Steven Sinofsky’s Vista UAC discussion at PDC 2008

One thing I haven’t written about yet is my impression of a few moments in Steven Sinofsky’s PDC 2008 keynote. It was when he talked about User Account Control. UAC was not well received when it was put in Vista, to put it mildly.

At around 45 minutes in the keynote, Steven mentions UAC and, as far as I can tell, pauses deliberately for a second or two to get an audience reaction. If you weren’t in the room at the time, it’s hard to tell, but there was a collective groan and some chuckling at that point.

I think it’s the closest attempt at trying to apologize for a design blunder I’ve ever seen Microsoft make, albeit without words. I found it to be a brave move for someone like Steven to make, and I wager that it put a more human face on the large, often faceless corporation that is Microsoft. It certainly did for me.

If nothing else it gave me the impression that there is someone at the helm of Windows development who is not afraid of acknowledging when things go wrong and who will try to make up for it. I find that very refreshing.

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