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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 26
CHAPTER 26
Using Group Policy with Windows Vista26
Whether you are working with your computer at home or at the office, your com-
puter is affected by Group Policy. Group Policy is a collection of policy settings that
simplify management of a computer’s configuration. Two general types of Group
Policy are available: Active Directory Group Policy and Local Group Policy. As
Active Directory Group Policy applies to all computers that are part of a Windows
domain, a computer being used on a business network is affected by Active Direc-
tory Group Policy. As Local Group Policy applies to all computers regardless of their
configuration, your computer—whether on a home network or a business net-
work—is affected by Local Group Policy.
Whether you are a home user or an office user, policy settings are important because
you can use them to manage a great many operating system features. Policy settings
also typically control the things you can and cannot do with your computer. For
example, the default policy configuration doesn’t allow a nonadministrator user to
install device drivers, but if you know how to work with policies you could modify
this behavior to allow certain types of devices to be installed by users with standard
user accounts. Also, as a broad set of policies known as Administrative Templates is
used to configure registry settings, Group Policy has become the preferred way to
manage a computer’s registry settings. Collectively, the Administrative Templates
settings expose hundreds of registry settings, making it much easier to manipulate
operating system configuration.
Windows Vista features several fundamental changes to the way Group Policy
works. This chapters looks at these features and discusses how they affect the way
Group Policy is used. Chapters 27 and 28 provide comprehensive references for new
policies included in Windows Vista.

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