Windows 8.1, the latest operating system to come from the Redmond offices is set for official launch next month. October 18 has been set as the day the new OS will hit general availability.

And in order to ensure that as many businesses try out the newest version of Windows, Microsoft has just announced the availability of Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM for Volume License customers that have an active Software Assurance subscription.

In simpler terms, the RTM version of the enterprise flavor of Windows 8.1 is now available to users and subscribers of the TechNet and MSDN services.

Microsoft announced the news in a post on the official Windows blog, and took the opportunity to talk about the advantages of deploying Windows 8.1 in an enterprise environment. The company claims that the new OS includes several premium features designed for business users.

These new enhancements, Redmond says, are in the vital areas like mobile productivity, manageability, virtualization and security requirements of enterprises. The technology titan further adds:

“To make sure that our Volume License customers running Windows 8 can experience the great benefits Windows 8.1 has to offer, organizations that acquired Windows 8 Pro through a VL agreement are licensed for Windows 8.1 Pro even if their SA expired prior to the GA release of Windows 8.1 Pro.

This does not apply to Windows 8 Enterprise; you must have active SA for the Windows desktop operating system to have rights to Windows 8.1 Enterprise licenses.”

Both the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 8.1 will be ready and available for production use via the Volume Licensing Service Center on October 18. New Volume License customers, on the other hand, can buy it from Microsoft Volume License Resellers starting November 1.

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