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Windows 10 Pro for Workstations - Telemetry and Junkware Included?

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+SpeedyTheSnail    1,244

Hello all,

 

I just heard about Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. I have a license for Win 10 Pro but don't use it because of my very [blatant in these forums] hatred of Microsoft's forcing users to have crapware and telemetry enabled in Pro versions.

 

Does anybody here use it or know if those "features" are included in the Workstation version?
 

Of course I am doing my own research but there isn't much useful information. I hope it's not a violation of Neowin's Tos, however here is the argument about my question on Reddit from a few months ago.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/8ks5tb/windows_10_pro_for_workstations_and_telemetry/

 

Thanks!

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Steven P.    13,363

Living up to your user name I see ? Where have you been these past 3 years? The "junkware and telemetry" has been done to death and there are probably millions of pages of results in Google relating to the terms that you are enquiring about in relation to Windows 10. Microsoft has even been forced to "calm the eff down" and require consent for a lot of the creepy data collecting it does if you install an up to date version of Windows 10 (not the one from 2015 mind which might even know when you use the restroom :)).

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+SpeedyTheSnail    1,244
2 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

Living up to your user name I see ? Where have you been these past 3 years? The "junkware and telemetry" has been done to death and there are probably millions of pages of results in Google relating to the terms that you are enquiring about in relation to Windows 10. Microsoft has even been forced to "calm the eff down" and require consent for a lot of the creepy data collecting it does if you install an up to date version of Windows 10 (not the one from 2015 mind which might even know when you use the restroom :)).

Oh I've been crazy busy with life, got a job in IT and somehow had less time for tech than I used to. Now I work in cyber security and my time grows slimmer!

 

I have seen that there are two levels of telemetry on Win 10, basic and enhanced. I'm aware of the solutions on crippling the telemetry, however in regards to Candy Crush an other apps. I installed Windows 10 Pro last month, removed the bloatware the normal way (not via PowerShell), then the computer performed some software updates and it came back!

 

I have no problem paying the $125 upgrade fee to get the Workstation version if it is more like the Enterprise version, since Microsoft disabled the GPO settings for getting rid of the "Consumer Experience" on Pro versions a while back.

 

Thanks for the quick reply!

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adrynalyne    11,639

Windows 10 is Windows 10 is Windows 10. Apply that logic to all skus and you have your answer :)

 

As for the reinstalling of crapware, there are registry hacks to fix that in any version. 

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Riva    1,126

Been using it for a while now, Its pretty much Windows 10 as you know it with additional features and low latency drivers - all drivers came from Windows Update. I only updated my Titan X driver to the latest one.

Telemetry is the same but you have a lot more control under Windows in the latest release. Only things that appear to be totally out of control are searches and edge browsing history. They kind of expect you to go and clear those out of the cloud manually - enter Mozilla Firefox.

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adrynalyne    11,639
2 minutes ago, Riva said:

Been using it for a while now, Its pretty much Windows 10 as you know it with additional features and low latency drivers - all drivers came from Windows Update. I only updated my Titan X driver to the latest one.

Telemetry is the same but you have a lot more control under Windows in the latest release. Only things that appear to be totally out of control are searches and edge browsing history. They kind of expect you to go and clear those out of the cloud manually - enter Mozilla Firefox.

I’d like to hear more about the drivers. I have Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Pro for Workstations and have seen no difference in drivers. Are you implying manufacturers are releasing WU exclusive drivers?

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Riva    1,126
1 minute ago, adrynalyne said:

I’d like to hear more about the drivers. I have Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Pro for Workstations and have seen no difference in drivers. Are you implying manufacturers are releasing WU exclusive drivers?

I believe you get the regression-tested drivers by default via Windows Update. If I install Windows 10 Pro on my PC i have to install a bunch of drivers manually. With this edition they all came from WU. From my experience there have always been drivers from manufacturers via WU.

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adrynalyne    11,639
2 minutes ago, Riva said:

I believe you get the regression-tested drivers by default via Windows Update. If I install Windows 10 Pro on my PC i have to install a bunch of drivers manually. With this edition they all came from WU. From my experience there have always been drivers from manufacturers via WU.

Odd. I’ve aways been offered the same drivers regardless of edition. 

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goretsky    1,031

Hello,

 

Telemetry is present in Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and by all means it should be left enabled.

 

This is because if you are running the kind of applications which require Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, you definitely want them getting your telemetry so that they can investigate and fix things like performance and compatibility issues, application crashes, bugchecks in the operating system, as well as working with the ISVs who develop your workstation apps to investigate any problems.

