Windows 8.1 preview: Guidance for enterprise users

Microsoft releases a few new Windows 8.1 tools for enterprise users ahead of delivering the Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview bits.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

As many Windows users are well aware, Microsoft made available for download last week a public customer preview of Windows 8.1.

But what about those wanting/needing Windows 8.1 Enterprise, the version of Windows 8.1 that -- like its Windows 8 predecessor -- will be available to those with enterprise volume licensing agreements with Microsoft?

The Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview isn't available to testers yet. Microsoft officials are saying that it will be "in the coming weeks."

Once the Enterprise preview is available, users running Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center and Windows 8 Enterprise will be able to move to it, according to an article on TechNet.

As Microsoft officials disclosed previously, Windows RT and Windows 8 users who opt to test the 8.1 preview should expect they will have to reinstall their applications (both Metro-Style and Win32 ones) when moving to the final build of 8.1 later this summer/fall once it has been released to manufacturing.  

Here's Microsoft's reminder, from a posting on the Springboard Series blog, about that fact:


Microsoft also released late last week some other enterprise-focused tools that may help those installing the Windows 8.1 preview:

In other public preview news, Microsoft also made available recently a preview of its Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials small-business server and the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role for the Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacenter edition. (The new server role runs in a virtual machine on Windows Azure.) The Server 2012 R2 Essentials server can be downloaded here.

Update: Microsoft already has released a few updates to the existing Windows 8.1 preview, as Windows Observer blogger Richard Hay noted on July 2. These address some app compatibility issues, but do not address the XAML touch-scrolling problems that more than a few testers have encountered (and as detailed by istartedsomething's Long Zheng.)

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