Group Policy for Everyone
Eric Rux’s “3 Tools to Manage Group Policy” (November 2007, Instant- Doc ID 97228) is a great article. I didn’t find a wasted line of text. Eric explains things so that a systems administrator at my level—that is, the kind who knows enough to be dangerous—can easily follow along. Users at higher skill levels—say, Mark Minasi’s level—will also find something valuable. There’s great information here for everyone, regardless of skill level. Keep these articles coming! —Tim Bolton

IT Innovator Illusion
Maybe I’m late to the party, but it seems to me that that the Windows IT Pro November 2007 cover illustration should qualify for your Ctl+Alt+Del section. If those three gears in the IT innovator’s head actually move, all he’ll get is metal shavings and broken teeth. Two interlocked gears can’t move in the same clockwise/counter-clockwise direction, so three interlocked gears can’t move at all. —Benjamin R. Wahlquist

16 Flavors of Windows Server 2008
I read Paul Thurrott’s Web-exclusive article “Microsoft Muddies the Windows Server 2008 Waters” (November 13, 2007, InstantDoc ID 97570). As a longtime Windows server administrator, I look forward to the Server 2008 product. But why is Microsoft making things so confusing and murky lately? Honestly, doesn’t someone at Microsoft have common sense? No one benefits from 16 flavors of Server 2008. Microsoft is making better products, but some of the company’s recent decision-making and marketing choices are enough to make you scratch your head. —COMPWIZ

Ready to Deploy Vista?
In her online column, “Windows Vista Deployment News: ROI Study, MDOP, BDD, Springboard” (November 15, 2007, InstantDoc ID 97599), Karen Forster asks, “What does Microsoft need to do to convince you to deploy Windows Vista?” I’m not convinced that Microsoft has the tools a domain administrator needs to manage a domain from within Windows Vista.

I think Microsoft needs to put up a virtual “Domain Administration with Vista” lab that features all the technology the company can provide. I know the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snapin isn’t up to par, as outlined in the Microsoft article “You experience installation errors and compatibility problems when you install Windows Server 2003 management tools on a Windows Vista-based computer” (support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;930056&x=13&y=13). I talk about this problem in my Scripting Pro VIP article “Using Saved Queries for Active Directory Management” (October 2007, InstantDoc ID 97087). If Microsoft were to indeed embark on this kind of lab, the company would need to make its follow-up feedback pages oriented more toward customer satisfaction than marketing.

I’m also a bit concerned about Vista compatibility with older hardware such as old HP printers, legacy scanners, and expensive plotters. People and companies won’t want to spend a lot of money on new equipment just so they can have a newer OS. —Jim Turner

Women in IT
In “Can You Hear Me Roar Now?” (Your Savvy Assistant, October 2007, InstantDoc ID 97461), Christan Humphries asks whether women are shut off in the IT community. They aren’t shut off from my IT community. I recently hired an assistant— one bona fide, technical assistant, qualified and ready to work. When I was looking for a new employee, one of my personal goals was to hire, yes, a woman.

In a two-“man” shop, I understand the different kind of thinking that a woman can bring to IT processes. I acknowledge that women solve problems differently than men do. I can also see that women tend to be more compassionate to end-users. Whereas I might lose patience with a user who has forgotten “his” password for the 27th time, she thinks it’s funny and moves on. Don’t even get me started on how women approach training. I could go on and on about the benefits that women bring to the table in the IT world.

However, when considering the lack of female winners for IT Innovators (Windows IT Pro, November 2007), you need to look at the sheer numbers of men versus women in IT before you start lamenting that all the winners were men. We can’t simply ignore an innovator because we don’t have enough females on the list.

How would you feel if you were put on the list of innovators not because you were an innovator but because somebody thought they needed a “token” female on the list to appear politically correct? If you start putting one gender before another, you’re simply going back to what we had before: gender bias. —Scott Gutauckis (MALE)