Microsoft is continually gearing up for the imminent release of Windows Server 2008. The Redmond company's last 32-bit server operating system is currently planned for availability at the end of February 2008. Despite repetitive assurances from Microsoft that Windows Sever 2008 will be released to
manufacturing by the end of 2007, this will not be the case. Following a recent postponement, Windows
Server 2008 will not be RTM at the beginning of the following year. However, the official availability date for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008 remains February 28, 2008.
In preparation of the final launch of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has made available a resource pointing to a new feature in the server operating system: Group Policy Preferences. The overview of Group Policy Preferences is offered as a whitepaper under the .docx file format. Users will need Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader in order to access the file, and a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 to actually be able to manage Group Policy preferences. Essentially, via Group Policy, administrators are able to streamline, automate and simplify management tasks for multiple machines.
"Group Policy preferences [is] a new feature 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," revealed Nick MacKechnie, Senior Technical Account Manager at Microsoft New Zealand.Windows Server 2008, Longhorn, Group Policy, Microsoft