Windows 8.1 has  of some of the new and updated features (Windows Server 2012 R2 may be required in order for some of these features to be available.)

BYOD Enhancements

Workplace Join: improved control over corporate IT resources when a user registers WIndows 8.1 device.

Work Folders: allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation’s data center.  IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share and require Workplace Join to be in place.

Open MDM: an  OMA-DM API agent to allow management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch.

Mobile Device Management: IT administrators now have deeper policy management for Windows RT devices, and can manage Windows 8.1 PCs as mobile devices without having deploy a full management client.

Web Application Proxy: is a new role service with the ability to publish access to corporate resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication and conditional access policies.

RDS Enhancements

VDI: Enhanced Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in Windows Server 2012 R2 with improvements in management and  value. User experience for RemoteApps, network connectivity and multiple displays has been improved. Administrators now have even more flexible support options.

NFC Tap-to-pair Printing: to print, you can now simply attach an NFC tag to your existing printers and tap Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer.

Wi-Fi Direct Printing: peer-to-peer network between Windows 8.1 device and the printer eliminates the need for additional drivers or software.

Miracast Wireless Display: native, wire-free projections when Windows 8.1 device is paired with Miracast-enabled projector, and powered by Wi-Fi.

Mobility Enhancements

VPN: wider range of VPN clients

Mobile Broadband: support for embedded wireless radios.

Windows To Go: the Windows Store is enabled by default.

Broadband Tethering: turns your Windows 8.1 device into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot.

Auto-triggered VPN: Windows 8.1 will automatically prompt you to sign in with one click when accessing VPN-dependant app is detected.

Security Enhancements

Remote Business Data Removal: corporations now have more control over corporate content; data can now be identified as corporate vs. user, encrypted, and wiped or made inaccessible on command.

Improved Biometrics: all SKUs will include end-to-end biometric capabilities that enable biometric authentication anywhere in Windows. Windows 8.1 will also be optimized for fingerprint based biometrics and will include a common fingerprint enrollment experience that will work with a variety of readers.

Pervasive Device Encryption:  enabled out of the box and can be configured with additional BitLocker protection and management capability on the Pro and Enterprise SKUs. Consumer devices are automatically encrypted and protected when using a Microsoft account.

Internet Explorer 11: much needed improvements include faster page load times, side-by-side browsing of sites, enhanced pinned site notifications, and app settings like favorites, tabs and settings sync across Windows 8.1 PCs.

Malware Resistance: Windows Defender will include network behavior monitoring. Internet Explorer 11 will scan binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the anti-malware solution to scan the input for a binary extension before it’s passed onto the extension for execution.

Device Lockdown: with Assigned Access, a new feature offered in Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Enterprise, you can enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device, with additional lockdown capabilities to meet the needs of industry devices like point of sale systems, ATMs, and digital signs.

Modern UI Experience

UI enhancements include Variable, Continuous Size of Snap Views, Boot to Desktop and Desktop and Start Screen improvements. Improvements have also been made to better support users who prefer a mouse and keyboard experience to access applications.


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