We currently use BeyondTrust™ Privilege Manager which used to be part of Desktop Standard. Not sure why Microsoft didn’t purchase this product also. Its great for running workstations as non-admins and only elevating the needed programs or files.
Yesterday at TechEd in Barcelona, Microsoft made a slew of announcements. And buried in those announcements was the note about Group Policy Preferences. This is the name Microsoft has given to the DesktopStandard PolicyMaker extensions that they acquired last year. The good news is that these extensions are finally going to see the light of day as a free part of the OS when Server 2008 ships!!! This is HUGE because these extensions greatly add to what you can configure via Group Policy. And my understanding is that they will work on XP and above, which means that you get some of these great features without having to upgrade to Vista. In addition to adding support for new policy areas such as mapped drives, mapped printers, ini files, environment variables, shortcut distribution, local users and groups, scheduled tasks, power options, network options and IE settings, they also support much more granular filtering than you could ever get from WMI filters or security groups. This is huge because it means that there will be few things that you can’t configure on a Windows desktop using Group Policy!
Microsoft has created a whitepaper that you can download to get more detail on this new feature. This is great news!!! Cudos to the Group Policy team for making this happen!
Significant Group Policy Announcement by MS
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 16:10:46 GMT