Answers at last!
- Reader Comment: The PM console was broken by IE7, shortly after Microsoft purchased PM. Microsoft never released a fix. They finally documented a registry hack to disable the IE7 functionality:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938611. . This was really aggravating at the time, but turned out to be a minor nuisance compared to what was to follow.
Microsoft Response: Microsoft regrets the reader’s frustration in running the DesktopStandard PolicyMaker snap-in, but we’re pleased the reader was able to find the KB Article which documented the simple workaround to enable the usage of PolicyMaker. Microsoft continues to provide technical support to DesktopStandard customers, as outlined at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/grouppolicy/cc817591.aspx; this technical support does not including making updates available to PolicyMaker as it has been super ceded by Group Policy Preferences.
- Reader Comment: GPP and PM are nearly identical in UI and functionality. But GPP uninstalls PM extensions. OK, fine...GPP is PolicyMaker's replacement, and Microsoft is entitled to use their own branding. But once that happens, PolicyMaker settings are not applied to clients. One can re-install the PM extensions--but they don't work because GPP disables PM if it finds it.
Microsoft Response: Microsoft had announced at the Microsoft Management Summit earlier this year that we are developing a tool to convert PolicyMaker settings to Group Policy Preferences. This tool continues to be under development and will be released publicly in the next few months. We will post this to the Group Policy web page (http://www.microsoft.com/grouppolicy) as well as post an announcement to the Group Policy Forum (http://forums.technet.microsoft.com/en-US/winserverGP/threads) and Group Policy Team Blog (http://blogs.technet.com/grouppolicy/default.aspx) upon its release.
- Reader Comment: This last oversight greatly enlarges the scope of the problem from just former PM sites to all sites using Win XP SP3 where GPP was not already installed. WSUS has been dangling GPP in front of our noses for several weeks. PM sites can't install it until they're ready to migrate, as explained previously. So the updates continue to dangle, unapproved. But guess what? There's one less GPP update in WSUS these days! When Windows XP SP3 is installed, XmlLite, a prerequisite for GPP, is uninstalled! So, even those who are ready for GPP--even sites that PM never touched--can't deploy GPP by WSUS to Windows XP clients any more.
Microsoft Response: There are two parts to this answer. XMLLite is in fact a part of Windows XP Service Pack 3, as described in the List of Fixes KB article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946480/). On a Windows XP SP3 computer, XMLLite would not show up as an optional update via Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services because it is already installed. That being said, Microsoft is currently testing the Group Policy Preferences Client-side Extension for Windows XP SP3 and will provide an SP3-supported version shortly.