Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is available for download

Yesterday Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview. While the consumer edition has been available as a Preview Edition the Enterprise version has just been released.

According to Microsoft the differences between the editions are as follows:

Windows 8.1 is the basic edition for home users. It includes the core feature set that home users require but does not include key business features, such as support for the ability to join domains, process Group Policy, and so on. Windows 8.1 Pro is for small- and medium-sized businesses. It provides enhanced features that help to easily connect to company networks, access files on the go, encrypt data, and more. Last, Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition is available through Windows Software Assurance. It includes all the capabilities of Windows 8.1 Pro, plus premium features such as Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache, AppLocker, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and Windows 8 app deployment.

Notable features of the Enterprise version of Windows 8.1 include:

  • DirectAccess – Seamless access to company resources without the need for VPNs
  • Windows To Go – Create your own portable Windows 8.1 installation on a USB Stick
  • Start Screen Control – Gives administrators control on what is shown on the start screen

It is however important to know the Preview Edition does not have a supported upgrade path to the final edition. So this should be taken into consideration when upgrading your current workstation to Windows 8.1. If that is not a problem for you then you can use Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview until January 2014.

What’s New in Windows 8.1
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn140266
Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/dn237246.aspx
Windows 8.1 Preview: Frequently Asked Questions
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/jj721676.aspx
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