An easier way to work

By Stephen Kellett
6 June, 2014

The UAC World

April 8th 2014 heralded a new era – that of no security updates for ageing Windows XP machines. Many people still use Windows XP and they are now being forced to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 or to a different operating system altogether.

For users of our software tools the natural jump is to Windows 7 as Windows 8 is just too much of a change. That said I’m writing this on a Windows 8 machine.

Either way it doesn’t matter, after Windows XP you are in the world of User Account Control where any action requiring more privileges than your account has is met with a challenge dialog to ensure the action was requested by you and not a malicious piece of software.

Require Administrator

Until now our software has always run with a “requireAdministrator” manifest so that the software runs with the maximum privileges available. This made the software easy to write but not so pleasant to use: Everytime you started the software you would be greeted with a User Account Control dialog – even when run from the command line for automated use.

For some people the solution was to disable User Account Control for the specific tool. That works, but it requires effort. But the whole point of software tools is for us to do the hard work to make life easier for the user of our software.

No more UAC prompts

A better way was required – make our tools work without needing to run with any special privileges. We’ve just released an update to all our software tools that fulfils this aim. You can still run the tools with administrator privileges if you desire, but for most actions with the exception of a few specialist uses the software tools run perfectly in interactive and command line automated forms without the need for administrator privileges.

All existing customers with valid software maintenance have been notified of the updates (check your inbox). All evaluation versions have been updated to run without administrator privileges.

For a more technical insight into this work, read An End to Unwanted UAC Prompts.

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