What’s New in Windows 8.1 (http://www.microsoft.com)
Microsoft built Windows 8 to bring a modern computing experience to businesses and to help professionals stay connected to their colleagues and clients from anywhere, anytime. Windows 8.1 advances this vision and introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and networking capabilities–with the goal of offering customers the best business tablets and versatile modern business PCs driven by the most powerful operating system designed for today’s modern businesses.
Here are the Security Enhancements off of the Microsoft site:
Remote Business Data Removal
Corporations now have more control over corporate content which can be marked as corporate, encrypted, and then be wiped when the relationship between the corporation and user has ended. Corporate data can now be identified as corporate vs. user, encrypted, and wiped on command using EAS or EAS + OMA-DM protocol. This capability is requires implementation in the client application and in the server application (Mail + Exchange Server). The client application determines if the wipe simply makes the data inaccessible or actually deletes it.
All versions of Windows 8.1 include end to end biometric capabilities that enable authenticating with your biometric identity anywhere in Windows (Windows sign-in, remote access, User Account Control, etc.). Windows 8.1 is optimized for fingerprint based biometrics and includes a common fingerprint enrollment experience that works with a variety of readers (touch, swipe). Modern readers are touch-based rather than swipe-based and include liveliness detection that prevents spoofing (e.g.: silicon emulated fingerprints). Access to Windows Store Apps, functions within them, and certificate release can be controlled based on verification of a user’s biometric identity.
Pervasive Device Encryption
Device encryption previously found on Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 is now available in all editions of Windows. It is enabled out of the box and can be configured with additional BitLocker protection and management capability on Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise. Consumer devices are automatically encrypted and protected when using a Microsoft account. Data on any Windows connected standby device is automatically protected (encrypted) with device encryption. Organizations that need to manage encryption can easily take add additional BitLocker protection options and manageability to these devices.
Improved Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer 11 improvements include faster page load times, side-by-side browsing of your sites, enhanced pinned site notifications, and app settings like favorites, tabs and settings sync across all your Windows 8.1 PCs. Internet Explorer 11 now includes capability that enables an antimalware solution to scan the input for a binary extension before it’s passed onto the extension for execution
Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free antivirus solution in Windows 8, now includes network behavior monitoring to help detect and stop the execution of known and unknown malware. Internet Explorer scans binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the antimalware solution before potentially harmful code is executed.
With Assigned Access, a new feature offered in Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Enterprise, you can enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device. This can be things like a learning application for kids in an educational setting or a customer service application at a boutique, Assigned Access can ensure the device is delivering the intended experience. In the Windows Embedded 8.1 industry product, we deliver additional lockdown capabilities to meet the needs of industry devices like point of sale systems, ATMs, and digital signs.
(Continue reading at http://www.microsoft.com)
My Two Cents: I was very disappointed with Windows 8 Pro, however I am not as disappointed with Windows 8.1 Pro. I can see using this version of Windows in my production environment after more testing. I believe Windows 8.1 Pro is a step in the right direction..