Windows 10 Optimization – Part 1 – Apps


Note: New article on Default App Optimization for VDI posted that includes the Anniversary (Build 1607) and Creator (Build 1703) updates. This post is only for the original (Build 1511) release.

And we all know from Windows 7, optimization guides for VDI made a substantial, positive impact on server density, but will the same hold true for Windows 10?

As part of the practice of optimizing a Windows 10 image, we also must remember one of our XenApp best practices:

XenApp Best Practice #2: For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately

The first part to Windows 10 optimization is to look at all of the “free” apps we get with a fresh installation. I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 Enterprise and there are well over 50 applications already in my start menu, many of these are the system apps that we definitely want to keep like PowerShell and Command Prompt, but what about 3D builder, Bing Finance, Get Started, etc?

So, look at the Windows 10 list of default apps by running the following PowerShell command:

Get-ProvisionedAppXPackage -Online|Select DisplayName

The applications listed will be provisioned to each and every user that logs on with this image.

What to keep and what to cut? And will it make a difference in terms of user experience and server density? If the app isn’t used, leaving it on the system won’t hurt, or will it? Look at Task Manager

As you can see, I’ve never started the Weather app, but it has consumed some resources (albeit, very small). And what happens if the user starts the app? They will consume even more. So what do you cut?

First, let’s remove the easy ones. These are the apps that we have no good reason why a user would run this application at work and/or doing so would significantly impact server resources:

  • Microsoft.3DBuilder
  • Microsoft.Getstarted
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection
  • Microsoft.People
  • Microsoft.SkypeApp
  • Microsoft.WindowsCommunicationsApps (Mail & Calendar)
  • Microsoft.XboxApp
  • Microsoft.ZuneMusic
  • Microsoft.ZuneVideo

That still leaves us with quite a few more apps. And for each one, you have to decide if you want users to have this app or not. And if you believe that removing the Bing Sports app will prevent users from checking on their latest sports teams, you are sadly mistaken; they still have a web browser. So for this list of apps, the decision is yours:

  • Microsoft.BingFinance
  • Microsoft.BingNews
  • Microsoft.BingSports
  • Microsoft.BingWeather
  • Microsoft.Office.OneNote
  • Microsoft.Windows.Photos
  • Microsoft.WindowsCamera
  • Microsoft.WindowsMaps
  • Microsoft.WindowsPhone
  • Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder

And finally, for the apps you should keep, our list grows quite short:

  • Microsoft.Appconnector
  • Microsoft.WindowsAlarms
  • Microsoft.WindowsCalculator

Seriously, do you really want to remove the calculator? BTW, if you haven’t looked at Calculator in Windows 10 yet, do so. Microsoft added a lot of functionality to the app. Now I can quickly tell you that 100 centimeters per second equals 2.237136 miles per hour, or almost equal to 1 meter per second, 1.94 knots, 3.28 feet per second or 11.19 turtles 🙂

So removing these apps will only help server density if they are used, but then removing an app that is used will hurt the user experience.

For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately

Note: The complete Windows 10 optimization blog series

Daniel ()

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12 thoughts on “Windows 10 Optimization – Part 1 – Apps”

  1. I like this blog series except for one thing. In the above you recommend cutting some applications to be provisioned. What you don’t do is say how to remove those applications or point in a good direction on how to do that. Your blog is great but only half done….

    Like

  2. 100 centimetres per second is “almost equal” to 1 meter per second..? I’m not sure this new calculator is all it’s cracked up to be! ;P

    Like

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