Office 2010 Group Policy setting reference

There’s a useful Office 2010 Group Policy settings reference which details 428 settings which are new versus Office 2007, 125 deprecated or removed since 2007, and 98 which write to registry locations which are not version specific (and therefore might be policies which affect older and newer versions equally). This is a useful additional companion to the main settings reference (downloaded as part of the Office 2010 admin templates as discussed in an earlier post about managing Office 2010), especially to quickly identify where you may need to make new decisions rather than just replicating your original Office 2007 group policies setting by setting.

Managing Office 2010 RTM

Office 2010 has reached RTM (“release to manufacturing”) stage, and one week from today on May 12th Office 2010 will be available to business customers through Software Assurance they already have on copies of Office, or through new volume licences. (Technet and MSDN subscribers can already download the release version, and anyone can download the Beta to begin familiarising themselves with the new features.

The main (virtual) Office 2010 launch event will include a keynote speech by Stephen Elop, President of the Microsoft Business Division at 11am EDT (that’s 4pm BST for readers in the UK).

System administrators everywhere will also be pleased to find that the associated Office 2010 management tools are available to download already to coincide with the launch, unlike the time lag before they were available for Office 2007, or for the later service packs. This nearly 16MB download is a self extracting exe which will force a UAC prompt on newer OS’s, which can be useful so you can put the files in a folder which needs elevated privileges, and the contents expand to a total of about 123MB.

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Group Policy, Profiles, and Intellimirror – Jeremy Moskowitz

Group Policy, Profiles, and Intellimirror (third edition)

Author: Jeremy Moskowitz, MCSE, MCSA, MVP

Publisher: Sybex

Suggested Publisher Price: $49.99 US / $69.95 CDN / £34.99 UK

ISBN: 0-7821-4298-2 Softcover, 536 pages (+TOC / index)

Group Policy, profiles etc. book cover

Buy the book direct from the Author (and get it signed!) (Update: this link now goes to a page for the replacement fourth edition of this book)

Everything you need to know about Group Policy in one useful reference…and loads more besides

The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is a dramatic step forward in the way Group Policy is administered. This book provides all the instruction and insight you need to take full control of your Active Directory with GPMC and other Group Policy tools. You’ll also learn techniques for implementing Intellimirror, making it possible for users to work securely from any location; and you’ll find intensive troubleshooting advice, insider tips on keeping your network secure, and hundreds of clear examples that will help you accomplish all your administration goals.

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GPMC will be removed if you install Vista Service Pack 1 (follow up post)

As I discussed in a previous post, I thought that the removal of the Group Policy Management Console from Vista when installing service pack 1 was a pretty bad idea. David Overton asked if anyone cared about GPMC being pulled out of Vista with sp1, while others claim it really is a good step for a variety of reasons, and I wanted to follow up on this.

There were various articles announcing Vista sp1, including one on the official Vista team blog which managed to say lots about all the good stuff and conveniently forget some things like the removal of the very useful GPMC, which is only mentioned in the whitepaper (and later reported on by various bloggers and journalists of varying degrees of credibility).
» Read the discussion about why GPMC should or should not be removed by Vista service pack 1 »

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

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Group Policy best practice analyser tool available

I have not yet had a chance to try this out, but still thought it was worth giving people the heads up. The description given on the download page for the Group Policy Best Practice Analyzer for Windows Server 2003 is:

The Microsoft Group Policy Diagnostic Best Practice Analyzer (GPDBPA) for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is designed to help you identify Group Policy configuration errors or other dependency failures that may prevent settings or features from functioning as expected.

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