The software titan revealed an impressive number of features last week that it plans on implementing in Windows 8.1, its upcoming refresh of the Windows platform.
But the company used the TechEd keynote to introduce even more tools and enhancements it is developing that are specifically aimed at small to medium sized businesses. It goes without saying that Redmond is envisioning Windows 8.1 as an operating system designed for a wide array of customers.
Starting off, Windows 8.1 is said to come with NFC tap-to-pair printing, along with WiFi Direct printing and Native Miracast wireless display options. Other features like broadband tethering and auto-triggered VPN also make the cut.
As Microsoft explained in its blog post:
“Windows 8.1 advances this vision and introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and networking capabilities that will be available later this year. And our goal for Windows 8.1: offer customers the best business tablets and versatile, next generation business PCs driven by the most powerful operating system designed for modern businesses.”
Security is obviously something that is an utmost priority for most businesses, and Windows 8.1 is poised to bring in some modern access controls — like support for biometrics based on fingerprints, as well as network behavior monitoring for Window Defender.
The new operating system will also improve control of IT managers over business devices, with improved assigned access to enable a single Windows Store application on a selected unit. This feature alone will make it worth the while to upgrade for some businesses.
Additionally, the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry version specially aimed at POS systems and ATMs adds to the ecosystem. In short, Windows 8.1 is on track to really amp up the feature set not just for end users, but also small and medium sized businesses.