Windows 8 Group Policy Round Up….

Windows 8 Group Policy Round Up….

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With the recent release of Windows 8, I have started getting lots of questions about “What’s New”. For IT Admins, one of the questions revolves around command and control of the Windows 8 devices that thy will be placing on their networks. Group Policy is the primary means by which we effect control over client machines and this is no different with Windows 8.

I spent some time rounding up some resources for managing Windows 8 clients as well as using Windows 8 as an administrative workstation. Links and descriptions below -

 

What’s New in Group Policy for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

This article starts with a table of New and Changed Functionality. Of particular importance is the information on Local Group Policy for Windows RT machines as you will start seeing these come into your networks now. There are also new Group Policy Settings and Group Policy Preferences for Internet Explorer 10 that everyone should be aware of.

 

Group Policy Overview for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

Next up, I recommend everyone take a look at the Group Policy Overview for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. This is a great all up overview of Group Policy. You should bookmark this page as there are some pieces that have not been completed and posted yet. You should re-visit this page weekly to check for updates.

 

Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows

This set of spreadsheets is a huge time saver when looking for Group Policy items. There are literally thousands of Group Policy settings that can be applied to machines and users and these spreadsheets help make sense of it all. This link provides downloads for the reference sheets for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and of course, Windows 8.

 

Article on “Group Policy Update”

One particularly exciting (and long overdue!) piece of functionality is the new Group Policy Update feature. This feature gives IT Admins the ability to forcibly refresh Group Policy on a client machine. A usage scenario would be making a firewall change to clients that needs to be implemented immediately to mitigate a threat. Group Policy Update now gives admins the ability to effect these changes rapidly to ensure policy meets internal standards as soon as possible. This excellent article by Alan Burchill explains in great detail how to implement this new feature.

 

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8

Best practices dictate that we don’t sit logged into our server directly. Besides, most of our servers are virtualized these days so it is actually not always possible to sit directly at a server any longer. The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) install to a Windows client machine and provide the necessary consoles and functionality to do administrative tasks. Everything from Active Directory Users and Computers to Server Manager can be used with these tools. Now refreshed to support Windows 8 clients.

 

Windows Security Survival Guide

Computer security is a game of leap frog – the bad guys find flaw and exploit it, the good guys identify the flaw and patch it. This cycle is never ending and should always be at the forefront of any IT Admins daily activities. With the release of a new Windows Server and a new Windows Client, I felt it prudent to remind everyone that there are new tools for admins and there will inevitably be new exploits. This security guide is a reminder of best practices and may even bring to light some things you can add to your arsenal in the constant battle with the bad guys.

 

-Cheers!

Comments
  • Chris, I talked to you last Thursday at the Portland ITCamp (about how a person becomes a Microsoft Evangelist). During the camp, you mentioned buying a 3rd monitor (touch screen) and lamenting the fact that you're right-handed and the start screen is on the left monitor.

    Fear not:

    "Windows logo key‌+PgDown will move the Start screen and apps to the monitor on the right." windows.microsoft.com/.../new-keyboard-shortcuts

    I ran across that searching for something else, and thought of you.

    Couldn't figure out where else to contact you, but hopefully this helps (and works with 3 screens!). :-)

  • Thanks for the tip!  I manually moved things over using the "control panel" apps and all has been fine. but any keyboard shortcuts are great to know about.  Thanks!

    -Chris

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