Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 User Readiness Toolkit for IT workers

Many businesses are currently trying to upgrade their PCs from Windows XP to a more modern version before XP loses its support on April 8th. Today, Microsoft has released what it is calling the Windows 8.1 User Readiness Toolkit, which is designed to help IT administrators help their fellow co-workers easily move to using the latest version of Windows.

The Microsoft Springboard Series blog has more information on what the toolkit contains. It includes things like email templates that can be sent to all of a business's employees with tips and information about Windows 8.1. The emails are designed to be timed so that they can be sent out on specific dates (10 days before Windows 8.1 is used, 5 days before, Day 1 of the transition, one week after and so on).

The toolkit also has posters and flyers that can be printed and placed inside the workplace alerting employees to the upcoming OS change. In addition, there are training videos, a brief Windows 8.1 tip sheet, scripts and slides that can be used by IT workers to help augment any in-house training on the OS and more.

Microsoft has previously released a Quick Guide and a Power User Guide for Windows 8.1, again designed for businesses who want to quickly get their workers up to speed on the new OS.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Interview: We chat with VideoLAN's President about the future of the Windows 8 VLC app

Next Story

Samsung Galaxy backdoor discovered that enables remote read/write access

26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

That monitor is screaming what's wrong with Windows 8 and the common workplace.
Just look at how they both smile when she touches the "manly man love" shortcut on her desktop there.
Justifiably though, in the real world where most of us work, there are no such things as expensive touchscreen monitors as the current models we have in place are just fine as they are, and funnily enough, the OS (in my case, Win 7) works for all the users in my company. And that's exactly how it will stay. They like their desktops, they like their start button, and they don't have to go and learn something new.
Hopefully with the release of Windows 9, M$ will have learnt from this nightmare for standard business users, and bring back a Win7 style desktop and start menu, and at least make quite significant changes in dribs n drabs rather than punishing us in one foul swoop.

surreyguy77 said,
That monitor is screaming what's wrong with Windows 8 and the common workplace.
Just look at how they both smile when she touches the "manly man love" shortcut on her desktop there.
Justifiably though, in the real world where most of us work, there are no such things as expensive touchscreen monitors as the current models we have in place are just fine as they are, and funnily enough, the OS (in my case, Win 7) works for all the users in my company. And that's exactly how it will stay. They like their desktops, they like their start button, and they don't have to go and learn something new.
Hopefully with the release of Windows 9, M$ will have learnt from this nightmare for standard business users, and bring back a Win7 style desktop and start menu, and at least make quite significant changes in dribs n drabs rather than punishing us in one foul swoop.

The desktop is still there in Windows 8. No touchscreen needed for the Start Screen either.

That picture is exactly what I don't want to happen. Get your greasy hands on my monitor and I'm gonna slap your hand.

Touch is for tablets, not full-sized monitors sitting at arm's length.

_dandy_ said,
That picture is exactly what I don't want to happen. Get your greasy hands on my monitor and I'm gonna slap your hand.

Touch is for tablets, not full-sized monitors sitting at arm's length.

Then clean it?

_dandy_ said,

Yeah, you keep doing that all the time. My monitors are clean--because they're not touch.

None of my monitors are touch, yet I clean them weekly. Yours don't gather dust?

Dot Matrix said,
None of my monitors are touch, yet I clean them weekly. Yours don't gather dust?

Sure, but it's way easier to dust a monitor than cleaning fingerprints.

EyEvil said,
Won't happen where I work. Windows 7 until 2020.

I highly doubt there will be anyone with half a brain that will run Windows 7 into the ground like they did XP. If you're an admin just now getting off XP (and somehow have not been fired for it), then you should have learned your lesson. Things will have changed by 2020. Windows 7 will have been on extended support for nearly 5 years. It might not even have the latest technologies at that point.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 13 2014, 2:45am :

Dot Matrix said,

I highly doubt there will be anyone with half a brain that will run Windows 7 into the ground like they did XP. If you're an admin just now getting off XP (and somehow have not been fired for it), then you should have learned your lesson. Things will have changed by 2020. Windows 7 will have been on extended support for nearly 5 years. It might not even have the latest technologies at that point.

