Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview (Build 9431) - A Review
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is a pre-release version of Windows 8.1, the first major update to Windows 8, that was released by Microsoft on June 26, 2013. It is intended for IT professionals and developers who want to test the new features and improvements of Windows 8.1 before its official release. In this article, we will review some of the key aspects of Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, such as its system requirements, installation process, new features, and expiration date.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is available in three architectures: x86 (32-bit), x64 (64-bit), and ARM32. The system requirements for each architecture are as follows:
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Hard Disk Space
1 GHz or faster
DirectX 9 or higher with WDDM driver
1 GHz or faster with PAE, NX, and SSE2 support
DirectX 9 or higher with WDDM driver
ARMv7 processor that supports Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0
In addition, a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels is required to access the Windows Store and run apps. A screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768 pixels is required to snap apps side by side. A touch screen is required to use touch gestures.
To install Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, you need to download the ISO image file from the official Microsoft website or from other sources. You can then burn the ISO image to a DVD or create a bootable USB flash drive using tools such as Rufus or Windows USB/DVD Download Tool. You can also mount the ISO image as a virtual drive using tools such as Virtual CloneDrive or Daemon Tools Lite.
Before installing Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, you should back up your important data and create a recovery disk or drive for your current operating system. You should also check the compatibility of your hardware and software with Windows 8.1 using the Windows Compatibility Center or the Upgrade Assistant.
You can install Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview as an upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows RT, or as a clean install on a new or formatted partition. You can also install it on a virtual machine using software such as VirtualBox or VMware Workstation.
During the installation process, you will be asked to enter a product key. You can use the following product key for Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F. You will also be asked to choose your language, region, keyboard layout, and network settings. You can then customize your account name, picture, color scheme, and password.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview introduces many new features and improvements over Windows 8, such as:
- Start button: The Start button is back on the desktop taskbar, which allows you to access the Start screen or the Apps view with a single click or tap. You can also right-click or press and hold the Start button to access a menu with options such as Shut down, Restart, Control Panel, Task Manager, and more. - Start screen: The Start screen has been redesigned with more customization options, such as different tile sizes, colors, backgrounds, and animations. You can also group and name your tiles, and pin desktop apps and folders to the Start screen. You can also access a list of all your apps by swiping up from the bottom of the screen or clicking the down arrow button. - Snap view: You can now snap up to four apps side by side on the same screen, and adjust the size of each app according to your preference. You can also snap apps across multiple monitors, and use different resolutions for each monitor. - Search: The Search feature has been enhanced with Bing integration, which allows you to search across your PC, the web, and the cloud with a single query. You can also see rich results with images, videos, maps, and more. You can also access the Search feature from anywhere by swiping from the right edge of the screen or pressing the Windows logo key + Q. - Settings: The Settings feature has been expanded with more options and categories, such as Network, Personalize, Accounts, Privacy, and more. You can also access the Settings feature from anywhere by swiping from the right edge of the screen or pressing the Windows logo key + I. - SkyDrive: SkyDrive is now deeply integrated with Windows 8.1, which allows you to sync your files and settings across your devices and access them offline. You can also use SkyDrive to backup your PC and restore it from any device. - Internet Explorer 11: Internet Explorer 11 is the default web browser in Windows 8.1, which offers faster performance, better compatibility, and more features, such as unlimited tabs, Reading view, Reading list, Enhanced Protected Mode, and more. You can also use Internet Explorer 11 in both desktop mode and app mode. - Apps: Windows 8.1 comes with many built-in apps that have been updated and improved, such as Mail, Calendar, People, Photos, Music, Video, News, Weather, Sports, Travel, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, and more. You can also download more apps from the Windows Store, which has been redesigned with more categories, recommendations, and reviews. - Enterprise features: Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview also includes some exclusive features for IT professionals and developers, such as Windows To Go Creator, which allows you to create a portable version of Windows 8.1 on a USB drive; Assigned Access, which allows you to lock down a device to run only one app; Workplace Join, which allows you to join a corporate network without a domain; Work Folders, which allows you to sync your work files across your devices; and more. Expiration Date
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is a pre-release version of Windows 8.1 that will expire on January 15, 2014. After that date, you will not be able to use Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview anymore. You will also not be able to upgrade from Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview to the final version of Windows 8.1 or any other version of Windows. Therefore, you should install Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview only on a test device or a virtual machine that you do not use for your daily work or personal activities.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is a pre-release version of Windows 8.1 that offers many new features and improvements over Windows 8. It is intended for IT professionals and developers who want to test the new features and improvements of Windows 8.1 before its official release. However, it is not a final product and may contain bugs and errors that may affect your experience. It will also expire on January 15, 2014 and cannot be upgraded to any other version of Windows. Therefore, you should install Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview only on a test device or a virtual machine that you do not use for your daily work or personal activities.