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Standard user accounts provide for better security and lower total cost of ownership in both home and corporate environments. When users run with standard user rights instead of administrative rights, the security configuration of the system, including antivirus and firewall, is protected. This provides users a secure area that can protect their account and the rest of the system. For enterprise deployments, the policies set by desktop IT managers cannot be overridden, and on a shared family computer, different user accounts are protected from changes made by other accounts.
However, Windows has had a long history of users running with administrative rights. As a result, software has often been developed to run in administrative accounts and take dependencies, often unintentionally, on administrative rights. To both enable more software to run with standard user rights and to help developers write applications that run correctly with standard user rights, Windows Vista introduced User Account Control (UAC). UAC is a collection of technologies that include file system and registry virtualization, the Protected Administrator (PA) account, UAC elevation prompts, and Windows Integrity levels that support these goals. I've talked about these in detail in my conference presentations and TechNet MagazineUAC internals article.
Windows 7 carries forward UAC's goals with the underlying technologies relatively unchanged. However, it does introduce two new modes that UAC's PA account can operate with and an auto-elevation mechanism for some built-in Windows components. In this post, I'll cover the motivations behind UAC's technologies, revisit the relationship between UAC and security, describe the two new modes, and explain how exactly auto-elevation works. Note that the information in this post reflects the behavior of the Windows 7 release candidate, which is different in several ways from the beta.
Full article here with detailed and technical explanation:
User Account Control: Inside Windows 7 User Account Control
Read it , it is worthy.
Another Article but simpler:
UAC enhances security by allowing you to use standard-user wrights while providing an easy method for elevating to administrator if such elevation is needed. There is no need to switch user, log-off or use the Run as administrator command.
Important: UAC is intended to help people be more secure, but it can’t ensure security on its own.
User Account Control (UAC) Guide Windows 7
Why UAC should be taken seriously
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