BWAHAHA

XP is just the introductory act of what is to come. Users who are just switching to Windows 7 now will think it is brand shiny new in just 4 years when it will be time to upgrade again.

Unlike XP, Windows 7 is secure, doesn't have winrot nearly as much or at all, and with hardware much better than the 512 meg Pentium IV's of XP will perform very fast and snappy in 2020 just as much as today. SSD's will be the new norm and boot times in less than 30 seconds.

Compounded by those scarred by Modern and you will have die hards by the billions (yes billions since hundreds of millions still use XP as I type this)who will be so afraid of change and will cling to life and tie their machines by their ankles as a form of protest to prevent change. XP users do this now feeling they will let MS win from being so greedy by making them upgrade very 13 years. I am dead serious too!

In 2020 XP will still be the 3rd most popular OS. In 2030 Windows 7 will still be around.

There is no reason to ever change. It does what people need and no even a new cpu 100x faster than today won't make them type faster in MS Word. THey will keep what they have because it works.

sinetheo said,
In 2030 Windows 7 will still be around.
In large numbers? Extremely unlikely. Hardware issues aside (when old hardware finally fails people generally buy new machines with the latest OS), once it stops being supported eventually 3rd party apps will drop support as well. People might hang on to an OS for dear life but once the latest and greatest apps cannot even be installed they will be compelled to move, especially when the last supported versions lack must-have features. I bet we'll see many XP die-hards drop the OS finally once browsers and AVs and other apps no longer support it, probably a year down the line.

sinetheo said,

In 2020 XP will still be the 3rd most popular OS. In 2030 Windows 7 will still be around.

So, you've seen 6-16 years into the future and can verify this, or are you just spouting nonsense out your ass?

sinetheo said,

There is no reason to ever change. It does what people need and no even a new cpu 100x faster than today won't make them type faster in MS Word. THey will keep what they have because it works.

BAHAHAHAHAHA.... I'll give you 1/10 stars for that. You couldn't be any more wrong.

sinetheo said,

BWAHAHA

XP is just the introductory act of what is to come. Users who are just switching to Windows 7 now will think it is brand shiny new in just 4 years when it will be time to upgrade again.

Unlike XP, Windows 7 is secure, doesn't have winrot nearly as much or at all, and with hardware much better than the 512 meg Pentium IV's of XP will perform very fast and snappy in 2020 just as much as today. SSD's will be the new norm and boot times in less than 30 seconds.

Compounded by those scarred by Modern and you will have die hards by the billions (yes billions since hundreds of millions still use XP as I type this)who will be so afraid of change and will cling to life and tie their machines by their ankles as a form of protest to prevent change. XP users do this now feeling they will let MS win from being so greedy by making them upgrade very 13 years. I am dead serious too!

In 2020 XP will still be the 3rd most popular OS. In 2030 Windows 7 will still be around.

There is no reason to ever change. It does what people need and no even a new cpu 100x faster than today won't make them type faster in MS Word. THey will keep what they have because it works.

I wonder what other wonderful tech we'll be using in 2020... Portable CD players? Palm Pilots? Blackberry 950s?

sinetheo said,

BWAHAHA

98 is just the introductory act of what is to come. Users who are just switching to Windows XP now will think it is brand shiny new in just 4 years when it will be time to upgrade again.

Unlike 98, Windows XP is secure, doesn't have winrot nearly as much or at all, and with hardware much better than the 128 meg Pentium III 's of 98 will perform very fast and snappy in 2010 just as much as today. SSD's will be the new norm and boot times in less than 30 seconds.

Compounded by those scarred by Modern and you will have die hards by the billions (yes billions since hundreds of millions still use 98 as I type this)who will be so afraid of change and will cling to life and tie their machines by their ankles as a form of protest to prevent change. 98 users do this now feeling they will let MS win from being so greedy by making them upgrade very 13 years. I am dead serious too!

In 2010 98 will still be the 3rd most popular OS. In 2020 Windows XP will still be around.

There is no reason to ever change. It does what people need and no even a new cpu 100x faster than today won't make them type faster in MS Word. THey will keep what they have because it works.


Fixed that for you.

