Originally Posted by ejb222
I'll take up the troll bate:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn140266.aspxWarning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
What's New in Windows 8.1
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/windows-blue-update-to-build-on-and-improve-windows-8-1131737Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
We built Windows 8 to bring a modern computing experience to businesses and to help professionals stay connected to their colleagues and clients from anywhere, anytime. Windows 8.1 advances this vision and introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and networking capabilities that will be available later this year – with the goal of offering customers the best business tablets and versatile modern business PCs driven by the most powerful operating system designed for today’s modern businesses.
Below is a list of some of the new and updated features in Windows 8.1 with regard to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios, mobility, security, and the modern user interface.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Enhancements
A Windows 8 PC was either domain joined or not. If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms. This feature allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources With Workplace Join, IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources. If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device.
Work Folders allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation’s data center. Files created locally will sync back to the file server in the corporate environment. This syncing is natively integrated into the file system. Note, this all happens outside the firewall client sync support. Previously, Windows 8 devices needed to be domain joined (or required domain credentials) for access to file shares. Syncing could be done with third-party folder replication apps. With Work Folders, Users can keep local copies of their work files on their devices, with automatic synchronization to your data center, and for access from other devices. IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share (including automated Rights Management) and require Workplace Join to be in place.
While many organizations have investments with System Center and will continue to leverage these investments we also know that many organizations want to manage certain classes of devices, like tablets and BYOD devices, as mobile devices. With Windows 8.1, you can use an OMA-DM API agent to allow management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch.
Mobile Device Management
When a user enrolls their device, they are joining the device to the Windows Intune management service. They get access to the Company Portal which provides a consistent experience for access to their applications, data and to manage their own devices. This allows a deeper management experience with existing tools like Windows Intune. IT administrators now have deeper policy management for Windows RT devices, and can manage Windows 8.1 PCs as mobile devices without having deploy a full management client.
Web Application Proxy
The Web Application Proxy is a new role service in the Windows Server Remote Access role. It provides the ability to publish access to corporate resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as apply conditional access policies to verify both the user’s identity and the device they are using resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as verify the device being used before access is granted.
Enhanced Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in Windows Server 2012 R2 with improvements in management, value, and user experience. Session Shadowing allows administrators to view and remotely control active user sessions in an RDSH server. Disk dedupe and storage tiering allow for lower cost storage options. User experience for RemoteApps, network connectivity and multiple displays has been improved. Administrators can now easily support users with session desktops to provide helpdesk style support. Administrators now have even more flexible storage options to support a VDI environment without expensive SAN investments. End users will find RemoteApp behavior is more like local apps, and the experience in low-bandwidth is better, with faster reconnects and improved compression, and support for multiple monitors.
NFC Tap-to-pair Printing
Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print. No more hunting on your network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer to take advantage of this functionality. Simply attach an NFC tag to your existing printers to enable this functionality.
Wi-Fi Direct Printing
Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer.
Native Miracast Wireless Display
Present your work wirelessly with no connection cords needed; just pair with a Miracast-enabled display and Miracast will use Wi-Fi to let you project wire-free.
We have added support for a wider range of VPN clients in both Windows and Windows RT devices. We have also added the ability to have an app automatically trigger VPN connections.
At Windows 8 launch, the devices had embedded radios that were separate components within the devices. Windows 8.1 supports embedded wireless radio, which gives you increased power savings, longer battery life, also enables thinner form factors and lower cost devices.
Windows To Go
With Windows To Go in Windows 8.1, the Windows Store is enabled by default. Windows To Go users may roam to any number of machines and access the Windows Store and use Windows Store apps.
Turn your Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet.
When you select an app or resource that needs access through the inbox VPN – like a company’s intranet site – Windows 8.1 will automatically prompt you to sign in with one click. This feature will be available with Microsoft and third-party inbox VPN clients.
Remote Business Data Removal
Corporations now have more control over corporate content which can be marked as corporate, encrypted, and then be wiped when the relationship between the corporation and user has ended. Corporate data can now be identified as corporate vs. user, encrypted, and wiped on command using EAS or EAS + OMA-DM protocol. This capability is requires implementation in the client application and in the server application (Mail + Exchange Server). The client application determines if the wipe simply makes the data inaccessible or actually deletes it.
All SKUs will include end to end biometric capabilities that enable authenticating with your biometric identity anywhere in Windows (Windows sign-in, remote access, User Account Control, etc.). Windows 8.1 will also be optimized for fingerprint based biometrics and will include a common fingerprint enrollment experience that will work with a variety of readers (touch, swipe). Modern readers are touch based rather than swipe and include liveliness detection that prevents spoofing (e.g.: silicon emulated fingerprints). Access to Windows Store Apps, functions within them, and certificate release can be gated based on verification of a user’s biometric identity.
