Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview Now Available for Download
Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview. This enterprise edition of Windows 8.1 builds on the 'consumer' edition, and comes with additional features to cater to the needs of enterprise users.
In addition to the new business features in Windows 8.1 that Microsoft has already shared earlier in June, such as Workplace Join, Open MDM, and Remote Business Data Removal, the premium features that will be offered in Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition include:
- Windows To Go Creator: IT organizations can create a fully manageable corporate Windows 8.1 desktop on a bootable external USB drive. The drive can be used to support Bring Your Own Device scenarios or be given to contingent staff to access the corporate environment without compromising security. To find out more about Windows To Go, check our WTG Guide.
- Start Screen Control: IT departments can now control the layout of the Start screen on company-issued devices to ensure key apps are easily accessible. IT departments can also prevent users from customizing their Start screen to ensure consistency across individual workgroups or the entire company.
- DirectAccess: Users can seamlessly access resources inside a corporate network remotely without having to launch a separate VPN. Also, IT administrators can keep remote users’ PCs up-to-date by applying the latest policies and software updates.
- BranchCache: Employees in branch offices no longer need to download content multiple times across their Wide Area Network (WAN) as BranchCache caches files, websites and other content from central servers locally on hosted cache servers or PCs.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): Users will enjoy a rich desktop experience and the ability to play 3D graphics, use USB peripherals and use touch-enabled devices across any type of network (LAN or WAN) for VDI scenarios, thanks to enhancements in Microsoft RemoteFX and Windows Server 2012.
- AppLocker: IT organizations can create a more secure environment by restricting the files and apps that users or groups can run on a PC, increasing the security of the device and the data it holds.
- Windows Enterprise Side-Loading: Internal Windows apps can be side-loaded on domain-joined PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1 Enterprise.
In addition, Microsoft has revealed that Windows 8.1 has the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, with extended support ending January 10, 2023. And after Windows 8.1 is released, existing Windows 8 users have two years to update the OS to remain supported under the Windows 8 lifecycle.
Source: Windows Blog.