Category: Windows 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 Mobile Device Management Overview


Most organizations are aware that they need to secure corporate data and minimize risks if mobile devices are lost or stolen. Many of those same organizations are adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to enable employees to use personally owned devices (smartphones) to access corporate information and services. Just as desktop and laptop devices require ongoing management and support, smartphones require the same or an even higher level of management, and smartphones are often at greater risk because they are easy to lose and commonly used in public places.

A Mobile Device Management (MDM) system can reduce the support costs and security risks of such situations while improving individual user productivity. In fact, most MDM systems can help you manage devices and apps running on mobile devices regardless of whether they connect directly to your company’s intranet, public Wi-Fi hotspots, or over cellular data services.

Originally, MDM systems were designed as self-service, portal-focused solutions. Today, those systems are more IT and admin-centric solutions, with MDM system deployment models possible solely on premises, solely in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.

Windows Intune is a cloud-based MDM system that organizations can use to manage devices on or off premises. Similarly, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager is an on-premises MDM system that can also manage devices on or off premises. You can use System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and Windows Intune together to create a comprehensive management solution for mobile and stationary devices and services.

Check out the full Windows-Phone-8-1-MDM-Overview


August updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 8.56.57 PM

In April, we released a bigger, more comprehensive package of improvements to Windows 8.1 called the Windows 8.1 Update. We did the same for Server too, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Update. As we said at the time, our goal is to continue to deliver improvements to Windows through regular updates in order to respond more quickly to customer and partner feedback. After all, we already have a regular monthly update process that includes security and non-security updates.

With the above in mind, rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of “Update Tuesday.” So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 “Update 2.”

We’ll continue to use our normal channels such as Windows Update (WU), Microsoft Update (MU), and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to deliver updates to Windows. These updates will include security updates to help keep you protected, as well as non-security updates that can bring a range of improvements to your PC or tablet running Windows. Examples of some of these non-security updates are the Windows Store Refresh in May and the June update to OneDrive to improve your control of sync. Some of these improvements might be more visible or even new features, while others might be more “behind-the-scenes” that improve things like the performance and reliability of your device. With these monthly updates, we continue to refine and improve Windows 8.1 in a more nimble way, creating a richer experience for all Windows customers.

Following are some of the new features and improvements included in the August 12th Update Tuesday:

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

This update will be delivered automatically via WU and optional through WSUS. Enterprises can take the update anytime. Further details on the update will be included here on August 12th.

For current Windows 8.1 consumers who have elected automatic updates, the rollout will be gradual to ensure all customers receive the update in a timely manner. Those who wish to install the update ahead of automatic updates may do so beginning August 12th manually via Windows Update.

As you might expect, we’re taking the same approach to deliver improvements to Windows Server 2012 R2 as well – go here for additional information.

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Download Windows 8.1 August Update x86
Download Windows 8.1 August Update x64