Windows 8.1 Update - What System Admins need to know

About 6 months after Windows 8.1 has been generally available Microsoft is ready to release an update. The release, affectionately known as just Windows 8.1 Update, will be released as part of the upcoming Patch Tuesday on April 8th. For system administrators there are few details that are good to know.

  • The update has one dependency,  which needs to be installed before the Windows 8.1 Update
  • Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11 will be introduced for better web app compatibility
  • Expanded Mobile Device Management support with integration partners like AirWatch
  • Enterprise Sideloading - The ability to install Modern apps using internal management infrastructure, bypassing the Windows Store
  • Windows 8.1 Update is a cumulative update to Windows 8.1, containing all the updates released for Windows 8.1
  • On April 14th updated Windows 8.1 images will be made available to all volume license customers via the Volume License Service Center to include the Update
  • This update will be a requirement for all new patches. Come May if you don't have Update installed you won't obtain the new round of patches (Organizations managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates)

In the IT field we can consider this equivalent to a service pack with no need to change major infrastructure or support systems. We have seen some major changes starting with Windows 8.0. Microsoft is listening to the business community and responding to the criticism. This Update is another small step to a refined business operating system.

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