Microsoft Culls Useful Group Policies from Windows 10 Pro

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅02.08.2016 17:51:46

For many users who took advantage of Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer - now expired but no doubt returning in some form in the very near future - the penny may well be just starting to drop that it really wasn't that much of an upgrade at all. Still, one would expect that features currently available to you won't be restricted post-upgrade/purchase; well it turns out that in the brave new world of Windows 10 that's certainly not the case.

Last week reported (and Microsoft effectively confirmed) that the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 Pro will restrict Group Policies that owners may have been enjoying since moving to Windows 10 in the past year. The changes are aimed squarely at owners who have had the temerity to restrict access to the Windows Store and auto-installed Third-Party applications, the so-called 'Microsoft Consumer Experience', but also include other Policies which limit Microsoft's abuse of the OS as an advertising platform for their products (such as the ever-resent Office-365 Trial offer).

A longer list is available in the linked article, but the known affected policies that are no longer part of Windows 10 Pro include:

Turn off Microsoft Consumer Experiences - Prevent non-Microsoft Applications from being automatically installed and placed on the start menu.

Do not display the lock screen - Allows users to circumvent the lock screen, instead going straight to a log-in prompt.

Disable all apps from the Windows Store - Self-explanatory, but also turns off the Windows Store.

These group policies remain on Enterprise and Education Editions of Windows 10, both of which are more difficult to acquire through normal retail channels.

Greater control over group policies are one of the key draws to Pro versions of Windows over Home for professional system owners not affiliated with a larger institution. Microsoft restricting access to configuration options after purchase would be bad enough, but deliberately targeting those which enable its use as an advertising platform for their own or affiliated products is particularly obnoxious. It also shows the level of control Microsoft have wrested from users with Windows 10, not just in terms of forced updates but also greater limits on configuration options for Home and Pro users alike.

The changes will go live with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update today alongside shiny new widgets well suited to a mobile/tablet OS.


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