Pervasive Device Encryption
Device encryption previously found on Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 is now available in all editions of Windows. It is enabled out of the box and can be configured with additional BitLocker protection and management capability on the Pro and Enterprise SKUs. Consumer devices are automatically encrypted and protected when using a Microsoft account. Data on any Windows connected standby device is automatically protected (encrypted) with device encryption. Organizations that need to manage encryption can easily take add additional BitLocker protection options and manageability to these devices.
Improved Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer 11 improvements include faster page load times, side-by-side browsing of your sites, enhanced pinned site notifications, and app settings like favorites, tabs and settings sync across all your Windows 8.1 PCs. Internet Explorer 11 now includes capability that enables an antimalware solution to scan the input for a binary extension before it’s passed onto the extension for execution
Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free antivirus solution in Windows 8, will include network behavior monitoring to help detect and stop the execution of known and unknown malware. Internet Explorer will scan binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the antimalware solution before potentially harmful code is executed.
With Assigned Access, a new feature offered in Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Enterprise, you can enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device. This can be things like a learning application for kids in an educational setting or a customer service application at a boutique, Assigned Access can ensure the device is delivering the intended experience. In our Windows Embedded 8.1 industry product, we deliver additional lockdown capabilities to meet the needs of industry devices like point of sale systems, ATMs, and digital signs.
Modern UI Experience
Variable, Continuous Size of Snap Views
You have more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at once. When displaying multiple apps at once, you can easily resize the width of the app window to suit your needs. Depending on screen size and resolution, you can even share the screen with three, or four apps on each monitor.
Boot to Desktop
We have made configuration options available which will allow you to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1.
Desktop and Start Screen
Improvements have been made to better support users who prefer a mouse and keyboard experience to access applications.
These are just some of the key features available in Windows 8.1 We encourage you to test out and try these features when you evaluate Windows 8.1 for use both in your work environment as well as at home in your personal life. Please note that Windows Server 2012 R2 may be required in order for some of these features to be available.
1. Lock screen slideshow"As people started using Windows 8, we found that people were using their Lock screens to show pictures of their families," Leblond says. So in Windows 8.1, you can turn your PC or tablet into a picture frame by making your Lock screen a slide show of your pictures - either locally on the device or photos from Microsoft SkyDrive.
You can unlock the camera or answer a Skype call quickly without needing to fiddle with a password. If small tablets get popular, that will be useful.
2. The Start screen evolvesWindows 8.1 offers more colours and backgrounds for the Start screen - including some with motion. You can also choose your desktop background as your Start screen background.
However, it's still perfectly possible to get a really garish looking Start screen, like this - does anybody actually use these patterns?
3. Different tile sizesAs in Windows Phone 8, the Windows 8.1 Start screen features a variety of tile sizes including a new large and new small tile. It's also even easier to name groups and rearrange tiles, says Leblond: "We found people were accidentally moving tiles on their Start screen so in Windows 8.1, you press and hold (or right click) to move things around."
You can even have large double-size tiles (check the weather in the picture above) but apps need to be written specifically to take advantage of this.
To select a tile, you now need to press and hold it. You can now select multiple apps all at once, resize them, uninstall them, or rearrange them into a group: "View all apps just by swiping from the bottom to view all apps, and we've added the ability to filter your apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category.
"You want the Start screen to be about all the things you love. So when you install a new app from the Windows Store, we no longer put that app on your Start screen. Instead, you'll find these apps under apps view as mentioned above and marked as 'new' where you can choose to pin the apps you want to your Start screen."
The Start screen has also been refined to work with all screen sizes more effectively - Microsoft believes Windows 8.1 really can scale from 8-inch tablets to 27-inch devices.
4. Aggregated searchInstead of having to select an app and then search when you go to the Search charm, Bing now powers an aggregated search system from the web, your files, SkyDrive and elsewhere. Leblond says: "We think this will really change the way you interact with the Web and with Windows making it quicker and easier to get things done. It is the modern version of the command line! Results from local files, apps, and settings are easily accessed in the same convenient view by scrolling to the left."
In the Desktop, the Search charm now overlays a Search pane on the desktop rather than chucking you over to the Start screen. More evidence that Microsoft is 'refining the blend' between desktop and Modern apps.
5. Enhanced appsNew app enhancements are also coming to all the built-in apps like Mail and Xbox Music, while there are new apps for food and fitness and there is a 'modern' version of Office that's set to launch.
