Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Group Policy Revolution Coming Up!

It's exciting, fantastic, amazing, wonderful and totally cool - Microsoft has FINALLY announced what is going to happen with the PolicyMaker stuff they got when taking over DesktopStandards... It's going to be released with Windows Server 2008 as many of us had hoped for!

This is just GREAT I can tell you - and it will available to the public with the RC1 release of Windows Server 2008, maybe even before as a separate Beta program I'm told...

Microsoft decided to call it "Group Policy Preferences" or just "GP Preferences". So, what can we do with this you ask? Well, here's some of it:

  • Map network drives
  • Set Environment variables
  • Copy Files to clients
  • Create and update INI files
  • Modify registry settings on the clients (REG_SZ, REG_DWORD, REG_BINARY, REG_MULTI_SZ, and REG_EXPAND_SZ )
  • Create Shortcuts (URL/File/Shell)
  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)
  • Control Devices
  • Set Folder Options
  • Define File Associations
  • Tweak Internet Settings
  • Handle Local Users and Groups (change passwords, add/remove from groups, disable users etc.)
  • Set Network Options (like VPN or Dial-Up connections)
  • Configure Power Options (Windows XP)
  • Map Printers (even TCP/IP printers)
  • Set Regional Options
  • Create Scheduled Tasks
  • Set properties on Services
  • Tweak the Start Menu
  • and so on....

As you can see, it's quite impressive and something that will make companies around the world turn to Windows Server 2008 ASAP... I think and hope anyway!

The client part, a necessary extension which must be installed on the client, will be ready for Windows XP/2003/Vista - and in both x86 and x64 editions. Windows Server 2008 already includes the CSE (Client Side Extension).

There's SO much to tell, and SO little time... But, a Whitepaper is ready (a REALLY nice of the kind) thank you Microsoft!

Download the whitepaper here:
An Overview of Group Policy Preferences