User Account Control (UAC) will be seen a third less often by Windows 7 users than by those running Windows Vista, according to Microsoft.

Introduced in Vista, UAC is a the security feature that's designed to reduce the likelihood of malware infected PCs by asking users to confirm that they really meant to do such things as install new software or modify key operating system settings. But it's been one of Vista's less popular features, with many users complaining that it takes a heavy-handed approach to security.

Microsoft has previously promised that it would redesign UAC in Windows 7, with one executive admitting that it is one of the "most controversial" features in Vista. Now the company has provided specific details of the improvement.

"You'll see a lot fewer UAC prompts in Windows 7," said Paul Cook, the director of Windows 7 client enterprise security. "From our beta and internal testing, we expect a 29% decrease in UAC prompts compared to Windows Vista.

Cook said the new UAC "slider bar" that gives Windows 7 users better control over the sensitivity of the feature is one reason for the reduced number of prompts. "We've reduced 16 different points of prompting," Cook claimed.

The first release candidate for Windows 7 is expected to be made available at the beginning of May.

Windows 7 UAC