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Should users be given local admin rights to their machines?

Should users be given local admin rights to their machines? I have run into a lot of registry issues if you don't.
I don't really know what "registry issues" are plaguing you, per se. However, the biggest reason most admins choose extend Admin rights to their users is to allow them to install software. However, it should be noted that Group Policy Software Installation is exempt from this requirement. That is, if you use Group Policy Software Installation to deploy applications to users, it automatically installs in Administrative context, and then allows mere-mortal users to use it just fine.

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