Microsoft delivers to testers Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview

Microsoft delivers to testers Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview

Summary: Microsoft has made the Enterprise version of its Windows 8.1 preview test build available for download.


Microsoft delivers to testers Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview


Microsoft made available to testers the Enterprise version of its Windows 8.1 preview on July 30.

The Enterprise preview includes some of the business-focused features of Windows 8.1 that were not available in the Windows 8.1 preview, which Microsoft made available for download by any and all interested testers in late June.

Among the new features in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview build are:

  • Windows To Go creator
  • Start screen control
  • DirectAccess
  • BranchCache
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
  • AppLocker
  • Windows Enterprise side loading

Here's the full list of business-focused features Microsoft officials have said will be coming in Windows 8.1.

Here's the download link for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview.

In a post to the Microsoft "Windows for Your Business" blog, officials noted that Windows 8.1 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, which means support will end on January 10, 2023.

Microsoft officials said earlier this summer that Windows 8.1 will be released to manufacturing by the end of August 2013. Officials still are declining to comment as to when existing Windows 8 users will be able to get their hands on the RTM bits.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, IT Policies


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • How about making a system image? Is that back in Enterprise 8.1?

    It is my understanding the the current Windows 8.1 Preview dropped support for users being able to make a system image of their system. Is this back in Enterprise 8.1?
    • Image?

      Norton Ghost 2003 has never failed to provide a complete system image including the boot sector information.
      • Does it support GPT disks?

        Because any new Windows 8 computer is going to be partitioned using GPT.
        Michael Kelly
    • You can image

      Systems by using imagex, it has been the way to image systems since Vista.
  • ?????????

    It's always been there, just type Windows 7 File Recovery, and enterprise would be using WDS or SCCM anyway, this is more for home users.
    • WDS at a minimum

      WDS is necessary, but businesses should also use at least Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. SCCM is just MDT on steroids (and it costs money too).
  • The blog doesn't mention this in its Support Lifecycle section, but...

    One consequence of the move from 8.0 to 8.1 is that I expect that support for 8.0 will end two years after the release of 8.1 (i.e., customers have two years to migrate to the newer "dot 1" release).

    I don't know that for sure, but I'm expecting 8.1 to be treated pretty much the same as a service pack. I'm surprised I haven't seen that in any of the discussions about 8.1.
    • Considering it's a free upgrade

      I don't think they would be out of line for doing that.
      Michael Kelly
    • considering its a free upgrade...

      I highly doubt that there will be any "dot 0" holdouts... not to mention 8.1 is 10x better than 8.0
    • That wouldn't surprise

      Me. They have been doing this since the very first version of Windows NT. Just as with service packs, this upgrade is free of charge, so there is no reason to stick with RTM.
  • use VHD to boot (to avoid making images)

    Prepare Windows 7 to create Hyper-V Virtual lab to implement SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Active/Active Cluster


    Install-WindowsImage PowerShell Script
    Steps: Start powershell as administrator
    Execute: Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
    Execute: cd c:\sources
    Execute: .\Install-WindowsImage.ps1 –WIM C:\sources\install.wim -Apply -Index 3 -Destination X:

    Download and install:
    EasyBCD 2.1
    • Regarding EasyBCD...

      Has that software really kept up with Windows 8 PE imagex? (real question)
      • I don't think they made big changes to

        The Windows bootmanager since Vista. You don't really need easybcd of course, you can use the commandline bcdboot and bcdedit to do everything easybcd can.
  • Start still not totally Addressed

    I have had the 8.1 pro preview for over a month now. Not the enterprise version. Some issues were addressed and most were totally ignored. Still only one way to get to the programs is the start screen. There other ways, but for mass public there should be a classic 7 option. Instead of users downloading 3rd party apps to do the job.

    I am ok with the overlay, but my concern is for the public. From my sample base it seems the start screen is the single most disliked feature. Again I am completely ok with how it works and have no issues, but most people are just computer illiterate and have no desire to learn.
    • What I do to 'minimize the shock'

      I set the app-screen background the same as the desktop's. Then, set the machine to boot to desktop. The visual difference adds coherence and minimizes the 'jarring' effect.
  • Is the Start menu in the Enterprise version?

    Or is it still a single-window single-tasking phone OS?
  • Is There An Enterprise Version Of Classic Shell?

    Or is the CIO supposed to download it and e-mail it around?
  • Protocol support

    Word on the Interweb is that Win8's communication protocols are even more screwed up than Win7's when dealing with older Win OS's and non-MS stuff like NAS's, and I suspect that this has not changed in Win8.1. You really can't trust MS to code anything these days smartly and securely.
  • 8.1 = Deckchair Rearrangements

    As long as Metro UI can't be permanently and forever bypassed and the Start Menu restored with a single setting, Windows 8.xxxx is deader than a Dodo bird in the enterprise and SMB.
    Asok Smith
  • Re: Microsoft delivers to testers Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview....

    This is the acid test. Windows 8.1 Preview is one thing but Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is altogether more crucial. Not that the Consumer is any the less important but for Enterprise application Microsoft need to be bang on the money as they cannot afford another Windows 8.

    Should Windows 8.1 fail as Windows 8 has done then the future of the Windows operating platform would look bleak. That being said I am running Windows 8.1 Preview on Parallels and it would seem to be a significant improvement to Windows 8.