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What are the differences between Windows 2000 and 2003 Active Directory?

What is the difference between Windows 2000 Active Directory and Windows 2003 Active Directory? Is there any difference in 2000 Group Polices and 2003 Group Polices? What is meant by ADS and ADS services in Windows 2003? Your help is greatly appreciated.

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Windows 2003 AD introduced a number of new security features, as well as convenience features such as the ability to rename a domain controller and even an entire domain – see Microsoft's website for more details. Windows Server 2003 also introduced numerous changes to the default settings that can be affected by Group Policy – you can see a detailed list of each available setting and which OS is required to support it by downloading the Group Policy Settings Reference here (free download). ADS stands for Automated Deployment Services, and is used to quickly roll out identically-configured servers in large-scale enterprise environments. You can get more information from the ADS homepage here.

This was first published in November 2005

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