Removing unauthorised components from Vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Hello,

    We are starting to introduce Vista machines into our existing company
    network of XP machines.

    My company rules are that only authorised productivity software may be used
    on our PCs - ie the OS, Microsoft Office 2003, and a couple of specific
    company applications.

    How can I remove all the accessories in Vista - in particular Windows Mail
    and Windows Calendar (which could conceivably be misused in parallel with
    Office 2003). But I also need to remove Sidebar, Media Player, and Gallery
    as these are not considered as productivity applications. In Windows XP, it
    was easy to remove Windows components using Control Panel, but this option
    seems to have disappeared on Vista.

    Ideally I would like to make the whole user experience on the new machines
    the same as XP so there is seamless integration into the existing pool and
    no productivity downtime. Is there an option to make Vista like XP? We
    wanted to buy XP machines to avoid needless complications like the above
    query, but unfortunately XP machines were no longer available at a
    competitive price.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
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  2. Why don't you set up restriction policies in the Local Group Policy
    editor? (Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings >
    Software Restrictions)
    I dare say that if users can find their way in XP, they'll find their
    way in Vista. You can set the theme to Windows Classic if you like the
    Windows 2000 look... ;-)

    Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User

    Problemen met Windows Vista?

    Windows Vista Problems?
    Mamamegs [MS MVP], Jan 30, 2008
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  3. Thank you for your reply - unfortunately my management insist that
    peripheral components are entirely removed and that we just have OS and
    productivity software on the machines. This is a strict company policy to
    remove employee distractions from the machines, and is also company has a
    strict "lean" ethos. Management don't want a bloated OS!

    We have bought Vista Business edition - surely it is possible to strip out
    time-wasting applications such as media-player from the Business edition?

    It is a shame there is no XP "feel alike" option - I know employees are
    going waste their own and my own time fiddling around getting to know the OS
    for no benefit except to satisfy their curiousity.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  4. Paul Goodyear

    KDE Guest

    you might want to investigate Microsoft's downgrade license options. I
    believe a Vista license allows for an authorized downgrade to XP. If that is
    the case you can make a Disk Image of a clean XP install, that is set -up
    per your company requirements, and downgrade all the Vista PC's you just
    purchased to XP.
    KDE, Jan 30, 2008
  5. Perhaps if you reduce their bread & water rations............
    BigRedWingsFan, Jan 30, 2008
  6. Very well run company thank you, employees paid very well because they work
    hard and don't waste time! We just want a fast, lean OS plus productivity
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  7. Thanks, I will look into that option.

    Meanwhile I will try to make a case for Vista to the powers that decide
    these things. So far I haven't been able to find anything to recommend about
    Vista on a corporate network - it is very slow to boot, has very intrusive
    "security", comes with lots of unwanted permanently bundled applications,
    and is not backwards compatible with some very useful and expensive software
    (eg Adobe Professional 6.0 which is perfectly good software on XP). The
    fancy graphics are just not wanted in a corporate environment either.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  8. Paul Goodyear

    NoStop Guest

    Do what *SMART* companies are doing in the face of the Vista release. Go
    with an Open Source solution. Check out Ubuntu. Save the company many many
    thousands of dollars, gain stability, security and productivity for the
    company and get out from under the Microsoft juggernaut.


    Frank's Brain Activity Plotted (watch the red line):

    Frank's Corporate Headquarters: Business Sign on his Bedroom Door ...

    Frank - seek help immediately! Visit ...
    NoStop, Jan 30, 2008
  9. Paul Goodyear

    Frank Guest

    NoStop wrote:


    This ng is not for sale!
    Frank, Jan 30, 2008
  10. Paul Goodyear

    Alias Guest

    What makes you think that *anyone* thinks this news group is for sale?
    I, for one, will continue to spread the good news about Ubuntu here for
    the benefit of those who are fed up with Vista and all its intrusive
    crap and there's NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT except, of course, continue
    to make a fool out of yourself with your lies, insults, profanity and

    Alias, Jan 30, 2008
  11. Paul Goodyear

    Frank Guest

    Why bother? You seem to have already eliminated the use of Vista completely.

    So far I haven't been able to find anything to recommend
    It boots faster than XP...I guess you haven't really booted up Vista yet

    has very
    If you're an IT (you are an IT right?) you'll be able to control all
    security aspects of Vista.

    comes with lots of unwanted permanently bundled
    Again, if you are an IT, you can control the services that are allowed
    in Vista. Applications and utilities not needed need not be accessed by
    employees. You did say the company is strictly run so I take it that
    means the employees strictly follow company policy right?

    and is not backwards compatible with some very useful and
    Someone has been misleading or misinforming you cause you can run PS6 in
    compatibility mode on Vista.

