New Categories of Policy Management
This section highlights how Group Policy in Windows Vista provides new ways to manage your organization. The examples in this section demonstrate how you can use policy settings introduced in Windows Vista to manage your resources in an enterprise.
Deploying Power Management Settings
In Windows Vista, all power management settings have been Group Policy enabled, providing a potentially significant cost savings. Controlling power settings through Group Policy could save organizations a significant amount of money. You can modify specific power settings through individual Group Policy settings or build a custom power plan that is deployable by using Group Policy. For more information, see the power management settings located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Power Management in Group Policy Object Editor.
Blocking Device Installation
In Windows Vista, you can centrally restrict devices from being installed on computers in your organization. You will now be able to create policy settings to control access to devices such as USB drives, CD-RW drives, DVD-RW drives, and other removable media. For more information, see the device installation settings located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation in Group Policy Object Editor.
Improvements to Security Settings
In Windows Vista, the firewall and IPsec Group Policy settings are combined to allow you to leverage the advantages of both technologies, while eliminating the need to create and maintain duplicate functionality. Some scenarios supported by these combined firewall and IPsec policy settings are secure server-to-server communications over the Internet, limiting access to domain resources based on trust relationships or health of a machine, and protecting data communication to a specific server to meet regulatory requirements for data privacy and security. For more information, see the security protection settings located under Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Windows Firewall with Advance Security.
Expanded Internet Explorer Settings Management
In Windows Vista, you can open and edit Internet Explorer Group Policy settings without the risk of inadvertently altering the state of the policy setting based on the configuration of the administrative workstation. This change replaces earlier behavior in which some Internet Explorer policy settings would change based on the policy settings enabled on the administrative workstation used to view the settings. For more information, see the policy settings for Internet Explorer located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer and User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer in the Group Policy Object Editor.
Assigning Printers Based on Location
The ability to assign printers based on location in the organization or a geographic location is a new feature in Windows Vista. In Windows Vista, you can assign printers based on site location. When mobile users move to a different location, Group Policy can update their printers for the new location. Mobile users returning to their primary locations see their usual default printers. For more information, see the deployed printer connections policy settings located under Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Deployed Printers and User Configuration\Windows Settings\Deployed Printers in the Group Policy Object Editor.
Group Policy will not automatically refresh the printer policy settings when a computer moves to a new site location. New printer assignments will be available after a Group Policy refresh following the site location change.
Delegating Printer Driver Installation to Users
In Windows Vista, administrators can now delegate to users the ability to install printer drivers by using Group Policy. This feature helps to maintain security by limiting distribution of administrative credentials. For more information, see the "Allow non-administrators to install drivers for these device classes" policy setting located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Driver Installation in the Group Policy Object Editor.
Read a summary of all new areas in policy management: