Microsoft, today, has released the Enterprise version of Windows 8.1 preview. The Enterprise version offers a few additional components beyond what Microsoft has already made available for Enterprises in the general 8.1 preview release. It’s interesting to me that they even need a version specific to business implementations, considering all of the improved and new features provided in the general release. In The IT Guide to Windows 8.1, we’ve been covering those new general features, so take a look at the continuing series when you get a chance.

Still, Microsoft has seen fit to develop an Enterprise-specific version. Looking through the list of inclusions, to me it seems more like a situation where they left things out of the general 8.1 release, instead of an instance where they are adding additional value. Enterprises will definitely appreciate the added value, but you have to wonder why these couldn’t have just been included. Microsoft has taken a few hits suggesting that they released Windows 8 targeted directly at the consumer market, leaving Enterprises, who remain the biggest customer and revenue stream, as an afterthought. This latest release doesn’t do a lot to quell those fears.

Here’s what is being included in Windows 8.1 Enterprise:

  • Direct Acess
  • BranchCache
  • Configuration and Lock-down for the Start screen
  • Windows To Go
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

You can grab this latest preview release version from the TechNet Evaluation Center here:  Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview