Windows 7 RTM, Server 2008 R2 and IE8 group policy settings lists

Microsoft have updated their usual Group Policy settings lists following recent releases of new Windows versions. On one page you can now get 4 downloads to include pretty much all current versions of desktop and server OS, and v-1 (so Windows 7 and Vista, server 2008 and 2003 sp2).

Group policy settings for Windows Vista sp1, Windows 7, 2003 sp2 2008, 2008 R2

Group policy settings for Internet Explorer 8 are also available (on a different page).

Note that the latest files are all in Excel 2007 format so if you are not yet using Office 2007 or 2010TP you would need to install the Office compatibility pack to allow you to view these on a previous version of Office, or the Excel 2007 viewer (+ service pack 2 as well) to view them (but not be able to edit or save changes). Both of these downloads are free.

Hat tip to Jeremy Mosokowitz at

Our UK SBSC losses are Australian gains

Robbie Upcroft went back to Oz a while ago to carry on working with SBS partners down under after a stint at Microsoft UK. While over here he was a key part of expanding the Small Business Server community, working to set up local user groups, and it sounds like he is carrying on where he left off.

Another of the movers and shakers who made a huge impact to SBSC was the UK SMB girl herself, Susanne Dansey. After becoming an MVP just over a year ago for her contributions she upped and left us for foreign shores. Her passion and enthusiasm for technology and business are sorely missed, but now she too is bringing them to bear in Australia, joining the fun there in the run up to the launch of Cougar (SBS 2008 ) and EBS.

Susanne is blogging again as well, so with her and Robbie and other renowned SBS MVPs such as Wayne Small on the case, it looks like they have a great opportunity to make the most of the buzz. Good luck to all of them, and we hope to see you in the UK sometime soon, even if only for a flying visit!

Windows Server 2008 Security Resource Kit coming very soon

book cover - Windows Server 2008 Security Resource KitJesper Johansson has put together a great book for Windows Server 2008 focusing on security and providing a load of resources that go beyond the shipped product.

Produced by a group of world-class contributors including several MVPs and members of Microsoft’s server security team, this is likely to be the definitive reference on the subject for some time.

According to Jesper’s blog it has now gone to press.

This official Microsoft Resource Kit delivers the in-depth, technical information and tools you need to help protect your Windows®–based clients, server roles, networks, and Internet services.

Leading security experts explain how to plan and implement comprehensive security with special emphasis on new Windows security tools, security objects, security services, user authentication and access control, network security, application security, Windows Firewall, Active Directory® security, group policy, auditing, and patch management. The kit also provides best practices based on real-world implementations.

You also get must-have tools, scripts, templates, and other key job aids, including an eBook of the entire Resource Kit on CD.

It’s an MS Press title so it should be pretty widely available, I will be pre-ordering my copy from here at The Register book store, as they have really competitive pricing and free delivery for orders over £25 at the moment.

Windows Server 2008 Group Policy settings reference

Now that Windows Server 2008 has been released to manufacture (RTM), MS have published the usual spreadsheet reference containing all the settings which are available through Group Policy for managing Server 2008, Vista and all prior versions.

Download the Group Policy Settings Reference for Server 2008 in Excel 2007 (.xlsx) or older version (.xls) format.

Interestingly, this also includes 9 settings which are only available for Windows Vista service pack 1 (which also RTM’d last week). All of these are to do with controlling security settings for terminal services (RDP) sessions, including a setting I will find particularly useful to control whether a session can be established when the server cannot be authenticated.

Read more of this post

Windows Server 2008 goes gold

Microsoft have now released Windows Server 2008 to manufacturing in the same week as Vista SP1 has also been finalised.

Release candidate code has been available since December for various subscribers such as Technet, MSDN and Microsoft partners. Read more of this post

Shock! Amazement! Longhorn ‘project’ now has a product name for release

After much debate over the release schedule for Longhorn, the lesser discussion was about what the final product might actually be called.

At long last Microsoft reveal how their internal brainstorming and creative teams work and show how they came up with a radical new approach to product marketing for their latest server operating system: