Q. What's new in Group Policy for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7?

A. Enhancements in Group Policy for Server 2008 R2 fall into four main areas.

  • PowerShell support: Cmdlets are provided to allow configuration of Group Policy from PowerShell, in addition to allowing Group Policy to call PowerShell scripts. It can also control when PowerShell-based scripts run in relation to non-PowerShell scripts for computer startup and shutdown and user logon and logoff.
  • Group Policy preference enhancements for power plans, scheduled tasks, immediate tasks, and Internet Explorer 8 settings.
  • Provided starter Group Policy Objects (GPOs)—Server 2008 introduced Starter GPOs as a technology, but none were provided. In Windows Server 2008 R2, starter GPOs are provided for Windows Vista and Windows XP clients for specific scenarios.
  • Administrative Templates now have a single pane for configuration instead of three separate tabs for Setting, Explain, and Comment, giving a simpler and cleaner interface.
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