Right. So, here's the deal. Let's talk about yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Today, the GPMC is part of Vista. That's great. One less thing to load.
But what's also (now) true is that if you install SP1 for Vista (not yet available) the GPMC will be uninstalled. Why?
Because this allows for something that I've personally advocated for. That is, when new goodies are ready to be launched in Group Policy land, let's GET IT OUT THE DOOR. And it used to be this way. The GPMC was a simple download and simple install. When bugs were found in the GPMC, that meant it was a quick fix to jam the fixes in, and re-upload the file for the masses.
But now (today) the GPMC is part of the Longhorn and Vista operating systems. Is this good? Not really, in this one dude's opinion. Because what if some new whiz bang feature is suddenly available? Then you'll have to wait until MAYBE an operating system service pack, or at worst a full operating system revision until it's updated.
But it seems going forward the team has made a decision. That is, the GPMC will "break free" from the operating system. This is good and bad. Good because bug fixes and updates will most certainly happen quicker. It's bad because, dang, the GPMC is so great it just feels like it SHOULD be part of the OS. Also bad because the poor GP team has the wrap up their own changes (called Out of Band) changes, where they could rely on different Microsoft build teams to keep it updated inside the operating system.
So, it's a little more work for the GP team, but in my opinion, a really good change. So, Vista + SP1 = no more GPMC. Until you download it (which will have more features anyway.)
So, are you freaked out? Or are you okay with it?
Send me an email. Would love to hear your opinion. (Note I may not be able to respond to all opinions, though I promise I will read it.) Thanks!