Microsoft introduced Group Policy in Windows 2000. Group Policy is a mechanism for administration of computers in Active Directory domains. Group policies allow administrators to specify settings for everything from user environment configuration to software distribution to password policies. The basics of Group Policy have not changed with Windows Server 2003. However, several enhancements make the management and implementation of group policies easier. The existing Group Policy MMC snap-in has been redesigned and two new management consoles have been introduced (Resultant Set of Policy and Group Policy Management Console) to make Group Policy administration much more robust. In addition, general changes such as WMI filtering, cross-forest support, and tweaks to software distribution further improve the flexibility of Group Policy, making it more feasible to deploy. The Group Policy settings themselves have been extended and reorganized?there are more than 150 new or revised Group Policy settings, including whole new categories of policies such as Terminal Services, Software Restriction Policies, and so forth. All in all, these changes are designed to make Group Policy in Windows Server 2003 more useful and manageable.
For a brief technical overview of Group Policy, visit www.samspublishing.com and enter this book's ISBN number (no hyphens or parenthesis) in the Search field; then click the book cover image to access the book details page. Click the Web Resources link in the More Information section, and locate article ID# A010601.