Microsoft to take away staff admin rights?

by admin May 24, 2006 at 12:43 pm

To be PC or not PC…

As Microsoft moves its internal desktop systems to Windows Vista, it is contemplating whether to change a long-running tradition and take administrator rights away from its employees in order to improve security.

Microsoft installs early builds of its software in its own corporate systems to ensure the products are thoroughly tested in a real-world environment. Vista, the next update of the Windows operating system, is set for launch in January next year.

Currently, the majority of Microsoft’s employees enjoy full administrator rights on their desktop PCs. That is an unusual practice in corporations, as it makes it possible for people to install unauthorised software and introduce unwanted pests such as spyware.

Mark Estberg, the director of Microsoft’s internal security, told sister site ZDNet Australia at the AusCERT conference that a security feature in Vista called User Access Control (UAC) could mean fewer employees have full administrator rights over their PCs.

Estberg said: “We haven’t made that final determination yet. We would like to absolutely look at scenarios where we can look at elements of User Access Control – that is the feature in Vista – so that we can start moving in that direction.”

He added: “It is a tough balance, and every company has to decide what is right for them.”

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