Ian Griffiths has an excellent post on why UAC exists and why we as developers shouldn’t turn it off in frustration. Like Ian, I ran Windows XP as a non-admin and UAC is welcome relief to the tedium of switching between accounts to configure things.* Now I’m not claiming that UAC is perfect. Notably Vista Backup doesn’t play nicely. Rather than giving you the option to elevate, you must log in as an admin. But honestly most programs don’t cause elevation prompts and the ones that do, they occur seldomly. I would really like to know what people are doing that cause so many elevation prompts. I run Visual Studio 2005 as a regular user on Vista and can develop quite happily. Sure there are some edge cases where VS doesn’t work such as browsing MSMQ within the server explorer. Honestly, how often do I do that? Seldom. When I need to, I can run a MMC console elevated rather than running all of VS elevated. So stop your griping and turn UAC back on.
* The Windows Firewall in XP is notoriously non-admin friendly as it blocks the program without providing the option to allow it through by providing admin credentials. That meant that if a new program was blocked, you would have to log into the admin account and manually add an exception to the list of programs. Now you just type in your admin credentials.