Over the last couple of days, many people have asked for my take on the fact that Visual Studio 2005 SP1 requires admin privileges to run on Windows Vista, and pops up a dialog saying so when it starts up.

 

So, here’s my take, and I don't work for the Developer Division!

 

VS2005SP1 was developed while Windows Vista was being developed, and because of potential late-breaking regressions in the OS (which can happen), the VS team decided to simply do what most service packs do – fix bugs that stop people doing their jobs. Now that Vista has shipped, the VS team is working on an SP1 that works better as a non-admin on Windows Vista, and this is goodness.

 

Now to the pop-up that recommends you run as an admin. In my opinion, the VS team was simply being very conservative, because some scenarios simply do not work well as a non-admin. For example registering a COM control, installing or debugging a service, or performing admin tasks against SQL Server and so on all require elevated capability, as they very well should!

 

I probably spend 75% of my time writing and debugging C++ code, 20% of the time using C# and 5% doing SQL, and I always run as a non-admin. In fact I ran as non-admin for prior versions of Visual Studio on Windows XP! 99% of what I do works perfectly well. For the 1% of the time I need to do some admin task, I run an elevated VS.

 

In closing, the dialog is a little alarming, just do what I did – uncheck the option to display the dialog box and get on with life :-)

 

One more thing, the VS team has provided a list of known issues with VS on Windows Vista.