Group Policy

Group Policy works with Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to allow administrators to deliver and apply configurations or policy settings remotely to a set of targeted users or computers across an enterprise . Group Policy provides an infrastructure that allows centralized configuration management of the Windows 7 operating system and supported applications such as the Microsoft Office 2007 system without the need to physically visit each computer on the network.

Group Policy can be managed by using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), which provides a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in and a set of scriptable interfaces that let you deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Group Policy. The GPMC is available as a feature you can install on Windows Server 2008 R2 . The GPMC can also be used on administrative workstations running the Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate Edition operating systems. To use the GPMC on a computer running Windows 7, first install the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7 on the computer and then enable the Group Policy Management Tools feature by selecting Remote Server from Control Panel and then selecting Administration Tools, Feature Administration Tools, Turn Windows Features On Or Off.

New in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is the ability to use Windows PowerShell to automate common Group Policy tasks such as creating, configuring, linking, backing up Group Policy objects (GPOs), and direct editing of registry-based policy settings. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 also include other enhancements to Group Policy including additional policy settings, additional types of preference items, improvements to Starter GPOs, and an improved user interface for configuring Administrative Template policy settings . For more information about using Group Policy to manage Windows 7 computers, see Chapter 14, "Managing the Desktop Environment ."

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