And why exactly do we need compressed Windows image components too? Just because storage is abundant (well... at least before Chia was a thing) doesn't mean there's no problem in wasting it. Why would I want to wear out my drive, slow down indexing, and spend more money on a bigger drive when I don't have to? Y'know what else is abundant these days? Always-connected internet. It's not hard to re-acquire these files if necessary. People who care about this sort of thing don't have "gazillion of crap installed". Unlike the bulk of the WinSxS folder, caches by 3rd party programs are actually used. The WinSxS folder is basically just Windows being a hoarder. "Well it means something to me!" "it might come in use some day!" "what's the big deal? There's plenty of room!" (except when there isn't). Just because you can hoard, doesn't mean it's healthy. Hard links are great, but too bad Windows does a terrible job letting you know what files are linked or where. So, it skews how bloated the folder really is (which isn't doing it any favors).