So my good friend Mark Minasi and I have this running debate about Vista. It's not about if Vista is BETTER than XP or not. It's about if Vista is SLOWER than XP. Mark is awesome, but he must have some killer hardware. I upgraded my laptop to a Dell D620 (you see me present on this puppy in my classes and at conferences.) It has 4GB RAM, 160GB 7200 RPM hard disk and all the bells and whistles. And Vista on it just runs like crud. So I went back to XP. But on my DESKTOPS, I find that I'm happier with Vista. Things are a lot punchier. I'm wondering if it's the disk (2.5 for laptop vs 3.5 for desktop) that makes the difference. Or a speedier Front Side Bus. Or something. But anyway.. this report just came out about how ON THE SAME HARDWARE that XP is FASTER than Vista. And I could have told you that already. I'm not bashing Microsoft. I'm just reporting my experience.. And I wish my experience was faster, not slower on the same hardware, is all.
The big news is finally here: What is Microsoft doing with the "crown jewels" of the DesktopStandard acquisition? In short: It's gonna be free. Here's the breakdown of the announcement:
The PolicyMaker technologies will officially be called Group Policy Preferences.
There are 20-some-odd "big" things you can do, like zap down drive mapping and shortcuts and a whole lot more.
PolicyMaker Share Manager (which helps you set up and dictate share permissions) will also be part of the set.
They require a CSE (Client Side Extension) as do all GP extensions.
The CSE will ship in the box for Windows Server 2008.
The CSE will be an extra download for XP, 2003 and Vista
The CSE will not work for 2000
So, why are they called the "Group Policy Preferences" and not more something.. "Policy-ish?" I'll explain that in an upcoming newsletter. However, Microsoft has a whitepaper which details the major new categories of features and describes some other odds and ends including the distinction between a Policy and a Preference.
That paper is here which every GP admin should read.
I will be covering this in an upcoming newsletter soon as well as have FULL coverage in the next book; I promise !!
It's only 11 months after RTM, so these files are right on time! :-) Just kidding, I'm sure it was a lot of work. These ADMX files for Office 2007 localize the GP settings into 8 languages, so that's pretty impressive. Just pop 'em in your central store, and get a beer. Don't know what ADMX files are? Then read the last two newsletters. Don't know what a central store is? Then read my free Chapter 5 in the "Book Resources" section here on this site. That's what we do here at GPanswers.com -- giving you the building blocks to get smarter in Group Policy. Since 2003 ! Check out the ADM and ADMX files here (one download.)
I like this idea a lot. It's a book on JUST the WS208 changes. But wait! Here's their cool deal. You can get the eBook today (it's a little rough around the edge) and any other edited eBook versions for free AND they'll also send you the printed book when it's ready. Wow. Check it out. Good job Greg (and Don.. Jones that is.) Click here. PS: Greg calls me a nice name in the book. It's fun.. check it out.
If you've never had a chance to see Mark Minasi speak, you should. He's a great friend of mine, so take it from someone who really knows him: He cares about you learning your stuff. I've just sat through his one day Windows Server 2008 "Upgrade" training. He nails 8 or 9 huge "all purpose" topics, including all the AD changes, TS changes, and IIS changes. Even some light GP changes! More stuff than should humanly be allowed to be learned in a day. A killer overview with 323 slides, which he really did a great job. In short, check out www.Minasi.com for his public and private training classes. Then take one. (But for specialized GP training, well, don't forget who your friends are!)
Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows Vista
If you want to dump every language under the sun into the Central Store, the GP team released ALL the ADMX files in one big fat download. Pour into your Central Store. Click here. Here.
Group Policy Management Console Sample Scripts
Vista ships with the GPMC built in. (Though adding Vista + Sp1 when it's released will remove the GPMC... see another blog post for more on that. ) Meanwhile, people have asked me about a billion times -- where are the GPMC scripts that used to be installed with the GPMC? Finally, finally.. they're here.
I get questions all the time like "Why isn't GP working?" Well, that's not often the easiest question to answer because there's a lot of moving parts to GP. With that in mind, Microsoft has some new documentation called the "GP Health Model" / GP Infrastructure. It's really an "Anatomy of GP" so you can say "Doctor, when I move my arm it hurts!" and see that it's really your shoulder and not your arm. Anyway, check out the doc. Very interesting stuff.
Jeremy Moskowitz Enterprise Mobility MVP & Lead Trainer
Jeremy Moskowitz is a former Microsoft Enterprise Mobility MVP and founder of MDMandGPanswers.com and PolicyPak Software.
Jeremy teaches Group Policy hands-on training to IT administrators who want to make their business more secure by using Group Policy.
He runs MDMandGPanswers.com, a forum for Group Policy enthusiasts and also founded PolicyPak Software, an innovative add-on that allows admins to dictate, enforce and remediate application settings. Jeremy is also author of several Group Policy Books, including “Group Policy: Fundamentals, Security, and the Managed Desktop, 2nd Edition”.
He has been seen speaking at Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft MMS, Windows Connections and many others.
Jeremy has performed Windows NT, Active Directory and Group Policy planning, training and implementation for some of the world’s largest organizations.
Jeremy is available for consultations with your company, speaking at your events, or writing custom publications.
The Definitive Guide to Windows Installer Technology
James I. Conrad, MCSE 2003, Server+, A+, Certified Ethical Hacker.
For years, James Conrad has been a sought-after consultant and trainer for Fortune 500 companies. James has been an exam writer for Microsoft MCSE exams and was a key contributor in determining MCSE exam objectives in the Microsoft Certification and Skills Assessment division.
He has trained and consulted for Intel, UCLA, Raytheon, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, MCI Worldcom, Sprint, Exxon-Mobil, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Bureau of Land Management, and many others.
James writes internal training materials for current Windows products and has authored Windows 2000 Server for Computer Associates, and Windows XP Desktop Administration for the Windows Consulting Group, among others. He has also been a technical editor for many books including The Tips and Tricks Guide to Securing .NET Server by Roberta Bragg and Windows Server 2003 Security: A Technical Reference also by Roberta Bragg. James also wrote the CompTIA Server+ college curriculum for Thomson Learning.
James wrote five Personal Test Center Windows 2000 Professional exam preparation tests for Coriolis. James has also written the popular Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, and CompTIA Network+ certification books for ComputerPrep. James also served as the technical editor for Thomson Learning’s Network+ college curriculum. James is currently the lead instructor for CBT Nuggets, a leading Microsoft, Cisco, and Linux video training source.