Microsoft Makes Business Case for Windows 8.1
Microsoft is previewing the business-flavored features that this year's Windows 8 update has in store for enterprises at TechEd 2013.Windows 8.1, a free update for Windows 8, is set to launch sometime later this year. While Microsoft has already teased several new enhancements for users, it has largely kept mum on the features aimed at IT managers. That changed June 3 during Microsoft's TechEd conference in New Orleans. Promising to show attendees "some things that we've done that are more focused on the business world," Iain McDonald, partner director of program management for Windows, discussed some of the many Windows 8.1 updates that are designed to ease enterprise deployment and management. He reiterating that the company was readying a preview of the update, code-named Windows Blue, for June 26 to coincide with the Build conference and that it would indeed be officially released in 2013. McDonald kicked things off by laying to rest any concerns about backward compatibility. When Microsoft launched Windows 8, the company assured the industry that "anything that ran on Windows 7 would run on Windows 8," said McDonald. The line will remain unbroken, he added, stating that "anything that runs on Windows 8 runs on Windows 8.1."
McDonald then went on to describe several new features like Assigned Access. According to a Windows for Your Business blog post by Erwin Visser, Microsoft's general manager of Windows Commercial Marketing, Assigned Access allows administrators to deliver a locked-down, "single Windows Store application experience." In McDonald's example, the capability would allow a school to prevent its students from opening a browser window while using a test-taking app.