Chapter 74. What is Group Policy?
Administrators of large Windows installations don't configure each workstation and server in the enterprise individually. Rather, they use a mechanism known as group policy to specify security policy and other settings that should be used throughout the domain. As a designer or developer you should know at least a little bit about this mechanism, because it's often used to lock down security throughout an enterprise. It's also used to distribute software applications and patches, as I discuss in Item 75.
You can do some exploring of group policy even if you're at home working on a Windows XP box and not a member of a domain. From an administrative command prompt, just run
gpedit.msc to look at a few of the settings ...