If you thought Windows 8.1 Preview was soaking up all the attention at this year’s BUILD then make room for the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Preview that has just been released.

Microsoft has unleashed an early beta build of its industrial OS, which allows developers, enterprise customers and OEMs to start testing their current and upcoming embedded device products ahead of the final version of the operating system that is on track for release later this year.

As you may recall, the final version of Windows Embedded 8 Industry was actually launched less than three months ago. This new upgrade to the OS is part of the companywide Blue initiative at Redmond.

The company announced the features of Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry in a press release where it highlighted the improvements and additions made to the platform.

According to Kevin Dallas, the general manager of Windows Embedded at Microsoft:

“With Windows 8.1, we have focused strategy around ensuring our enterprise customers, partners, developers and entire ecosystem can fully harness the opportunities with Windows across a range of devices and service scenarios.

This should really benefit developers targeting the Internet of Things and intelligent system solutions, allowing them to include everything from PCs and tablets to industry devices tailored for unique industry needs, bringing them all together to help enterprises drive intelligence with the latest Microsoft technologies.”

Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry will extend flexibility and lockdown capabilities that are enabled by the Unified Write Filter, Keyboard Filter, USB Filter and Gesture Filter to ensure a consistent device configuration.

It will also have enhanced support for using Windows 8 apps, while adding hardware support for products like magnetic stripe readers and barcode scanners.

Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Release Preview is available for download here at this link. Microsoft is also on track to release Windows Embedded 8.1 Pro later this year.

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