November 15, 2009

Microsoft Declares Ownership of 'sudo'; rest of world

Some clerk at the US Patent Office apparently had a seizure and scribbled his approval across this blatantly monopolistic patent  for a "Rights Elevator" filed by Microsoft in 2005. Here's the abstract:

Systems and/or methods are described that enable a user to elevate his or her rights. In one embodiment, these systems and/or methods present a user interface identifying an account having a right to permit a task in response to the task being prohibited based on a user's current account not having that right.

In Microsoft's defense, the patent indicates that they are improving on existing technologies. The patent was filed around the same time Vista was being defecated developed along with UAC. What really concerns me is the second sentence that states this "rights elevator" GUI will "identify an account having a right to permit a task". So essentially, if I'm Joe User trying to install the latest "Free Smiley Pack with Screensavers" application on my corporate network, but lack the permission to do so, my handy "rights elevator" will simply identify the username of an account that does. This seems like an unnecessary (and potentially insecure) feature to me, but I suppose that's Microsoft's modus operandi at this point.

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