Delivering ongoing improvement to businesses
We are focused on providing customers with faster and easier access to new Windows technology. As part of that focus Windows has historically released monthly updates where we listen to customer feedback and deliver improvements and fixes on an ongoing basis via Windows Update. One of these monthly updates is the Windows 8.1 Update. This update includes improvements to provide business customers with better compatibility, usability and hardware support on their Windows 8.1 devices. Specific improvements in Windows 8.1 Update include:
Internet Explorer Compatibility:
Internet Explorer with Enterprise Mode enables IE8 compatibility on IE11, allowing companies to run their existing web-based applications seamlessly on Windows 8.1 devices. IE11 with Enterprise Mode will be also available for Windows 7, enabling companies to standardize on IE11 across all their Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 PCs while eliminating browser compatibility issues.
Refined user experience:
Usability improvements that make Windows 8.1 easier and more intuitive, with better mouse and keyboard support for the long term Windows users; for example, the ability to pin modern Windows apps to the task bar on a desktop; or the ability to close a modern app with a familiar “X” in the upper right corner of the screen.
Support for low cost hardware:
With Windows 8.1 Update we continue to fine-tune Windows performance to deliver a great user experience on the broad range of Windows devices. Specifically, with memory and disk space optimization in Windows 8.1 Update we now enable Windows to run on even lower cost hardware with as low as 1GB of RAM and a 16GB hard drive.
Latest hardware choices and form factors:
We also have made improvements to take advantage of new hardware innovation and support the latest devices, such as devices based on 64 bit Baytrail™ processors.
Extended Mobile Device Management:
Mobile device management (MDM) is another area we heard from customers that was important to them. With the update to Windows 8.1 we continue to add additional policy settings that can be managed with the MDM solution of your choice, such as Intune, Mobile Iron, or Airwatch. Examples of some of these new settings include: whitelisting/ blacklisting of modern apps and websites for a Windows device or support for installing apps.
Another improvement we are making to enable easier app deployment and management is app side loading. Now, all domain joined devices running Windows 8.1 Update Pro, will be able to side-load apps without requiring a VL-key.
With Windows 8.1 Update we are further committed to continue ongoing improvement of customer experience, enabling easier and faster customer access to new Windows technology.
Windows Industry Software Assurance Benefit
In addition to the changes in Windows, we are also making some exciting licensing changes with Windows 8.1 Update.
With Windows we offer different editions to address both productivity and industry device needs. Productivity devices run Windows Enterprise while Industry devices run Windows Embedded Industry.
We have heard from organizations that they have use cases where they need the flexibility to use a specific device and the Windows edition that meets their business scenarios. For example, take a tablet that came with Windows Pro but use Windows Industry with its advanced lockdown features to turn it into a kiosk.
To help meet these needs, beginning April 1st, 2014 a device covered under Software Assurance for Windows or Windows Embedded Industry, will be able to use either edition of Windows to meet their specific business needs, giving them access to the right Windows edition, for any scenario, on any device.