Windows 8.1 Enterprise builds on the consumer Windows 8.1 with a selection of additional enterprise tools. We took it for a spin around our network.

The initial preview release of Windows 8.1 was for home and small office users using Windows 8 Pro. Like the initial preview releases of Windows 8, the consumer 8.1 doesn't have all the business features of its Enterprise counterpart; features that IT professionals will want to evaluate before deploying the update in their networks. So it wasn't surprising that Microsoft recently rolled out a second Windows 8.1 preview, this time of its Enterprise SKU.

Available only to businesses with Windows Software Assurance, Windows 8.1 Enterprise builds on the consumer Windows 8.1 with a selection of additional enterprise tools. These include the USB-bootable Windows To Go, secure remote access to corporate networks with DirectAccess, and support for VDI installations. If you've deployed Windows 8 Enterprise youíll find many of the same features in 8.1, with performance and user interface tweaks.

In the past Microsoft has added new features with each release that required additional testing before businesses could deploy the new OS to their device fleets. With Microsoft moving to a yearly cadence for operating system releases, it's hoping to encourage rapid roll out of updates by focusing on improving whatís already in place, rather than adding extra features. Itís an approach that also means that some updated features wonít be back-ported to Windows 8; as a result we donít expect IE11 or PowerShell 4 to be supported on Windows 8 - even though they will be available on Windows 7.
Read more at: Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, hands on: Much more than a service pack | ZDNet


Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview