Criticism from a usability, backward compatibility and UI perfection perspective
Friday, October 23, 2009
Setting permissions on multiple items is broken on Windows 7
Every often, I need to take permissions of files and folders on Windows 7 and Windows Vista, more so because these operating systems have Windows Resource Protection which means every system file is pwned by TrustedInstaller. Great, this is actually a better implementation than Windows File Protection. But the problem is there is no "Security" tab in the Properties of multiple selected files or folders. Sure you could always set permissions and take ownership from the Properties of the parent folder but is this really asking for too much? Microsoft apparently forgot or again didn't have time for nearly half a decade to fix this? Whereas Windows XP never had this problem. It always shows a Security tab even when multiple items are selected. What's more, it also asks nicely if you want to reset the permissions in case the permissions are different across multiple files. This has become a major annoyance in Windows 7 for me. See the image below to see how Windows XP deals with this and the image above to see the step back Windows Vista and Windows 7 have taken. Thankfully, there's icacls.exe, this tweak and VBScript but none can replace the convenience of a GUI.
This regression from previous Windows releases has been reporteddozensof times through blogs, multiple timesin theirforums, Microsoft Connect but apparently 4 years (past Vista RTM) isn't enough time. All regressions and removals are probably queued up as new feature requests or design change requests instead of being given a high priority which is why lost features -> "new" features is a vicious circle.
Update: Raymond Chen gets away with it by justifying it as some ridiculous security measure. Security always helps Microsoft justify the most ridiculous of removals. Security even justified upgrading to that abomination called Vista.