Several respondents to this month's Hey Microsoft! survey asked for more reference documentation for Group Policy, a better manual, and a central resource to define how security options will affect normal domain operations. In response, Microsoft's Mark Williams (program manager, Group Policy) provided the following information.

"In the last 18 months, we've put a lot of effort into better describing how Group Policy can be deployed and managed. A good starting point is the Group Policy page (http://www.microsoft.com/grouppolicy), which includes introductory documentation as well as pointers to key resources such as the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) download page. At a more technical level, our TechNet page (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/grouppolicy) has a good deal of detailed documentation-everything from introductory white papers about Group Policy and GPMC to advanced documentation on the Group Policy architecture.

"The white paper 'Implementing Common Desktop Management Scenarios with the Group Policy Management Console' (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=14951) is packaged with a series of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that illustrate common ways in which Group Policy can be used to achieve certain types of user and machine configuration. We've taken significant steps in recent months to improve our reference-oriented publications. For example, all Administrative Template policy settings are documented in the Group Policy reference spreadsheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=15165). For an illustrative end-to-end management scenario, take a look at Chapter 9 ("Deploying a Simple Managed Environment") of the "Designing a Managed Environment" book from Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit: Designing a Managed Environment (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=b671967b-ef65-4ccf-9d00-89d6ae428edc&displaylang=en).

"At a community level, the microsoft.public.windows.group_policy newsgroup is a very effective channel through which you can engage with others involved with the deployment of Group Policy. And last but not least, the Group Policy team arranges quarterly TechNet chats so that you can interact directly with our team-developers, testers, and program managers. See our TechNet page for more details."