Windows 8 : Disable access to the Windows Store with GPO

When you use Windows 8 in the Enterprise I can imagine that you (the IT Administrator) wants to disable some features. One of the first features (just like Windows Media Center in the Windows 7) I expect customers want to disable will probably be access to the Store.

Windows 8 Group Policies
I downloaded the proper Group Policy Settings Reference Sheet from Microsoft.com and the correct policy to disable access to the store could be a User Policy or a Computer Policy. So you can disable access to the store for the normal users and leave it accessible for the IT Administrator or Management (if you like).

Two different GPO’s at “SystemInternet Communication ManagementInternet Communication Settings”:

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With the following Help Text:

“This policy setting specifies whether to use the Store service for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association.When a user opens a file type or protocol that is not associated with any applications on the computer, the user is given the choice to select a local application or use the Store service to find an application.If you enable this policy setting, the “Look for an app in the Store” item in the Open With dialog is removed.If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the user is allowed to use the Store service and the Store item is available in the Open With dialog.”

And two different GPO’s at “Windows ComponentsStore”:

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With the following Help Text:

“Denies or allows access to the Store application.If you enable this setting, access to the Store application is denied. Access to the Store is required for installing app updates.If you disable or do not configure this setting, access to the Store application is allowed.”

What’s the difference?
So with the first Policy you can enable or disable the Store for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association. The second Policy actually disabled access to the Store.

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When you disable access to the store you will still see the Store tile on your Start Screen, but when you open the store you will see the following message:

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Remove the Store Tile
To entirely remove the Store tile from your Start Screen, just remove the Store shortcut in “C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms” (thanks to Roel Janssen for posting this solution).

UPDATE : The first Windows Server 2012 (and Windows 8) results appear on Prometric!

It has been some time since you could attend the Configuring Windows 8 (70-687), Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (70-410), Administering Windows Server 2012 (70-411) and the Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (70-412), but the results are finally there. Although not all the results are yet visible at Prometric.

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I’ve seen Erik Bakker and Martijn Brant tweeting they passed the 70-410! The strange thing is, I already know I passed the 410 (and the 687), but the results are still not visible for me at the Prometric website. I did fail the 414, but I already rescheduled it for this Friday…so I could earn the MCSA Windows Server 2012 just before the weekend starts.

Just talked to my contact at MSLearning and she told me that all the results should be available in the next few hours (if everything goes the way it should, that’s one thing you never know for sure if Prometric is involved if you ask me).

So if you are still seeing Tested at one of the exams named above, please leave a comment! The results of the 70-413, 70-414, 70-415 and 70-416 are still about a month away, for know the schedule I blogged about earlier seems to be precise!

UPDATE (Sept 24th, 2012) : I finally received my score of the 687 and 410. This afternoon they were both still showing ‘Tested’, but just a few moments ago (when I checked it again after my MS Learning contact told me it should say ‘Passed’) it did indeed say ‘Passed’.

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Windows 8 & first three Windows Server 2012 Available at Prometric

Earlier today Guido tweeted about the availability of the Windows 8 and the (first three) Windows Server 2012. I checked…and indeed they are available, so start preparing for the exams so you’re able to pass the exams!

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This also means that we can start F5-ing on the Prometric website next monday, since the beta results should be available just after the general availability of exams. My contact at Microsoft Learning told me earlier that we should expect the results on September 17th. Please leave a comment if you don’t have the results by the end of next week (September 21st), so I could forward them to my friends over at Microsoft Learning.

It has been 8 weeks…since the first Windows Server 2012 Beta Exam!

This week it has been 8 weeks since you were able to attend the first (out of seven) Windows Server 2012 beta exams. I  attended the 70-410 allong with the Configuring Windows 8 beta (70-687) on June 25th, this week about 8 weeks ago.

During a normal beta period, the time between attending the exam and the day you receive the results is about eight weeks. Earlier this year, during the two Private Cloud beta’s (70-246 & 70-247) we all had to wait about 12 weeks before we received the results! I looks like Microsoft (and Prometric) are going to set a new record. If you have attended the 70-410 during TechEd North-America, you can add two more weeks…

MS Learning
I just spoke to a contact of mine at MS Learning, asking her when I could expect the results of the two beta’s I attended at TechEd Europe. She told me the result should probably  become available when the exam goes Live : September 17th! So it looks like we have to wait for another four weeks for the results become available.

In the weeks after TechEd Europe (attended the two final exams earlier today) I attended 6 more Windows Server 2012 beta exams. For some of them the results will also become available around September 17th. The results of the last four exams will be available around October 16th, just within the normal period of eight weeks.

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overview of the Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012 exams I attended last months

When can we expect the results?
Check out the schedule below for the (expected) result dates of the Windows Server 2012 (and Windows 8) exams:

Exam Exam name Expected Exam Result
70-687 Configuring Windows 8 September 17th, 2012
70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 September 17th, 2012
70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 September 17th, 2012
70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services September 17th, 2012
70-413 Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure October 16th, 2012
70-414 Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure October 16th, 2012
70-415 Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure October 16th, 2012
70-416 Implementing Desktop Application Environments October 16th, 2012

What do you think?
So if you’re, just like me, waiting for the (first) results of the Windows Server 2012 beta exams….just wait a little more! The first results won’t be available for another 4 weeks.

Please leave your comments below….

Windows Server 2012 Study Material

Just a few more weeks before the Release Preview of Windows Server 2012 will become available. Personally I think that the beta exams for Windows Server 2012 will arrive somewhere around June/July, so now it’s time to start studying. Today I ran into a blogpost on the Windows Server blog which put some nice virtual labs in a list which you can use to expand your Window Server 2012 knowledge….

Getting Started
It’s simple: no complex setup or installation is required to try out Windows Server “8” running in a full-featured virtual lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. Before you start, read the minimum system requirements. Select a virtual lab from the list below. Then, you will see an application launch the lab.

Continue reading “Windows Server 2012 Study Material”