Originally Posted by TCD
I disagree, but then again I'm used to Windows NT since 1997. Using an admin account and installing software you have no clue about is asking for it. No matter which OS you use.
On Ubuntu you can give administrator privileges to any users you want, but programs you run from such an account don't run with administrator privileges, it just means you get a password prompt when you try to do certain things, so it will let you do them but you have to confirm. Or from a terminal you have to use sudo to do privileged things. So with an admin account you can do privileged things, but not easily by accident. So it is not the same as logging in as Root.
On Windows XP however, if you are logged in with an admin account it seems to be pretty much an open system, any program you run can make any changes at all. It is like the root account in old-style Linux/Unix and you really shouldn't use it. Of course i did, back in the day, before i knew any better.
Windows 7 and 8 seem somewhat better in this regard, they do at least let you know beforehand that something is about to make changes to your system. I don't remember XP doing that? Or maybe my memory isn't so good? But of course a lazy user will just click "yes" to everything. A password prompt i guess doesn't add much security if you are alone in your own house, but if you find some other admin account already logged in on a publicly-accessible PC you could maybe do some damage.
also the way you install software in Windows i always find a bit dodgy, there's no package management to speak of, you just download an executable and run it, you give it access and it could do anything for all you know you've just got to trust it.