Just days before the release (October 18, 2013) of Windows 8.1 to the masses, this eBook comes at a time when Microsoft would do well to promote the updated operating system to businesses and to IT Pros. The original release of Windows 8 was a more consumerized release with enterprises seemingly an afterthought. Windows 8.1 introduces some polished features that should make it more palatable for business consumption.

Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals is not a comprehensive, piece-by-piece representation on Microsoft's new operating system, but instead a highlight edition showcasing the areas where IT Pros should find interest. A book on the overall operating system would bulge past 1,000 pages, so this eBook sticks to roughly 130.

Written by ZDNet's Ed Bott, the eBook is laid out into 11 chapters, covering the following topics:

  • Chapter 1: An overview of Windows 8.1
  • Chapter 2: The Windows 8.1 user experience
  • Chapter 3: Deploying Windows 8.1
  • Chapter 4: Security in Windows 8.1
  • Chapter 5: Internet Explorer 11
  • Chapter 6: Delivering Windows Store apps
  • Chapter 7: Recovery options in Windows 8.1
  • Chapter 8: Windows 8.1 and networks
  • Chapter 9: Virtualization in Windows 8.1
  • Chapter 10: Windows RT 8.1
  • Chapter 11: Managing mobile devices

Again, this is not a walk-through but just as the title describes, a technical overview. For example, the deployment section briefly covers the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and then provides links to Microsoft so you can finish honing your knowledge on the subject if you want. If you want more in depth material, including tips-and-tricks, you'll want to monitor Windows IT Pro and Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows.

You can grab the eBook (PDF) from here:  Free ebook: Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals