and stuff on my weekend time.....

    just opening up things and looking....

    I plan on trying a d-Linq try out later as I write a *LOT* of SQL code allthe time....

    also on scott gu's blog I saw some nice stuff like for the cases where you need a class to have properties to hold data it looks like you can just frame up the public props and the rest is automatic ?? if I read that snipet right.

    and extensions... he shows adding a method to the string class by a simple class that has a param of "this string xx"
    and then a using MyExtensioinsClass;

    looks really cool!

  • User profile image
    Bas

    I'm seeing kind of a mixed trend here. Some applications still require admin permissions where they don't need them, and refuse to fix their stuff for Vista. Others are actively updating their applications or have already done so. I hope the latter mindset ultimately wins out.

    As far as the email: awful. I hate 'support' like that. The worst support I've ever had was in one of those chat things with a support guy from Sony. After going through a number of steps he obviously found in his support script, I eventually received the message "Ensure that your virus and spyware scanners are disabled, and reboot the PC. This should fix your problem. #supportguy043 has logged off." Damn you, Sony. Damn you.

    Sven Groot wrote:
    
    EDIT: Also, I am not a number.


    But the real question is: are you a free man?

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Bas wrote:
    I'm seeing kind of a mixed trend here. Some applications still require admin permissions where they don't need them, and refuse to fix their stuff for Vista. Others are actively updating their applications or have already done so. I hope the latter mindset ultimately wins out.

    As far as the email: awful. I hate 'support' like that. The worst support I've ever had was in one of those chat things with a support guy from Sony. After going through a number of steps he obviously found in his support script, I eventually received the message "Ensure that your virus and spyware scanners are disabled, and reboot the PC. This should fix your problem. #supportguy043 has logged off." Damn you, Sony. Damn you.




    Sony web support:  I think they must have canned replies and that's all they are allowed to use.

    I asked them about the UAC on the ntework thing and they replied by telling me how to do UAC -- type in the password etc...
    when I replied that they had not answered the question they gave up and just logged out w/o any help.

    SOny web support  == ask a clown !

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    figuerres wrote:
    
    littleguru wrote:
    
    I'm downloading it right now. I'll install it on Vista. Perhaps, of nobody else did before., I can report


    Cool, it will need at least 1 or two reboots
    first one is to load .Net 3.5

    so far seems ok, still messing with it while I do chores and stuff on my weekend time.....

    just opening up things and looking....

    I plan on trying a d-Linq try out later as I write a *LOT* of SQL code allthe time....

    also on scott gu's blog I saw some nice stuff like for the cases where you need a class to have properties to hold data it looks like you can just frame up the public props and the rest is automatic ?? if I read that snipet right.

    and extensions... he shows adding a method to the string class by a simple class that has a param of "this string xx"
    and then a using MyExtensioinsClass;

    looks really cool!


    You can have the c# compiler create the private fields, but only if you don't want do anything with them or have some logic in the getter OR the setter. I have even blogged about that... and the extension methods and the lambdas etc.

    I find it interesting that people start to pick up DLINQ now, although there were a lot of ORMs (even freeware) avaialble that did the same Wink

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