Announcing ADMX Migrator

It's been a great few days here at Microsoft, what with Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Vista and Zune all being released! After a long (loooonnnngg) road, we on the Group Policy team are very excited to see how customers benefit from the fruits of our labors as they deploy Windows Vista. Business customers will start to receive Windows Vista very soon now and consumers will have their opportunity around the end of January. We like Vista a lot - but we're totally biased!!! We're eager to hear from you...

The vast majority of the features delivered in Windows Vista come from the great feedback we've received from customers since Windows XP and earlier in some cases! In fact, it's fair to say that Windows Vista tackles one aspect of Group Policy that has - how can I say - "generated discussion" amongst Group Policy administrators since we first shipped in Windows 2000. I speak of ADM files.

As you will know from earlier blog submissions, we've released a new file format in Windows Vista called ADMX files. As well as being more language independant and providing a mechanism to finally banish "sysvol bloat" (via a feature call the ADMX central store), the file format itself is also changed. ADMX files (and their associated ADML files) are XML-based and our vision all along has been that our adoption of standards such as XML could stimulate more activity amongst ISVs and customers.

Change is good - but it can often create a "one step back, two steps forward" situation. We recognize that, although ADMX files are a significant improvement over ADM files, they are simply different. And they represent another thing for the Group Policy administrator to learn. Or do they...?

Today we see the first sign that we made a wise decision in moving to an XML-based format with Full Armor's release of the ADMX Migrator tool, which we have licensed and made available through the Download Center. This tool provides a mechanism to convert your existing ADM files into ADMX format via a simple but effective user interface. The tool can also be used to create ADMX files afresh, which means you now have a way to create ADMX files without needing to understand the underlying ADMX format.

Check out the ADMX Migrator, which you can find at

Mark Williams, Program Manager, Group Policy