Dot Matrix said,

I highly doubt there will be anyone with half a brain that will run Windows 7 into the ground like they did XP. If you're an admin just now getting off XP (and somehow have not been fired for it), then you should have learned your lesson. Things will have changed by 2020. Windows 7 will have been on extended support for nearly 5 years. It might not even have the latest technologies at that point.


The company I work for has ZERO plans for Windows 8/8.1 and pretty much no plans to push Windows 8/8.1 or tablets or touchscreen devices onto the majority of the users. Sure, there'll be a few niche groups who'll have a tablet and Windows 8/8.1, but the company is just now finishing up a massive hardware/software upgrade, standardizing on Windows 7, Office 2007 (yes, 2007... known issues with Office 2010/2013 working with our engineering groups) and that the latest roadmap doesn't even show Windows 8/8.1 as an offering to the end user.

I know how much you love your Windows 8, Dot Matrix, but you need to get with reality here... companies who have just made massive investments in hardware/OS upgrades are NOT going to turn around and suddenly adopt something that's untested and unproven in a controlled environment. It just might be 2020 before you see the vast majority of companies and government systems migrate to Windows 9... not 8/8.1, just as they skipped Vista.

Tal Greywolf said,

The company I work for has ZERO plans for Windows 8/8.1 and pretty much no plans to push Windows 8/8.1 or tablets or touchscreen devices onto the majority of the users. Sure, there'll be a few niche groups who'll have a tablet and Windows 8/8.1, but the company is just now finishing up a massive hardware/software upgrade, standardizing on Windows 7, Office 2007 (yes, 2007... known issues with Office 2010/2013 working with our engineering groups) and that the latest roadmap doesn't even show Windows 8/8.1 as an offering to the end user.

I know how much you love your Windows 8, Dot Matrix, but you need to get with reality here... companies who have just made massive investments in hardware/OS upgrades are NOT going to turn around and suddenly adopt something that's untested and unproven in a controlled environment. It just might be 2020 before you see the vast majority of companies and government systems migrate to Windows 9... not 8/8.1, just as they skipped Vista.

Suit yourself, but Microsoft has switched to a faster release cycle. By 2020, I could guarantee we'll be eying up the beta for whatever might be Windows 10. Admins would be foolish to let their networks stale out again like they did with XP. Things are changing both in Microsoft and out.

Dot Matrix said,

Suit yourself, but Microsoft has switched to a faster release cycle. By 2020, I could guarantee we'll be eying up the beta for whatever might be Windows 10. Admins would be foolish to let their networks stale out again like they did with XP. Things are changing both in Microsoft and out.

If Microsoft is still heading this way there won't be any Microsoft anymore.

Dot Matrix said,

Suit yourself, but Microsoft has switched to a faster release cycle. By 2020, I could guarantee we'll be eying up the beta for whatever might be Windows 10. Admins would be foolish to let their networks stale out again like they did with XP. Things are changing both in Microsoft and out.


Apparently you either failed to understand or intentionally ignored what I said.

In a corporate environment, one that requires a stable platform for a large number of applications, the need to maintain stability and reliability is more important than going with the latest. If Microsoft moves to a faster release cycle, then don't be surprised if companies switch away from Microsoft looking for a system that they can rely on for 5, 6, 7 years without significant changes. Yes, we only now are going to Windows 7, but that was because thousands of applications needed to be tested and validated for the OS... something that takes time, effort, energy and money. That is why we have no interest in Windows 8/8.1 or IE 11, it would mean having to spend another two YEARS validating the OS.

Oh, and we'll still have XP within the company... seems there are mission critical applications that don't work under Windows 7 (or Windows 8/8.1) that will require XP to be supported for a while longer.

Pretty much lol. Im glad to say we arent adopting windows 8. Not only would all the users complain and have complained because they have bought new computers and have windows 8 loaded and dont like the drastic change, but all of our hardware vendors dont support windows 8 let alone 7. Most of them just migrated to 7 earlier this year.

Sikh said,
Pretty much lol. Im glad to say we arent adopting windows 8. Not only would all the users complain and have complained because they have bought new computers and have windows 8 loaded and dont like the drastic change, but all of our hardware vendors dont support windows 8 let alone 7. Most of them just migrated to 7 earlier this year.


What kind of prehistoric hardware vendor is that?