Last week at the Build 2014 conference, the Windows product team announced that Windows 8.1 Update will be generally available via Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center beginning April 8th as KB2919355. Some of the most notable enhancements provided by Windows 8.1 Update include:
- Improved hardware support for devices with lower hardware specifications, such as 1GB RAM and 16GB storage space
- Enhanced compatibility with legacy web apps via Enterprise Mode for IE 11
- Extended Mobile Device Management (MDM) support
- Improved Keyboard/Mouse user experience
In addition to these enhancements, Windows 8.1 Update includes two new security updates (KB2922229 and KB2936068). These security updates will also be available separately for organizations that are not yet ready to deploy the full Windows 8.1 Update.
Note: KB2919355 also applies to Windows Server 2012 R2. When installed on Windows Server 2012 R2, the new Enterprise Mode for IE11, updated Start screen UI with Search and Power buttons, and Desktop Experience role for Remote Desktop Services deployments are all updated to align with the Windows 8.1 Update experience on client devices. You can find more details on this update for Windows Server 2012 R2 located at the following link location:
In this article, I’ll provide a list of resources that you can leverage to quickly learn, deploy and educate your users on the new features in Windows 8.1 Update.
Watch: Build 2014 - Windows 8.1 Update keynote demo
Watch Joe Belfiore demonstrate the new features in Windows 8.1 Update in this 10-minute demo walkthrough during his Build 2014 keynote session.
Note that the Windows 8.1 Update demo starts at the 54:53 minute mark in his keynote. Be sure to tune in for the earlier portions of his keynote to hear What's new in Windows Phone 8.1, too!
Read: Prepare for Windows 8.1 Update
Leverage these resources to learn the new features in Windows 8.1 Update.
- What's New in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update?
- Windows 8.1 – important refinements to the Windows experience
- Exploring Windows 8.1 Update - Start screen, Desktop and Other enhancements
- Options for Managing Go To Desktop or Start screen on Windows 8.1 Update
- Managing the Windows Store app pin to the Taskbar in Windows 8.1 Update
- Windows 8.1 Update: Sideloading Enhancements
- Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11
- Download Enterprise Mode Site List Manager
Deploy: Windows 8.1 Update
Use these resources for deploying Windows 8.1 Update in your organization.
- Install the latest Windows 8.1 Update
- Windows 8.1 Update: The IT Pro Perspective
- Enable and Manage Enterprise Mode in Internet Explorer 11
- Understanding the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 Update and MDT 2013
- Understanding the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 Update and Configuration Manager OSD
- Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 Update
Share: Get Users Ready for Windows 8.1 Update
Customize and share these resources with your users to help them understand how to use the new features in Windows 8.1 Update.
What are your thoughts on Windows 8.1 Update?
Install Windows 8.1 Update on your devices via Windows Update and experience these new features for yourself! Once you’ve done this, feel free to share your thoughts, feedback and experiences with using Windows 8.1 Update in the Comments area below.
Interested in learning more about Windows 8.1 for Business?
Check out our complete blog series at: