Monday, 17 September 2018 10:59

Windows 10 1809 Built-In Apps: What to Keep

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The development of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809, codenamed "Redstone 5") is now heading towards the finishing line. We can assume that Windows 10, version 1809 is now feature-complete and as such, I can't stress it highly enough that you should start testing the newest features and functionality in this Semi-Annual Channel release as soon as possible in preparation for broad deployment to the devices in your organization. As part of this process, you should take a look at provisioned apps - most likely you want to ensure that only a choice selection of apps is being installed, whenever a user logs on either for the first time or after installing a feature update on a Windows 10 computer, because app installation directly impacts logon times.

Note: This blog post is based on pre-release information and may be subject to change.

Microsoft is determined to make Windows 10 highly customizable for Enterprise use. While no Windows 10 release was free of flaws, over the past two years, the Windows team has been continuously innovating, and listening to IT Pros feedback. This is reflected by the changes to the provisioned applications over the past 6 months.

  • The Microsoft.HEIFImageExtension package enables Windows 10 devices to read and write files that use the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format.
  • The Microsoft.ScreenSketch app gives you all of the functionality of the Snipping Tool with additional improvements. Originally introduced as part of the Windows Ink Workspace, this package is now an app which comes with a variety of benefits, including that it can now be updated via the Microsoft Store.
  • The Microsoft.VP9VideoExtensions package adds support for the efficient open source video codec VP9 developed as part of the WebM Project by Google.
  • The Microsoft.WebpImageExtension package adds support for the new modern image format WebP that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.
  • The Microsoft.YourPhone application makes it easier to move files between your computer and your portable (Android) devices. You can finally stop emailing yourself photos.

Additionally, the Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal is now an app! This comes with a variety of benefits, including that it now can be uninstalled.

Below is a list of applications which are flagged as removable in Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) - color coded from Enterprise client standpoint for your convenience.

Please be aware, that the decision which applications should be removed can be tricky and very dependant on your usage scenario. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution and there are many tradeoffs to consider. Consider the list below - based on my interactions with various customers - as food for thought.

  • Microsoft.BingWeather
  • Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller
  • Microsoft.GetHelp
  • Microsoft.Getstarted
  • Microsoft.HEIFImageExtension
  • Microsoft.Messaging
  • Microsoft.Microsoft3DViewer
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes
  • Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal
  • Microsoft.MSPaint
  • Microsoft.Office.OneNote (Note: Consider keeping if you are allowing Microsoft Account usage)
  • Microsoft.OneConnect
  • Microsoft.People
  • Microsoft.Print3D
  • Microsoft.SkypeApp
  • Microsoft.ScreenSketch
  • Microsoft.StorePurchaseApp
  • Microsoft.VP9VideoExtensions
  • Microsoft.Wallet
  • Microsoft.WebMediaExtensions
  • Microsoft.WebpImageExtension
  • Microsoft.Windows.Photos
  • Microsoft.WindowsAlarms
  • Microsoft.WindowsCalculator
  • Microsoft.WindowsCamera
  • microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps
  • Microsoft.WindowsFeedbackHub
  • Microsoft.WindowsMaps
  • Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder
  • Microsoft.WindowsStore
  • Microsoft.XboxApp
  • Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI
  • Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay
  • Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay
  • Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider
  • Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay
  • Microsoft.YourPhone
  • Microsoft.ZuneMusic
  • Microsoft.ZuneVideo

Explanation:

  • Green: "Keep"
  • Gold: "Consider keeping in order to ensure full Windows 10 functionality"
  • Red: "Consider removing in an Enterprise scenario".

Important: I am yet to come up with a solid reason why Microsoft flags following apps as removable: DesktopAppInstaller, StorePurchaseApp, WindowsStore.

Note: When you build your image, you should also consider removing Quick Support capability using DISM. See my previous blog on how to remove Windows capabilities for more guidance.

Additional considerations: In a multi-language image you may experience issues localizing built-in apps. See my blog for additional details.

Read 49219 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2018 06:32
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

How do you remove the apps from a reference image and prevent them from being deployed when a new user logs in. I've run powershell scripts that remove these from currently logged in users, but once a new user logs in all of it comes back. It...

How do you remove the apps from a reference image and prevent them from being deployed when a new user logs in. I've run powershell scripts that remove these from currently logged in users, but once a new user logs in all of it comes back. It gets annoying having to rerun the scripts and users in corporate environments seeing Xbox, Minecraft, and Candy Crush tiles.
M$ really needs to understand that Enterprise means business class, and shouldn't be packaged with stupid junk.

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JoeBob
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The import part is to removed provisioned apps (a.k.a. Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage ). I wrote an article a while ago how to remove apps from an offline image. Mike Niehaus has an excellent script which can be used during reference image...

The import part is to removed provisioned apps (a.k.a. Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage ). I wrote an article a while ago how to remove apps from an offline image. Mike Niehaus has an excellent script which can be used during reference image creation. Now, the other thing you mentioned can be turned off via GPO in an enterprise scenario (assuming you are running Enterprise / Education SKU): https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mniehaus/2015/11/23/seeing-extra-apps-turn-them-off/

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Anton Romanyuk
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Can I please make one suggestion. I really value your opinion on which apps to keep and remove but can you consider a different way of marking these rather than colour. I'm colour blind and simply cannot distinguish between green and red in...

Can I please make one suggestion. I really value your opinion on which apps to keep and remove but can you consider a different way of marking these rather than colour. I'm colour blind and simply cannot distinguish between green and red in your recommendations.

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Aardvark
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Good point and I am sorry that I did not take this into account. Would a table with recommendations (two columns: app name | recommendation (keep, remove, etc) work better?

Anton Romanyuk
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Awesome post thank you.

https://twitter.com/kaidja/status/931564687921164291
Do not remove http://Microsoft.Xbox .TCUI app from your Windows 10 1709 image. It will break other apps like Photos, Store etc.

Above is stated by MS employee.
Don't...

Awesome post thank you.

https://twitter.com/kaidja/status/931564687921164291
Do not remove http://Microsoft.Xbox .TCUI app from your Windows 10 1709 image. It will break other apps like Photos, Store etc.

Above is stated by MS employee.
Don't know if it is the same for 1903 which I am using atm but I broke Windows Photos in my image and I did not delete the AppxPackage Photos app.

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Haye
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I am fully aware. Haven't seen these issues on any release past 1709, but I fully agree with the statement that you should always carefully consider what you remove from your image as there are dependencies involved that we are not aware of. I...

I am fully aware. Haven't seen these issues on any release past 1709, but I fully agree with the statement that you should always carefully consider what you remove from your image as there are dependencies involved that we are not aware of. I will follow up on the TCUI in recent builds and update the post when I have new information.

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Anton Romanyuk
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Can you by any chance change the ordering of Microsoft.SkypeApp and Microsoft.ScreenSketch?

Its a lame reason but when running powershell scripts to remove these apps from a WIM file the order is a little messed up and I accidentally removed...

Can you by any chance change the ordering of Microsoft.SkypeApp and Microsoft.ScreenSketch?

Its a lame reason but when running powershell scripts to remove these apps from a WIM file the order is a little messed up and I accidentally removed Screen Sketch expecting Skype to be next (d'Oh)

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Marcus Culver
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You know what they say, trust, but verify

Anton Romanyuk
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