Microsoft: Businesses should plan their Windows 8.1 deployments now

Today, Microsoft released the preview version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise, made mostly for business users. Microsoft says that IT employees who want to get their PCs upgraded to Windows 8.1 should go ahead and download today's preview version to jump start their plans to deploy Windows 8.1 when the final version is released later this year.

In a new blog post, Microsoft says that businesses that already have Windows 8 Enterprise installed on their PCs should have a quick experience when deploying Windows 8.1. It states:

You can leverage a fully-automated process to update existing Windows 8 systems. This process can be initiated using any software distribution or management tool, just by running “setup.exe /auto:upgrade” from the Windows 8.1 installation files. This time required to perform this update process varies based on computer and network performance, with the fastest configurations taking around 15 minutes. Typical update times will depend on your environment, so test it out in your lab to see how long it will take for you.

For businesses that have Windows XP, Vista or 7 installed on their computers, Microsoft will offer the Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8.1, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013, and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager when the final version of Windows 8.1 is made available to smooth the transition.

Microsoft says that nearly all PCs that currently run Windows 7 or 8 should also be able to run Windows 8.1. It also expects a high percentage of current desktop apps to work under Windows 8.1, as well as most of the current Windows 8 Modern apps. If Windows 8.1 is being deployed on Windows XP PCs, Microsoft says that IT workers should allow for a "prudent level of app testing" before making the full switch.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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