More bad news for Vista Service pack 1

Apart from the long wait for a service pack for Vista (over a year from initial release) and the hugely bloated size of the “stand-alone” option to apply the service pack to machines without connecting them to the internet, I just learned some bad news.

David Overton posted an article about what’s coming in the first service pack for Vista. In it he links to and quotes this BetaNews article which says:

the service pack will uninstall the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and GPEdit.msc will edit local Group Policy by default

So where did they get this important bit of information? It’s not in the Vista Team blog announcement, nor the extensive interview with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft.

It is in fact buried in the middle of the White Paper about the Vista sp1 Beta release, a document you may not have bothered to read in detail unless you are one of the lucky(?) 10,000 who will get to test this out. The relevant paragraph, in full, reads:

In addition to these changes, Windows Vista SP1 will change the tools that customers use to manage Group Policy. Administrators requested features in Group Policy that simplify policy management. To do this, the service pack will uninstall the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and GPEdit.msc will edit local Group Policy by default. In the SP1 timeframe, administrators can download an out-of-band release that will give them the ability to add comments to Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or individual settings and search for specific settings.

Now, I’m a bit of a zealot for good systems management (one of the original drivers for me writing this blog, and the idea for the name). I would also say I am an evangelist for Group Policy – particularly as one of the site admins for where there is a thriving community helping out people in difficulty over the intricacies of the subject.

I have heard lots of people say that adding GPMC into Vista “out of the box” was a good thing, and a few grumbling that there is no new version for XP/2003 yet, nor a downloadable version in case you break the built-in one (although that should be repairable in any case.

However, I have yet to hear of anyone saying they wish it was not there, and that it is too complex or gives too much power to someone. If you are one of these people, please let me know why you feel this way by leaving a comment. I hope to convince you of your error (told you I was an evangelist!)

The possible saving graces for me are these improved features which are discussed in the same white paper:

  • BitLocker Drive Encryption encrypts extra local volumes. For example, instead of encrypting only drive C, customers can also encrypt drive D, E, and so on.
  • Administrators can control the volumes on which to run Disk Defragmenter.

Both of these will be useful to me. I hope they make it through the Beta to the released version.


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4 Responses to More bad news for Vista Service pack 1

  1. Pingback: More on Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) - David Overton's Blog

  2. Pingback: GPMC will be removed if you install Vista Service Pack 1 (follow up post) « Getting IT Right

  3. Nick Clark says:

    I just found out GPMC was missing afer installing SP1 a week ago, and now I’m really pissed off! Can’t they just remove the damn thing when they release the new Admin tools. Fools…grrr…

  4. Laurence Shackleton says:

    I couldn’t be angrier, what on earth is going on? Who the hell removes functionailty in an update? Does anyone know of any hacks to re-install it?

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