Today Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) made the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview available as a free download to users with the current Windows 8 version. The company said the Enterprise version adds to the Windows 8.1 Preview edition by incorporating mobility, security, management, and virtualization features.
Microsoft wrote in a blog post that the new features of Windows 8.1 Enterprise include:
- Windows To Go Creator: A fully manageable corporate Windows 8.1 desktop on a bootable external USB drive for bring-your-own-device use, or to securely access corporate environments.
- Start Screen Control: This feature allows companies to control which apps are accessible on the Start screen, as well as app layout.
- DirectAccess: Users can access information inside a corporate network and make updates to desktops remotely.
- BranchCache: Files and content can be downloaded once and cached across an entire Wide Area Network for branch offices, instead of being downloaded multiple times.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Adds the ability to play 3-D graphics and use USB peripherals and touch-enabled devices across LAN or WAN networks.
- AppLocker: Companies can use this feature to restrict which apps and files are downloaded to a PC.
- Windows Enterprise Side-Loading: Microsoft said internal Windows apps can be side-loaded on domain-joined PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1 Enterprise.
The company also said in the blog post that Windows 8.1 Enterprise support will have the same life cycle as Windows 8 and will end support on Jan. 10, 2023. The Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview can be downloaded at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hh771457.aspx.