|This chapter excerpt from Microsoft Windows Vista Management and Administration, by Andrew Abbate, James Walker, Scott Chimner and Rand Morimoto, is printed with permission from Pearson Education, Copyright 2007.
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With the release of Vista, Microsoft has added several new areas that can be managed via GPOs and has expanded several existing areas. These areas include the following:
With these new areas available, administrators are able to continue to manage functions and settings on the client workstations to reduce overall administrative efforts.
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
Deployed Printer Connections
Disk Failure Diagnostic
DVD Video Burning
Enterprise Quality of Service (QoS)
Hybrid Hard Disk
Internet Explorer 7
Networking: Wired Wireless
Shell Application Management
Shell First Experience, Logon, and Privileges
Shell Sharing, Sync, and Roaming
Troubleshooting and Diagnostics
User Account Protection
Windows Error Reporting
Vista brings with it a new format for storing GPO-related information. Whereas in the past, GPOs were built with .adm files that stored the individual configuration objects, Vista uses a new .admx format. The new format allows for language-neutral as well as language-specific resources. This allows the various Group Policy tools to adjust their operating system to the administrator's configured language. The net result of this is that an administrator in the United States can create a GPO and a colleague in France can review the same GPO, but the colleague will see it in French.
The new .admx files are based on XML. This makes it easier for developers to integrate GPO information into their applications.
An observant administrator will notice that the available settings are different when viewed from Vista in contrast to viewing via a Windows 2003 domain controller. This is because Vista is able to see the settings available from the new .admx entries.
Network Location Awareness (NLA)
Network Location Awareness (NLA) is a mechanism that improves the ability of Group Policy to deal with changes in network conditions. NLA allows Group Policy to utilize event notification and resource detection within Vista to become aware of events, such as leaving standby or hibernation or the establishment of a VPN connection. Even an event such as connecting to a wireless network can be detected to trigger processing of GPOs.
Some of the major benefits of NLA include the following:
GROUP POLICY BASICS FOR WINDOWS VISTA
Tip 1: A basic primer on Microsoft Group Policy
Tip 2: How to configure GPOs
Tip 3: What's new with Vista Group Policy?
Tip 4: How to manage GPOs
Tip 5: Troubleshooting GPOs for Vista
Tip 6: Group Policy best practices
ADVANCED GROUP POLICY FOR WINDOWS VISTA
Tip 1: Which GPOs are available
Tip 2: Further understanding GPOs in Vista
Tip 3: Examples of useful GPOs in Vista
Tip 4: Moving policies between domains
Tip 5: Recommended practices with Vista Group Policy