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New Group Policy features (pre-GPMC)

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

New features

The Windows 2000 change and configuration management technologies have been improved in the Windows Server 2003 family. For information about specific user interface changes in the Windows Server 2003 family, see New ways to do familiar Group Policy tasks (pre-GPMC).

Following is a list of the new features included with Group Policy in the Windows Server 2003 family:

  • Administrative Templates

    There are over 220 new administrative policies than were previously available on Windows 2000. There is a new supported keyword in .adm files that tells you which versions of Windows are supported as clients for the setting. For more information, see "Implementing Registry-based Policy" at the Microsoft Web site. There is also a new Administrative Templates Web view that uses the supported keyword to show you which operating systems are supported clients for individual settings. For information about how to use the Web view, see Use the view provided by Administrative Templates. For more information about Administrative Templates, see Administrative Templates.

    Administrative Templates online Help is now included with Windows. The following table contains links to the .adm Help files.


    .adm file Policy settings


    Open Help for System Settings


    Open Help for Windows Media Player settings


    Open Help for Internet Explorer settings


    Open Help for NetMeeting settings

  • Command-line tools

    The new gpudate command replaces the Windows 2000 command secedit /refreshpolicy. For more information, see Gpupdate.

    The Windows 2000 Resource Kit command gpresult has been enhanced, and it is now included with Windows XP Professional, Windows XP 64-bit Edition (Itanium), and the Windows Server 2003 family. For more information, see Gpresult.

  • Folder Redirection

    It is now easier to use Folder Redirection. It is no longer necessary to type variables such as UserName as part of the redirection path. There is a new option for redirecting My Documents to a user's home directory. This is for use in environments where home directories are already deployed. For more information, see Use Folder Redirection.

  • Group Policy Software Installation

    Group Policy Software Installation now has an advanced deployment option to enable or disable availability of 32-bit programs to 64-bit computers. With another new advanced option, you can enable or disable (default) publication of OLE class information about a software package. As an administrator, you also have an option that forces assigned applications to be installed at deployment time. For more information, see Edit installation options for applications.

  • Resultant Set of Policy

    Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) is a new tool that you can use to plan for and troubleshoot policy. For more information, see Resultant Set of Policy.

  • Support across forests

    Group Policy features are now supported in multiple forest environments allowing authenticated access to resources in separate, networked environments. You can manage and enforce policy objects for user and computer objects in remote trusted forests and analyze policies using Resultant Set of Policy. For more information, see Group Policy features that are supported across forests and Accessing resources across forests.

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