Friday, September 2, 2016

Group Policy and Unintended Consequences

As a sysadmin, one pet peeve of mine would be the inconsistency of group policy. Often, I find the description of a policy doesn't match the observed behavior when used.

Take for instance the following Windows Store policy.

From the description, I felt safe assuming that this would only disable the offer from appearing and pestering the end user. 

The unintended side effect was that the update from Windows 10 version 1511 to version 1607 was registering as unneeded in SCCM.

Over the years I've seen dozens of such inconsistencies. As I discover them, I will change the policies to reflect the new understanding, and add a comment as to why, perhaps to warn my fellow colleagues who are looking at something after me, and often just to warn myself. It may have been years since I have set the policy, and there are plenty of rather obscure places to venture within Group Policy. 

It sure would be nice if Microsoft would further standardize the wording of Group Policy. The double negatives can be mind boggling. 
I'm sure I can't be the only one who has thought at one time or another, "Wait, So do I disable the enable this policy, or if I enable the policy and set the option to disabled, or... umm... what?"

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