Windows 8.1 to include new business features

Microsoft plans to make the next version of its Windows operating system more business-friendly. A number of new features to be included in the software will focus on making it easier for employees to access company information with their own mobile products, according to PCWorld. 

Windows 8.1 will allow businesses to integrate user devices – from iPads to Windows Surface tablets – and company networks. It will be relatively easy to use as well. The source stated that the Active Directory application can access Microsoft's cloud program – Windows Azure – that will provide rapid authentication for a given device

If a company has their own Windows-based app, it will be able to be downloaded onto an employee's Windows OS-powered product with the next update of the software.

Another way in which the software company is promoting the bring-your-own-device movement is by enabling a partitioned approach to data wiping, PCWorld noted. In the event that an employee's personal device is lost or stolen, Windows 8.1 will allow IT managers to remotely wipe only company data but not personal information in case the phone or tablet is eventually recovered. 

Network features
ZDNet reported that there are also a number of new features regarding network functions that will be included in Windows 8.1. Users will now have the ability to access printing capabilities using Near Field Communication (NFC). By just tapping a mobile device on an NFC printer, workers can now easily print documents from their devices. This eliminates the need to import documents to a computer or purchase a different, specialized printer. Also, users will be able to access WiFi printers with the new version. 

The source noted that Microsoft also plans to simplify the process for logging in Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). With Windows 8.1, workers will be able to sign into applications that require VPN access with a new one-click feature, regardless of the VPN being used. 

For some tech professionals, a number of features in the latest version of Windows may seem unfamiliar. However, online Microsoft training courses are available for IT experts that want to brush up on the latest features. 

Web-based classes are a viable alternative to traditional classroom courses. Some online course providers offer guaranteed lessons that will take place regardless of enrollment. Some face-to-face training sessions are often canceled due to a lack of participation, which can be frustrating for IT workers looking to hone their skills. 

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