As is now the standard for any Windows Server release, a bunch of new GPO features have been included. The "Group policy settings Reference for Windows Server 2008" is a publicly available spreadsheet which lists the policy settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files (.admx/.adml) delivered by default with Windows Server 2008. You can download the reference from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2043b94e-66cd-4b91-9e0f-68363245c495&displaylang=en.

In addition to this, one of the coolest new features in Server 2008 for IT administrators is "Group Policy Preferences" - this can help you replace much of the configuration settings that traditionally were set via login scripts, using GPO instead; a much more manageable approach. This feature was announced last year at IT Forum - see http://blogs.technet.com/grouppolicy/archive/2007/11/16/group-policy-preferences-announced-at-it-forum.aspx for details. A white paper is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=42e30e3f-6f01-4610-9d6e-f6e0fb7a0790&displaylang=en which goes into much more detail around the feature. Abstract of the paper is below...


This white paper introduces Group Policy preferences, a feature new in Microsoft Windows Server 2008, and describes how you can use Group Policy preferences to better deploy and manage operating system and application settings. Group Policy preferences enable information technology professionals to configure, deploy, and manage operating system and application settings they previously were not able to manage using Group Policy. Examples include mapped drives, scheduled tasks, and Start menu settings. For many types of operating system and application settings, using Group Policy preferences is a better alternative to configuring them in Windows images or using logon scripts.