Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview ISO to be released "in the coming weeks"

On Thursday, Microsoft released the ISO file for the Windows 8.1 preview version, one day after the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 was released via the Windows Store. But what about large companies who currently have the Windows 8 Enterprise SKU installed on their PCs? As it turns out, Microsoft is recommending they wait for a little while longer to check out Windows 8.1.

In a post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog, it lists what businesses should do if they want to evaluate the preview version of Windows 8.1. For the companies that are currently running Windows 8 Enterprise on their PCs, Microsoft says:

Wait for the availability of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview ISO, which should be available in the coming weeks. Watch for an announcement on this blog when it is available.

It also mentions that for businesses that are running versions of Windows older than Windows 8 should download the current Windows 8.1 ISO preview files for evaluation, adding, "Use this with MDT 2013 or System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 to refresh existing computers, or burn to a DVD or copy to a USB key for simple installation."

Naturally we will post a link to the download page from Microsoft when the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview ISO files are released. The final version of Windows 8.1 should be released sometime later this year.

Thanks to FaiKee for the tip!

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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25 Comments

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I thought this was a post about Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview?

Microsoft really should have released the Enterprise version at the same time as 8.1 Pro Preview in my view.

I will tell you though that MS is getting better since they have already released the RSAT Preview for 8.1 which means I can load up my Admin PowerShell modules and test them with PowerShell 4.0 and also do remote Admin tasks. Sweet.

Kent

The "fake start button" is a step in the right direction (discoverable, target to aim at).
Its right-click menu is a bit cluttered, but very useful.

I think the right-click menu (try it!!) on the new "start" button, good though it is, could be improved still more.
- Make it a little PANEL, nicely laid out.
- And then it could have some submenus, or be a bit customisable.
- Why not let it open with left-click? Why only right-click?
- And it would be really nice if it could also show a list of available programs to run. Why not, it shows almost every other thing you might want to do.
- Better yet, tidy it up by allowing them to be filed into folders, to avoid mess and clutter.

Anybody agree that these would be desirable additional improvements, to aid usability?

Edited by gb8080, Jun 30 2013, 6:49pm :

Umm... many have. I work at a well-known enterprise and we upgraded all our machines a few months ago and have not seen any loss in productivity. Once you get used to the workflow (which really isn't that much different than Windows 7), it's all good.

Plus, any minor gripes are fixed in 8.1... so lots are looking forward to it.

Windows 8.1 fixes Minor gripes like?
1. Removal of Image based restore.
2. Easy creation of local accounts without unplugging LAN wire.
3. Bigger tiles

Ya forgot. Enterprises totally wanted the fake Start button.

While there may be a few that have adopted there are probably lots waiting on the release of 8.1. At our company we have adopted DirectAccess 2012 and are actively testing it with over 20 Windows 8 Tablets/Laptops. While we do not plan to standardize on Windows 8 we are really looking at Windows 8.1 Enterprise for future laptops and tablets based Intel Haswell. We are hoping that Windows 8.1 Enterprise solves some of our issues with Windows 8 and just makes other things better.

Waiting eagerly to test Windows 8.1 Enterprise. Have already deployed many 8.1 Pro Previews and things look good so now I want to test DirectAccess and Windows To Go.

Cheers

sanke1 said,
Windows 8.1 fixes Minor gripes like?
1. Removal of Image based restore.
2. Easy creation of local accounts without unplugging LAN wire.
3. Bigger tiles

1. Umm... it's not removed: Start > "recovery" > Windows 7 File Recovery (same as Windows 7 Image Backup) http://winsupersite.com/window...ndows-7-system-image-backup.

2. Not sure what you mean by that. We haven't had issues creating local accounts while being plugged in. When creating an account, you simply select "Create an account without signing in" or you can "switch to local account" if you want to disconnect an existing account.

3. The bigger tiles are optional and if you've actually watched the presentations can be very useful if you want more information without having to an open an app. There are also smaller tiles too.

