Group Policy preferences is something new in Windows Server 2008. It used to be that adding group policies for things like mapped drives, printers, and Control Panel settings was a pain, and you had to drill down several nested layers all over the place to change anything. But with Group Policy preferences, all these common settings are now lumped together in one place, easy to change. It’s a really handy way to easily do what used to be a lot harder.
The problem is, these settings only get applied in Windows 7. Anything older, even Vista, will just ignore them unless you install the Group Policy Preferences Client Side Extensions.Â To install them you can look for them in Windows Update or just download them and install them manually. CGross at MSMVPs even has advice on how to use Group Policy to install the Client Side Extensions.