The Group Policy Object Editor (gpedit.msc) is the Microsoft Management console that allows you to change and set certain Windows environment features. Most of the features accessible through it are security related and concentrate on disabling certain features; however, there are a number that are worth mentioning as enhancements.
*Note: The Group Policy Object Editor in Vista CTP build 5231 contains policy settings originally designed for Windows 2000 and Windows XP and a number of the options do not function properly in Vista CTP Build 5231. If you apply a setting that does not appear to work, return to the Group Policy Object Editor, select the setting and change the option to ‘not configured’
To use Group Policy Object Editor – go to the Start menu, select run, and type in ‘gpedit.msc’ (without quotes)
1) To Customize IE 7 Browser interface:
Expand the User Configuration folder, then expand the Windows Settings folder, and, finally, expand the Internet Explorer Maintenance folder. Click on the Browser User Interface folder and, in the right hand pane, you will see three available options.
The first tweak allows you to customize the text that appears in the title bar of IE 7. The text you enter will be appended to the string ‘Microsoft Internet Explorer provided by’ *Note this will also customize the text in the Outlook Express title bar.
Double click on the first Item "Browser Title" and check the button that says Customize Title Bar. Then, enter the text you wish to be displayed. *Note this will also customize the text in the Outlook Express title bar.
The second tweak allows you to specify your own custom logos for both the static and animated logo bitmaps. *Note: This tweak does not appear to work with IE7
The third tweak allows you to Customize the toolbar background with a bitmap of your choosing:
Double click the Browser Toolbar Customizations, select the Customize toolbar background bitmap option, then browse your computer for a suitable bitmap (just to see what it will do you can try using some of the Windows background bitmaps located in the Windows directory).
The third tweak also allows you to add custom buttons to the IE7 Toolbar:
*Note: Before doing this you must have a color icon and grayscale icon 22x22 available for the button.
In the Buttons area of the Browser Toolbar Customizations dialog box, click on add, type in a Toolbar caption, specify the location of a script file or executable file by clicking browse, specify the location of a color icon (256 color maximum) by clicking browse, and then specify the location of a grayscale icon by clicking browse. Check the box that says "This button should be shown by default". Click okay to close that dialog, then click Okay to exit the Customizations Dialog – the Apply button is grayed out, but clicking the OK button will save your changes.
2) To customize the places on the Windows Open Find Dialog Box:
Expand the User Configuration and Administrative Templates folders, expand the Windows Components folder, then under that, expand the Windows Explorer folder. Click on the folder named Common Open Find Dialog, then in the right hand pane, double click on ‘Items displayed in places bar’. This will open a dialog box where you may enter custom places. First, select Enabled, then enter your custom places. To see examples of valid items you can enter, click on the explain tab at the top of the dialog box.
3) To customize the Start Menu and Taskbar:
With the User Configuration and Administrative Templates folders expanded, click on the Start Menu and Taskbar folder. In the right hand pane there is a large list of customizations, which you may make to the Start Menu and Taskbar.
*Note: some of the tweaks in the Start Menu and Taskbar subsection do not work in Vista CTP Build 5231.