Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, download now!

Zac Bowden

Windows 8.1

Microsoft have finally released the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview for users to download and test. The Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview differs from the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview released last month. Enterprise introduces a number of different features including Windows To Go, Start Screen Control and DirectAccess.

Another feature making a reappearance is Assigned Access, which was spotted in a couple of leaked builds but never made it into the Pro Preview. It’s good to see it’s return in the Enterprise Preview however.

Enterprise also introduces the ability to side-load internal Windows app. This feature will be useful for businesses which have developed applications to run on their systems.

Other information released include life support for Windows 8.1, the blog post claims that Windows 8.1 follows in the same footsteps as Windows 8. Life support will end in the year 2023. Check out the Download Link to deploy the Enterprise Preview!

Here are the “premium features” that are found in Windows 8.1 Enterprise:

  • 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.
  • 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.