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Welcome Center and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista

In This Section

Benefits and Purposes of Welcome Center in Windows Vista

Overview: Using Welcome Center in a Managed Environment

How Welcome Center Communicates with Sites on the Internet

Controlling Welcome Center to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet

Benefits and Purposes of Welcome Center in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, the Welcome Center appears the first time the computer is started after installation, and by default, it continues to appear at startup. However, the user can prevent this after the second logon by clearing the check box at the bottom of the Welcome Center display: "Run at startup." The Welcome Center can also be started from Control Panel, either by clicking Get started with Windows or by clicking System and Maintenance and then clicking Welcome Center.

The Welcome Center simplifies a variety of tasks that often need to be performed right after startup, such as viewing computer details or personalizing Windows. It also can display links to Web sites, although a computer manufacturer or packager that pre-installs Windows Vista on computers can delete or change the links that appear in the lower section of the Welcome Center. If the links are not deleted or changed, they match the list shown in "Links that Appear in the Microsoft Welcome Center if It Is Not Changed by a Computer Manufacturer or Packager," later in this section.

Overview: Using Welcome Center in a Managed Environment

In a managed environment, you may want to prevent the Welcome Center and the links it contains from displaying at startup. You can do this by using Group Policy, as described in "Controlling Welcome Center to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet," later in this section.

How Welcome Center Communicates with Sites on the Internet

The Welcome Center communicates through links to Web sites on the Internet, using HTTP through port 80. The following subsections list the tasks that appear in the upper section of the Welcome Center and the links that appear in the lower section.

Tasks Related to the Internet that Always Appear in the Welcome Center

The following tasks that are related to the Internet always appear in the Welcome Center in Windows Vista, regardless of whether the computer manufacturer or packager pre-installs Windows Vista on the computer before sale.

Links that Appear in the Microsoft Welcome Center if It Is Not Changed by a Computer Manufacturer or Packager

If the computer manufacturer does not delete or change the links in the lower section of the Welcome Center, or if Windows Vista is installed by the computer owner (rather than a manufacturer or packager), the Welcome Center includes the following links:

Controlling Welcome Center to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet

Use the following procedure to configure Group Policy to prevent the Welcome Center from displaying at startup.

To Use Group Policy to Prevent the Welcome Center from Displaying at Startup

  1. See Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy for Windows Vista for information about using Group Policy. Using an account with domain administrative credentials, log on to a computer running Windows Vista, open Group Policy Management Console by running gpmc.msc, and then edit an appropriate Group Policy object (GPO).

    noteNote
    You must perform this procedure by using GPMC on a computer running Windows Vista (GPMC is included in Windows Vista).
  2. Expand User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Explorer.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Do not display the Welcome Center at user logon, and then click Enabled.

    When you enable this setting, the Welcome Center will not display at startup, but the user will still be able to open it from Control Panel or the Start menu.

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