 

If you are not intending to run workstation software (or don't have Xeon or Opteron processors) then don't install it, as that is what this particular SKU of Windows 10 is for.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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George P    5,304
10 hours ago, Riva said:

Been using it for a while now, Its pretty much Windows 10 as you know it with additional features and low latency drivers - all drivers came from Windows Update. I only updated my Titan X driver to the latest one.

Telemetry is the same but you have a lot more control under Windows in the latest release. Only things that appear to be totally out of control are searches and edge browsing history. They kind of expect you to go and clear those out of the cloud manually - enter Mozilla Firefox.

If you're talking about the search and browsing history via Cortana, that's something you can just as well turn off and not have to worry about being synced online.  It is, however, helpful if you use the same account on multiple devices, IMO.  

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Riva    1,126

I tried disabling cortana via policy, Web searches and history still going to the cloud. I would like the option of not going to the cloud at all

Firefox does the job.

In retrospective, stop tracking my digital life

Edited by Riva

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George P    5,304
9 minutes ago, Riva said:

I tried disabling cortana via policy, Web searches and history still going to the cloud. I would like the option of not going to the cloud at all

Is Cortana also off inside Edge?  If that is also off, I suppose it's down to logging in with a MS account maybe?   There's different group policy settings you can mess with as well.  I haven't dug deep into it because, like I said, since I move between devices I like having my history synced.

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aphanic    6
10 minutes ago, Riva said:

I tried disabling cortana via policy, Web searches and history still going to the cloud. I would like the option of not going to the cloud at all

Firefox does the job.

In retrospective, stop tracking my digital life

Regarding the cloud search... Did you try the "Don't search the web or display web results in Search" GPO?

 

It's under Search in the Windows components part of the admin templates and is different from the "Allow Cloud Search" (this one seems to be geared more towards Cortana).

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George P    5,304
3 minutes ago, aphanic said:

Regarding the cloud search... Did you try the "Don't search the web or display web results in Search" GPO?

 

It's under Search in the Windows components part of the admin templates and is different from the "Allow Cloud Search" (this one seems to be geared more towards Cortana).

Yeah, there's a number of privacy related GPO you can mess with, but a few scattered settings here and there, if you turn them off, should stop it just as well, unless, like myself, you login and use bing directly etc, that stuff still gets saved but I suppose that's a different matter.

 

You can also turn off the "Page prediction" option in Edge as well, that should stop any last bit of data from going to MS.  

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Steven P.    13,363

Edge Deflector is also a good little tool to force Windows 10 (and Cortana search results) to use your default browser instead of launching Edge ;) https://github.com/da2x/EdgeDeflector

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George P    5,304
14 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

Edge Deflector is also a good little tool to force Windows 10 (and Cortana search results) to use your default browser instead of launching Edge ;) https://github.com/da2x/EdgeDeflector

That's good to know, since I myself use a mix of Edge and Vivaldi I don't much mind if links open up in Edge, it's also the browser I use on my phone so it works out.

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+SpeedyTheSnail    1,244

For those who have 10 Pro Workstation,

 

Does the GPO to disable the Windows Consumer Experience actually work? I know they made it a Win10 Enterprise and Education SKU only policy a while back.

 

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adrynalyne    11,639
2 hours ago, SpeedyTheSnail said:

For those who have 10 Pro Workstation,

 

Does the GPO to disable the Windows Consumer Experience actually work? I know they made it a Win10 Enterprise and Education SKU only policy a while back.

 

If they made it enterprise and education only, then no. Just use regedit. 

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+SpeedyTheSnail    1,244
8 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

If they made it enterprise and education only, then no. Just use regedit. 

Regedit settings are not valid either in pro.

 

I was hoping the Pro "Workstation" edition might have been better, but oh well. Thanks all!

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adrynalyne    11,639
4 minutes ago, SpeedyTheSnail said:

Regedit settings are not valid either in pro.

 

I was hoping the Pro "Workstation" edition might have been better, but oh well. Thanks all!

Works fine in Pro for me. 

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Vince800    252

When you clean install Windows 10 Pro or even Home it's really easy to stop the so called "junkware".

 

The first thing you should do after first log in is unpin every tile without an icon (these are suggested apps) and then go into Settings > Personalisation > Start > Turn off "Show suggestions occasionally" in start. You won't get any unwanted apps this way.

 

As for the telemetry, just switch it to basic & consider that since Vista, things like CEIP are enabled by default and in fact they probably send back more information than even Windows 10 does with its granular privacy controls - something that older versions of Windows do not have. 

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