We are a windows based school system and have depended on Windows Group Policy Management to manage the setting values for Internet Explorer among other things as well. Recently we gave access to Firefox and Chrome for our users due to some serious compatibility issues we are having with IE and a couple of cloud based browser applications. The problem of course is we can't figure out how to manage the application settings for these browsers. Surely someone else has this same problem or has found a solution for it. I would really appreciate any advice or guidance.
In order to provide Group Policy support for Firefox which lacks support for Group Policy natively, extensions will be required. You can see the process others have gone through to resolve the issue in threads like this on the TechNet Forums. The third party add-on provided in that thread to add Group Policy support to Firefox is provided here.
Support for Group Policy in Chrome is native and covered here at Google Support. The Group Policy templates will need to be imported to provide access to the policies.
One suggestion if you want a turn key solution is an application called PolicyPak. The nice thing about it is that you don't have to worry about involved solutions that require extensions and templates. PP integrates with Group Policy Management console and allows you to create GPOs for third party applications as easily as you already create GPOs for the standard stuff you do now like Windows 7, IE and Office. You can create a separate GPO for each application they support if you want. We use it and it is really slick. It supports all the major third party browsers such as the two you mentioned and Opera I think. Here is a link to their demo to show how they support Google Chrome. http://www.policypak.com/products/manage-google-chrome-...
What's great too is that they offer a trial mode and something called community mode, both free, so you can try it out for yourself and experiment with GPOs for all the apps they support. Not sure if this was what you were expecting.