Windows 10

Windows 10 (15)

Monday, 25 June 2018 16:09

Yet Another Windows 10 Optimization Script

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As a reminder, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 SP1 on January 14, 2020. I've had multiple enterprise customer engagements over the past several months and with less than two years left, I wanted to take a look at how you can potentially optimize your OS image and successfully transition to a Windows 10 environment. The clock is ticking!

The topic of Windows 10 optimizations comes up often enough, so I figured I should address it in a separate blog post. There are a lot of customers I've worked with who have heard "somewhere" (not sure where) that they should be optimizing their operating system by minimizing connections from Windows to Microsoft services and by disabling unnecessary services and features to improve performance. Now, I've seen a few optimization scripts on the net that will reduce the functionality and security configuration of your devices and may also put you into an untested and unsupported configuration. Consequently, I thought I would share the Windows 10 optimization script that I put together based on my conversations with enterprise customers. Several organizations used this script as part of their deployment to rapidly drive successful Windows 10 adoption and to thrive within a Windows as a Service environment.

Monday, 04 June 2018 18:18

Localizing Inbox Apps during OSD

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As a reader of this blog, I suspect that most of you, like me, are frequenting Twitter. And I bet many of you picked up useful information shared by other IT Pros. Every day when I wake up, I typically spend a few minutes going through my feed, to stay current by consuming small bits of information on a daily basis.

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In several of my previous articles, I've discussed how to remove built-in applications and capabilities during operating system deployment. Over the past few years, I delivered quite a few customer-focused Windows 10 workshops in which I placed emphasis on covering Windows as a Service in great depth. After all, one of my primary goals is to enable IT departments to keep pace with more frequent Windows updates and to allow them to continuously deliver new functionality to end-users. I realize that there are still some misconceptions out there as well as a need for more user guidance. In today's blog post I'd like to focus on removing built-in applications and capabilities straight from install.wim, and why you might want to do this in the first place.

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Windows 10 "April 2018 Update", also known as version 1803, "Redstone 4", or RS4 will be available via Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Volume Licensing Servicing Center (VLSC) starting on the 8th May with the download via Media Creation Tool and Visual Studio Subscriptions (MSDN Subscriptions) already being available. Windows 10, version 1803 is the fifth feature update released for Windows 10. As with the previous updates, Microsoft continues the trend of moving to more agile development and delivery models as part of the ongoing "Windows as a Service" efforts with Windows 10 1803 update making the base operating system better with new features to help IT pros more easily manage and better protect data and devices in their organizations.

Sunday, 01 April 2018 18:12

Windows 10 1803 Built-In Apps: What to Keep

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The development of the Spring Creators Update (codenamed "Redstone 4") is now heading towards the finishing line. We can assume that Windows 10 1803 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 login times.

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While I sometimes long for the day when I no longer have to deal with unexpected Windows 10 behavior, there’s something rewarding about quickly finding a solution. In the process, I often end up with an idea for a blog post I can share with thousands three regular readers. Yesterday I successfully solved an interesting case that opened when a customer contacted me a month ago and reported that the Photo app was no longer working on their 1709 reference image.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 18:12

Group Policy Changes in Windows 10 1803 Preview

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As Windows 10 Redstone 4 Update (1803) development winds down, it’s the grandiose time to examine updated and new Group Policy settings. There is (obviously) no official documentation from the Group Policy team at this point and there might be quite a few changes to Group Policy settings before Windows 10 Spring Update hits RTM. Still, it can't hurt to poke around current ADMX files because there are truly several things duller in our line of work than comparing thousands of lines of text. Right?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:04

Disabling Cortana Voice Support during OOBE

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Yesterday I came across a Twitter thread in which multiple users detailed their beef with the revamped setup experience of Windows 10 (aka the OOBE). The OOBE was introduced with Windows 10 "Creators Update" (1703): Cortana voice walks the user through the OOBE experience, enabling the user to complete parts of OOBE by responding to spoken prompts. Windows 10 installations using following languages are affected: en-US, es-MX, ja-JP, en-GB, fr-FR, it-IT, de-DE, es-ES, fr-CA, en-CA, en-AU, pt-BR, zh-CN. Exacerbating the issue, Cortana's voice prompts are loud and proud by default and can become quickly irritating when attempting to install multiple machines at the same time. There’s little clear help for fixing it, so in this post, I’ll give you easy steps you can follow to tape up Cortana's cake-hole.

Thursday, 26 October 2017 12:25

Microsoft Edge: Taking Control

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) includes a number of enhancements over the previous Windows 10 release in various areas. You can see a detailed list of the changes here. Each major new version of Windows 10 also includes dramatic changes to Microsoft Edge, including a number of performance, security, and compatibility improvements. In addition, Microsoft continues to improve management capabilities for Microsoft Edge in an Enterprise deployment scenario.

Monday, 23 October 2017 13:20

Windows 10 1709 Built-In Apps: What to Keep

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As a reader of this blog, I suspect that most of you are already starting to work with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709). As part of that process, you are probably taking 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 time.

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