`Volunteers will test Vista Beta 2, a near-final version of the much-hyped upgrade of Windows. The testing is the last step leading up to Vista’s broad consumer release, scheduled for January.
Beta 2 testers can expect to encounter an obtrusive security feature, called User Account Control (UAC). Designed to prevent intruders from performing harmful tasks, the feature grays out the computer screen, then prods you to confirm that you really want to do certain functions.
In early test versions, the queries crop up so often that they interrupt routine tasks, such as changing the time clock or deleting shortcuts. And UAC sometimes triggers an endless loop of dialogue boxes that can be curtailed only by rebooting, says Paul Thurrott, news editor of Windows IT Pro magazine.
“Microsoft completely botched UAC,” Thurrott says. “It’s almost criminal in its insidiousness.”‘