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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

Windows Vista: Customising the Welcome Center

Windows Vista: Customising the Welcome Center

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Do you build systems?  Once you have shipped the machine out of the door, do you have any contact with that customer again?  Do they have any knowledge of how you may be able to help them in the future?  Are they aware of any of the other services you offer?  If not, you could be losing potential business - I have a way to help you :-)

What is the first thing that users are presented with when they start Windows Vista for the first time (or every time if this is not switched off)?  The Welcome Center.

Default Welcome Center

So, this is the default Welcome Center that users are presented with, but what if I told you that you could easily, in around about 10 minutes, customise this to include icons and links to your services that you, as a business, could offer on top of just building and then shipping that PC.

Here is one I made earlier which includes....

Customised Welcome Center 

Which, when clicked, gives...

Customised Welcome Center So, as you can see, the user is presented with a small icon and a bit of info in the list, under WOW Resources (which I defined), and clicking on it, changes the main view at the top to contain a few high level bullet points, and a main link to 'Launch my blog' in this scenario.  This is quite a trivial example, but think about it - why couldn't you link back to your services?  'Need Support - Click here' or, 'Company X Contact Details' and so on.  Really useful yet really really simple!

If you do want to start playing around with this customisation, a great place to start is the Windows Vista TechCenter over on TechNet.  It will show you the process, from start to finish, of how to find, edit and configure your oobe.xml file (the key file for the Welcome Center!).

If you want some sample content to start playing around with, you can download the Windows Automated Installation Kit, from here.  There are some Fabrikam samples in there which are very easy to start using and testing your customisation skills.

 


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Comments
  • Wow! Your blog IS really better than James'.

  • Thanks Long - Spread the word ;-)

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