How Windows 8.1 with Bing is Different from Windows 8.1 Professional
Microsoft announced in May 2014 that it would launch a version of Windows 8.1 with a reduced set of features and capabilities. Clearly they are looking to allows OEM’s to compete with the open source OS’s especially Android.
No doubt they would like to emulate the reasons Android has remained dominant in the recent past especially in tablets:
- Lots of hardware buy in from OEM’s.
- Access to plenty of Apps.
- Having something more attractive price wise than an iPad.
I am sure Microsoft will be happy if this expands their reach especially in areas where they have been hammered in recent years by iOS and Android. Even if it does imply another nail in the coffin of RT. Products are shipping already including our own rugged tablets the xTablet Flex 10 and xTablet Flex 8
Is it much different to the Windows 8.1 that you are already used to? No.
Key Features of Windows 8.1 with Bing
- Lower price to compete with open source OS’s such as Android Chrome and Linux.
- Internet Explorer and Bing search are the default browser and search location. Whilst the manufacturer cannot mess with them as defaults users can swap to others.
- Users can load apps via the app store or load canned or custom desktop software as normal.
- Want another browser – up to the user to download and install.
- No “Side Load”. This refers to loading “app store” specifically “Start Screen apps” via non-store loading.
- Cannot upgrade to 8.1 Pro or Enterprise.
- Some commercial devices may be bundled with Microsoft Office or a one year subscription to Office 365.
Why do some Enterprise Mobility Users adopt Windows 8.1 Professional Instead.
- Company Policy.
- Security and Management.
- Bitlocker and EFS for file encryption and protection.
- Custom applications loading and management.
- Windows domain.
- Group policy – manage apps and rights by group.
- Allow use of Hyper V a way of running Windows 7 apps.
- Latest version of IE.
Windows 8.1 with Bing is similar to a tactic Microsoft used in the past to get users to adopt Windows Vista and Windows 7. Whilst these OS’s were crippled in some way 8.1 with Bing is a full install – hoorah!
Get in touch to chat about the various OS options to consider during your enterprise mobility project.