Vista To Feature Tighter Parental Controls
The long awaited (and waited, and waited) Microsoft operating system, Vista, will include heightened parental controls that allow parents to grant permission before unauthorized users try to view websites not on a pre-approved list.
Windows developers acknowledged that one of the past limitations of their OS was that all users of the family computer were, in effect, administrators. Having one’s own administrator status on the PC resulted in individual settings that children used in direct conflict with parents’ wishes.
The User Account Control feature of the Vista OS allows Toby (the fictional child MS uses to illustrate) to have his own account that is created and limited by the administrator.
The administrator can set parameters in Control Panel with a list of approved websites, programs, and games; set times and time limits for Toby’s computer use; and access a report of all of his activities.
One of the more notable features is the permission feature. If a child tries to access a website not on the administrators approved list, a prompt appears informing the child that the page is blocked. Down the page, it gives instructions on how the webpage (or program) can be accessed:
“If you want to access this website, you will need permission.”
This is followed with a link to ask the administrator for that permission. Administrators are then prompted to allow or disallow by typing in their password.
The Microsoft team anticipates that this will be a major selling point for Windows Vista and is urging software developers to design programs that work well within this standard.