Just because you don't like something doesn't mean others won't find it useful. That's the beauty of 8.1.

sanke1 said,
Windows 8.1 fixes Minor gripes like?
1. Removal of Image based restore.
2. Easy creation of local accounts without unplugging LAN wire.

wait... You really do that? Disconnect from the network to create a local account?

You really didn't see the link at the bottom of the New User screen that allows you to choose to create a local account instead of connecting with a Microsoft account?

--'

j2006 said,

1. Umm... it's not removed: Start > "recovery" > Windows 7 File Recovery (same as Windows 7 Image Backup) http://winsupersite.com/window...ndows-7-system-image-backup.

Start > "recovery" > Windows 7 File Recovery

What kind of path is that? Are you even talking about same operating system? We are talking about Windows 8.1 Preview by the way. Those relevant options have been removed from Windows Start Up Repair environment.

Now I am just hoping Microsoft will put that back in RTM of 8.1

I know few small businesses that rely on that feature as it also allows Network restore from NAS. Now we will have to rely on 3rd party solutions like clonezilla.

Circaflex said,
Since when do you have to unplug internet to create a local account? Cant tell if troll or serious.

If you are connected to the Internet during OOBE, there is no local account option provided. If a customer is blocked at the Microsoft Account step you can go back one step in OOBE and disconnect the network connection. OOBE provides an option to proceed with a local account when the PC is disconnected.

Good god, are you guys reverse trolling me or what? Please actually install Windows 8.1 Preview and then comment.

link8506 said,

wait... You really do that? Disconnect from the network to create a local account?

You really didn't see the link at the bottom of the New User screen that allows you to choose to create a local account instead of connecting with a Microsoft account?

--'

You may have not been connected to internet during initial OOBE setup. That's why you got the local account option.

Edited by d5aqoëp, Jun 30 2013, 7:19pm :

I don't think he knows anything about anything.

You can create users through computer management as well, bud.

Ignorance gives fuel for trolls.

sanke1 said,

If you are connected to the Internet during OOBE, there is no local account option provided. If a customer is blocked at the Microsoft Account step you can go back one step in OOBE and disconnect the network connection. OOBE provides an option to proceed with a local account when the PC is disconnected.

Good god, are you guys reverse trolling me or what? Please actually install Windows 8.1 Preview and then comment.

You may have not been connected to internet during initial OOBE setup. That's why you got the local account option.

Oh you were talking about the OOBE wizard in 8.1.

Indeed, MS said the current preview forces you to connect using a MS Account. But that will be different in the RTM version. (and if you add another user account in 8.1 preview, the wizard will let you add a local account).

I guess MS just wants to force power users to try Win8.1 with a MS Account because they want people to try cloud features and report bugs.
Many power users would prefer to try win8.1 with a local account, but then cloud and store features would be tested by fewer users.

sanke1 said,
Are there enterprises who have really adopted Windows 8? Baffling.
governments do. Major companies bribe the heads of IT in governments to purchase their software. Any company that upgrades to a new windows version before a service pack or a .1 release is just crazy.

Ian William said,

Have you even used Windows 8.1? The Windows Vista/7 Image Backup is apparently not included.

from Windows powershell (admin) type

"wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:d: -allcritical"

Where : is where you will save your image file.

you get the same image files as with the Windows 7 file restore.

Restore the image with help from a Windows 8.1 Dvd,

or from recovery advanced setup.

that is false even with internet recognized I can still create a local account during OOBE setup.

now for 8.1 Microsoft has already stated it would allow local creation with internet so again your complaint is incorrect.

Ian William said,

Have you even used Windows 8.1? The Windows Vista/7 Image Backup is apparently not included.

from Windows powershell (admin) type

"wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:d: -allcritical"

Where : is where you will save your image file.

you get the same image files as with the Windows 7 file restore.

Restore the image with help from a Windows 8.1 Dvd,

or from recovery advanced setup.