Late Friday night, Microsoft finally posted the Windows Vista interim build I promised was on the way … . Windows Vista build 5365 follows build 5342 … by almost exactly a month and will be the final interim build Microsoft issues before Beta 2, which is now due May 22, 2006. Build 5365 is a significant improvement over the builds we’ve seen previously and features one major functional change, which I’ll explain below.
This build isn’t public, so if you aren’t a partner in Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program or one of the selected testers like Thurrott, don’t bother looking for it.
In part 5 of my February CTP/Build 5365 review (sic, should be 5308/5342 – the review is here – ed.), I eviscerated User Account Protection (UAP) because it’s annoying and can often trigger a seemingly endless series of authorization dialog boxes. UAP is, at heart, one of the best things Microsoft could possibly add to Windows. In use, however, UAP is horribly implemented. It’s just a disaster.
In build 5365, UAP has changed dramatically. (This is the one major change I noted previously.) However, none of the changes are related to making this feature less annoying. Instead, it’s been changed to obviate a potential security vulnerability in the original UAP implementation. Now, UAP consent dialogs open in a new environment called the Secure Desktop (Figure), where most of the screen goes black and only the consent dialog is available. This forces the user to deal with the dialog before doing anything else. So not only is UAP annoying, but now you can’t even get something else done until you deal with it (Figure).
UAP is an attempt to help Vista overcome its insecure Windows legacy as an operating system designed for an all powerful single user by notifying the Vista user when he is doing something outside the perceived bounds of what a normal user should be doing. Unfortunately, a whole lot of customary activities will earn you a visit from one or more of the Black Screens of Delay as Thurrott describes.
Hit the first link for more on 5365 and some screenshots.