Trauma – want to run as a user but I cannot

Background: My new development MS Windows XP Pro box, I was thinking of bringing in some common-sense principles from the Unix world.

Hypothesis: If I can run as ‘user’ under Linux painlessly, why can’t I do that under Windows too?

Benefits: If I were able to run as a user versus ‘root’, fewer chances of causing a devastating accident or running a dangerous Trojan and incurring embarassing consequences (the latter, I am not entire sure about).

Results: Experiment was an unrivalled failure. After two days of trauma, I decided to give my ‘user’ Administrative privileges.

Observations: Applications just refuse to run after being installed by the Administrator. These are usually legacy applications and the primary cause of my trauma. For example, the Openwave WAP/WML browser kept complaining it did not have access to the “CookieCache” which was probably under “Program Files”. It should have been using local folders to store cookies.

Also, I am trying to work out how I can stay logged in as a user and switch back and forth between root and user. Akin to ‘su’ on Unix.