Microsoft Australia has defended the company’s User Account Control (UAC) system as being “misunderstood” and said it should be the type of technology that all operating systems aspire towards.

Peter Watson, Microsoft Australia’s chief security advisor, told Builder AU application providers are coming to terms with having programs and users run as non-administrative users on their Vista-run computers.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding in the market around User Account Control (UAC). If you look at it from an architectural direction User Account Control is a great idea and strategically a direction that all operating systems and all technologies should be heading down,” Watson said.

UAC is a security feature introduced with Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system. The aim is to provide increased security when using Windows as a standard user by informing them when possible security breaches could be undertaken.

The technology has been a source of irritation for Vista users, with Apple going as far as to make fun of UAC in a recent commercial.

Watson conceded that “the problem you can never get around is if the user is just going to sit there and blindly hit the enter key” when UAC message dialogs pop up on screen.

In the second video above Watson said “Microsoft, purely because of its breadth and knowledge in the security space is ideally placed to deliver [security and antivirus] solutions”.

As Vista and the latest edition of Office were developed with Microsoft’s Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL), “the number of exploits has been extremely low”, he added.

Microsoft is offering their SDL process as training to developers as “an environment cannot insulate a developer from a security problem”, Watson said.

Highlights of the interview are shown on the video player above.