    The fancy graphics are just not wanted in a corporate
    Are you sure you are an IT? All of the potential pitfalls you've
    mentioned are totally controllable in Vista...if you know what you're doing.
    Frank, Jan 30, 2008
  12. Paul Goodyear

    norm Guest

    Why would an IT want to mess with an os that includes potential,
    controllable pitfalls if there are solutions that offer only what is
    wanted and needed, and not bloated with the potential, controllable
    pitfalls that will consume time and effort apart from the real tasks at
    hand? One might not have to be an IT to use common sense.
    norm, Jan 30, 2008
  13. Paul Goodyear

    Frank Guest

    Lying, trolling spammers like you seem to think it is? You're promoting
    a non-MS product in an MS ng. Is that too difficult for you to
    comprehend? You been asked numerous times in the past to stop.
    Now we see the real alias. The lying, trolling POS loser who cares only
    about himself. You are a clueless, classless and arrogant hate filled
    despicable person and you say your a Buddhist? You think the Bagwan
    would approve of your doings? Is this an example of your good karma?
    You really need to get some help.
    You are pathetic!
    Frank, Jan 30, 2008
  14. Thanks for your help - particularly the tip about PS6 - I will look into

    Yes, I am aware that the "security" features of Vista are controllable
    (after an afternoon wasted googling UAC and DEP). But so far I have invested
    a great deal of my time trying to smooth the integration of Vista into our
    XP network, and I haven't uncovered a single killer benefit to a corporate
    user. I am happy to invest time in understanding productivity orientated
    software - but an OS should be just an OS - not a half-baked software suite.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  15. By the way, you are correct that I am not an "IT professional", whatever
    that may mean. I am just an employee who has been asked to procure and set
    up a few new computers on a network. If Vista was a decent, simple, stable
    OS why should it require an "IT professional" to set it up? Do you think a
    company should employee "professional drivers" every time somebody needs to
    go on a business trip by car?

    As a business user we don't want a bulky software suite - we just want a
    platform to install productivity software. Seems Vista is not the OS for us.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  16. Paul Goodyear

    Frank Guest

    Oh, sorry about that. It sounded like you were an IT pro looking to do a
    large "rollout" of Vista.
    Like 50+ seats or something like that.

    I am just an employee who has been asked to procure and
    Well it doesn't? Vistas not at all that complicated to setup and run.

    Vista is the future and the future is now. Why spend money on the past?

    Seems Vista is not the OS for
    Maybe not!
    Frank, Jan 30, 2008
  17. OH MY GOD. A voice of reason. This guy is the antithesis of Frank,
    hence we shall annoint him Village King.
    thetruthhurts , Jan 30, 2008
  18. Paul Goodyear

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Stripping out judged-to-be peripheral components wasn't supported in XP
    either... this should not be a new concern or problem for management. The
    "chopped up" version of XP was Windows XP Embedded.

    You can use the Group Policy Editor to lock down access to components: I
    would suggest using the Set and Lock Skin policy for Windows Media Player to
    lock down access to the player, for example.
    zachd [MSFT], Jan 30, 2008
  19. OK, but why not make it nice and simple like it was in XP - just uninstall
    everything we didn't need?

    I can see I am going to have to invest a fair bit of time learning how to
    shut down these unwanted bundled apps when really I could be doing better
    things with my time.
    Paul Goodyear, Jan 30, 2008
  20. Paul Goodyear

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    I don't know what components you were referring to as uninstallable in
    Windows Vista that aren't in XP. You mentioned Windows Media Player - that
    wasn't uninstallable in any supported fashion in Windows XP. If you're
    asking why the hack methodology to do such is now harder to access, I would
    speculate that probably because it's relatively important for a Microsoft
    system to be relatively stable, and there's no fleet of testers that is
    working on verifying that each particular variant Frankenstein's Monster
    system is going to perform excellently. =)

    As Mamamegs already pointed out, there's policies to limit or turn off
    access to pretty much everything you mentioned. This provides you your
    solution ("employees can't access N") while giving me my solution ("N still
    works for me") on the same system, while still enabling the greatest amount
    of test coverage on the same common set of Windows components. Every
    particular supported variant install or configuration of Windows "gets" to
    be tested extensively - your corporate stripped version would then compete
    with John's stripped version versus Bubba's stripped version for testing
    time, leaving the aggregate coverage less than through the clean and
    actually fairly excellent management call not to randomize or divert
    resources in order to accomplish minimal savings. Disk space is relatively
    cheap, lost time because Tester Y didn't have adequate time to cover Case
    436 is expensive. You want Windows to work, I want Windows to work. We
    don't get to that point most effectively when you randomize people.

    It should take you about five minutes to learn how to shut down these
    'unwanted bundled apps'-
    * launch gpedit.msc (Group Policy Editor)
    * Computer Configuration : Administrative Templates : Windows Components
    That's everything but the WMP setting, now you just need to deploy. This
    should be pretty straight-forward.

    If you're seriously interested in your own really personalized version of
    Windows, that's what Windows Embedded is for, more or less. That's a bunch
    of people who are dedicated to providing the interesting Frankenstein's
    Monster versions of Windows powering various specific scenarios. This
    provides the people who really need it their specific solution while not
    confusing people about what exactly a "Windows Vista" system experience
    would be like. =)

    Anyways, I think you get it. The Group Policy Editor should give you what
    you're looking for here.

    zachd [MSFT], Jan 30, 2008
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