Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is now available for download so customers can start testing the operating system in their environments. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview builds on the Window 8.1 Preview, adding premium features designed to address the mobility, security, management and virtualization needs of today’s companies.

Premium features that will be offered in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition include Windows To Go Creator, Start Screen Control, DirectAccess, BranchCache, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, AppLocker and Windows Enterprise Side-Loading. These features add to the broader range of new business capabilities in Windows 8.1 that Microsoft shared at TechEd North America back in June. Here’s a more extended list of features.

Microsoft is encouraging customers to start testing the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview now. More information, technical guidance and best practices for deployment planning can be found on the Springboard Blog for IT Professionals.

A number of customers have been asking about the lifecycle support policy for Windows 8.1. The lifecycle of Windows 8.1 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, with support ending Jan. 10, 2023.

With the availability of Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, it is time to start planning your deployment. Windows 8 customers will have two years to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update to continue to remain supported under Windows 8 lifecycle – and there are deployment tools and guidance available to help make these updates seamless for customers.

Head over to the Windows for Your Business blog post for more about the features and information above.

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Steve Clarke
Microsoft News Center Staff