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.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 11:24

Group Policy Changes in Windows 10 1809 Preview

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As Windows 10 Redstone 5 Update (1809) development winds down and Microsoft is now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, it’s that time again to examine updated and new Group Policy settings. There is (obviously) no official documentation from the Group Policy team at this point. However, since the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is pretty much feature complete and is undergoing the final round of testing, it can't hurt to poke around ADMX files because there are truly several things duller in our line of work than comparing thousands of lines of text. Right?

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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