Tactical Advice

Windows 8.1 Adds More Features for Business Users

The next step in the Windows 8 journey brings new networking and security functionality for enterprises.
Windows 8.1 Adds More Features for Business Users
Credit: Microsoft

When Microsoft announced that it would reimagine” its legacy operating system with Windows 8, the company wasn’t kidding. The new OS put a strong focus on a mobile and touch experience and removed the beloved Start button, which had been a staple of the OS since Windows 95.

Now, Microsoft has announced an upgrade to Windows 8 with Windows 8.1 “Blue.” With a public preview expected on June 26, the latest additions to Windows 8 include increased networking and security functionalities. The company is even somewhat bringing back the Start button in the form of the “Start tip.”

In a press release from its TechEd North America event, Microsoft laid out some of the new features in its upgrade to Windows 8.

New networking features in Windows 8.1 aim to improve mobile productivity for today’s workforce, with system-on-a-chip (SoC)-integrated mobile broadband, native Miracast wireless display and near field communication (NFC)-based pairing with enterprise printers.

Security is also enhanced in the new update to address device proliferation and to protect corporate data and applications with fingerprint-based biometrics, multifactor authentication on tablets and remote business data removal to securely wipe company data from a device.

And improved management capabilities in Windows 8.1 give customers more flexibility with supported options such as System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and new mobile device management (MDM) solutions with third-party MDM partners, in addition to updated Windows Intune support.

Additionally, Microsoft announced some specific business-friendly features such as auto-triggered VPN, Wi-Fi Direct printing and broadband tethering.

“Our goal for Windows 8.1: offer customers the best business tablets and versatile, next generation business PCs driven by the most powerful operating system designed for modern businesses,” says Erwin Visser, general manager for Windows Commercial Marketing at Microsoft, on the Windows Blog.

A recent Spiceworks survey found that 69 percent of small and medium-sized businesses were testing Windows 8, so these new features might do the trick in moving Windows 8 from the test environment to production among SMBs.

Sign up for our e-newsletter

About the Author

Ricky Ribeiro

Online Content Manager

Ricky publishes and manages the content on BizTech magazine's web site. He's a writer, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all-around digital guy. You can learn more by following him on Google+ or Twitter:

Security

Three Ways to Integrate Fire... |
Follow these tips to align the devices with log management and incident tracking systems.
Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...

Storage

The New Backup Utility Proce... |
Just getting used to the Windows 8 workflow? Prepare for a change.
How to Perform Traditional W... |
With previous versions going unused, Microsoft radically reimagined the backup utility in...
5 Easy Ways to Build a Bette... |
While large enterprises have the resources of an entire IT department behind them, these...

Infrastructure Optimization

Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Ensure Uptime Is in Your Dat... |
Power and cooling solutions support disaster recovery and create cost savings and...
The Value of Converged Infra... |
Improvements in security, management and efficiency are just a few of the benefits CI can...

Networking

Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...
How to Maximize WAN Bandwidt... |
Understand six common problems that plague wide area networks — and how to address them.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Mobile & Wireless

Now that Office for iPad Is... |
After waiting awhile for Microsoft’s productivity suite to arrive, professionals who use...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Hardware & Software

New Challenges in Software M... |
IT trends such as cloud, virtualization and BYOD pose serious hurdles for software...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
The Tools That Power Busines... |
Ever-evolving analytic software can greatly improve financial institutions’ decision-...