The Photos app now has some new editing features that let you quickly edit or adjust photos when you view them in the Photos app or open them from other places like the Mail, SkyDrive, and Camera apps - you can now create Photosynth panoramas directly within the app.
•Windows 8.1 Photos app loses Facebook and Flickr supportMail includes some clever extra options for filtering mails, while there's also a Reading List to gather links from Internet Explorer. The Photos app now has a lot more editing options.
6. More snap viewsIf, like us, you use Windows 8 a lot, you'll have been frustrated by the lack of 50:50 split snap views. This is the game-changer for Windows 8 apps. "You will have more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at the same time," says Leblond. "You can resize apps to any size you want, share the screen between two apps, or have up to three apps on each screen if you have a multiple displays connected, you can have different Windows Store apps running on all the displays at the same time and the Start Screen can stay open on one monitor (yes!).
This is one of the fundamental changes in Windows 8.1 and makes multi-tasking and multi-monitor use a lot easier. Also in Windows 8.1, you can have multiple windows of the same app snapped together - such as two Internet Explorer windows." We're really looking forward to that.
Yes! A 50:50 split!
7. An enhanced Windows StoreThe Windows Store gets a new look in Windows 8.1, designed to make it easier for you to find new and interesting apps. Instead of having to guess what the featured apps at the front of the Store do, a carousel flips through large images and descriptions of each of the six featured apps in turn (swipe down if you don't want to wait for it to flip).
•What's new in the Windows 8.1 Store?App updates will now install automatically in the background as they come through the Store. And search is available in the upper right hand corner for finding the apps you want. Leblond elaborates: "The improved Windows Store is designed to show more info than before in Windows 8 with detailed lists of top free apps, new releases, and picks for you on the homepage. The app listing is more descriptive and informative and includes an area for related apps to help with app discovery."
8. Save direct to SkyDrive, plus offline filesIn Windows 8.1 your files can be saved directly to SkyDrive - it's completely integrated into the OS. The SkyDrive app has also got a new update so that files are available even when offline - as in the desktop version.
There's no longer a separate desktop interface for picking folders to sync.
SkyDrive will get offline support
9. You no longer need the desktop Control PanelThe updated PC Settings in Windows 8.1 gives you access to all your settings on your device without having to go to the Control Panel on the desktop. "You can do things like change your display resolution, set power options, see the make and model of my PC, change the product key, let me do Windows Update, and even join a domain – all from PC Settings," says Leblond. You can also manage SkyDrive from PC Settings as well.
10. A new Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer 11 will ship with Windows 8.1. "IE11 will offer even better touch performance, faster page load times and several other new features we think you will enjoy," says Leblond. "For example, you can now adjust the appearance of modern IE11 to always show the address bar and you can have as many open tabs as you like. And you can access your open tabs in sync across your other Windows 8.1 devices."
11. Better with a mouse and keyboardFor devices without touch, Windows 8.1 features a number of improvements for easier navigation using a mouse and keyboard. "PCs today are evolving for a world of mobile computing where people interact with their devices through touch, and we designed Windows 8 for this," explains Leblond. "But we also recognize there are many non-touch devices in use today - especially in the commercial setting."
12. A change to the Start 'tip' and the Start buttonYou've already heard about this one, right? Leblond adds that there are also options to change what the corners do, and options to boot into alternate screens: "For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view."
Here's a picture of the new Start button on the desktop.
13. Improvements to the Desktop and All programsYour tiles will overlay over your desktop background when you access the Start screen from the desktop, while you can now swipe up from the Start screen to access your All programs view. This really is a game changer.
14. Changing app switchingYou can now also change the settings for the hot corners and App switching, so you can prevent the Charm bar or app switching bar from appearing if you don't want them to.
15. Changes to Windows ExplorerFile libraries no longer show up in Explorer automatically, even though they're still the way you put media into the Xbox Music and Video apps and the first place Mail looks when you add attachments.
To avoid filling all the storage on a tablet with a small drive, all you get by default is the Documents and Pictures folders from your SkyDrive.
You can see your other folders and the names of all the files in them and when you click on a file Windows 8.1 automatically pulls it down from SkyDrive and caches it offline and syncs changes to it.
When you right-click on folders in Explorer the option to add them to a library is still on the context menu, but if you want to find and work with them in Explorer you have to turn them back on in the navigation pane. Instead you see This PC where you're used to seeing Computer, along with SkyDrive which is installed as part of Windows (in both 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1) and syncs some of your files automatically.
16. Native 3D printing supportWindows 8.1 also includes baked-in support for 3D printing. It's still niche, of course, but it's an interesting development.