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Windows 8.1 is not a new version of Windows. It canessentially be termed as Service Pack 1 for Windows 8.  The focus includes a relatively modern version that would put it in line with Android and iOS which are, at the moment, the market leader in tablet market, or the operating systems for touch devices. Windows 8.1 includes many new features that were formerly termed, and condemned, “Blue” as listed by a document released by Microsoft a few weeks ago.  Windows 8.1 has made many changes targeting the device management and mobility side, but, under the hood, Windows 8 is just like Widows 7.  It manages and runs the same applications in almost the same way. Installing Windows 8.1 is quick, painless, and risk-free, so you don’t need to worry about backing up or other preparatory measures.

However, the significant and subtle changes in Windows 8, from its predecessors,were not apparent to the end user until they had a chance to use the device.  The hardware requirements, i.e. an upgrade to touch screen, and the new user interface,refrained users from an immediate switch.  The same was also true for the corporate sector in spite of the extensive and massive advertising campaign behind the launch of Windows 8.Terena Bell, CEO of In Every Language, was stumped by her hardware choices.  Not only that, she had trouble in finding the reliable information.  The advertisement by Microsoft on Windows 8 got her interested at first and made her confused later by the limited choices and operational instructions.

The major features, as declared by Microsoft, included Faster Start up giving it a boot time almost twice as fast as windows 7, a whole new world of integrated tablet style applications through Windows Store with easy install and uninstall, integration Microsoft’s cloud storage service of SkyDrive, enhanced security features like secure boot and blocking of malicious download, touch input along with   keyboard and mouse support.

In the words of Microsoft, Windows 8 was brought into the market to bring a modern computing experience to home and business users.  Windows 8.1 advances this version and introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and enhanced networking functionalities and capabilities.

Some of the capabilities highlighting the new and updated features include:

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Enhancements

Workplace Join, Work Folders, Open MDM, Mobile Device Management, Web Application Proxy, Remote Desktop or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Wi-Fi Direct Printing and Native Miracast Wireless Display (connection of Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding drivers or software).

Mobility Enhancements

Enhanced VPN support for a wider range of devices, Auto-triggered VPN, Mobile Broadband, Windows to go and Broadband Tethering,

Security Enhancements

Security Enhancements include Remote Business Data Removal, Improved Biometrics, Pervasive Device Encryption, Improved Internet Explorer, MalwareResistance and Device Lockdown.

Modern UI Experience

Variable, Continuous Size of Snap Views, Boot to Desktop and Start Screen where the improvements have been made to better support users whose preference lies with keyboard and mouse for accessing the applications or programs.

The above list covers some of the features that have been included, updated and made available in Windows 8.1.  Microsoft encourages the users to explore and try these features while using, testing or evaluating Microsoft Windows 8.1 for both home and corporate users.

Categories : Tech Blog