I am excited to announce that Windows 8.1 will be available to all partners at the end of the year. OEM partners already have Windows 8.1 ready for the next wave of devices, but all partners can now expect the upgrade as well.
Developers here at Microsoft have worked extremely hard to incorporate features that customers really want. The launch of Windows 8 prompted more feedback than ever before, and we listened. Windows 8.1 preserves the features you love and adds more to enhance your experience. For example, we’ve added a Boot to Desktop feature that mimics earlier versions of Windows. We’ve also reintroduced the Start button, a favorite customer feature that was much missed in the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Overall, the new operating system offers incredible opportunities for customization, both by customers and by IT departments, and it’s optimized for business, driving increased productivity.
I’d like to outline just a few of the new ways to use Windows in the workplace that I’m particularly excited about. For more information on features, visit the What’s New in Windows 8.1 TechNet page.
With any operating system, many partners and customers are concerned about personal security. Windows 8.1 offers improved fingerprint-based biometrics, which allows users to authenticate their identity with a unique fingerprint rather than a password. Device encryption is now available on all editions of Windows, not just on Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, and data is automatically protected when customers have a Microsoft account.
Businesses are also concerned about the availability of sensitive information, as they should be. Windows 8.1 addresses these concerns with Remote Business Data Removal, which allows corporate IT departments to control what data exists on employees’ devices. IT departments can selectively wipe work-related content from employees’ devices remotely without disrupting personal content. Also, Workplace Join makes it easier for businesses to ensure that only registered and trusted devices are allowed to access secure data.
The personal security and data security features of Windows 8.1 mean that the new operating system is optimized for mobility in the workplace. The security features make BYOD (bring your own device) programs simpler for businesses to adopt, and new customer-centric features streamline day-to-day experiences.
WPC 2014 will provide opportunities for you to delve even deeper into the new features of Windows 8.1. You will also be able to interact with Microsoft team members and other partners to share best practices. Time is running out to register for WPC for the discounted price of US$1,695. The price increases October 31, so register for WPC 2014 today.
P.S. Watch this new video to see some of the new and exciting features of Windows 8.1