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Thanks to a host of new features, Microsoft’s new Windows 8.1 operating system could hit the sweet spot for small business owners.
The full retail version of Windows 8.1 is slated for an Oct. 18 release.
The major update has been hailed as the return of the classic Start button in the bottom left-hand corner of your desktop. Other anticipated features include the ability to boot straight to your desktop instead of to Microsoft’s new “modern” full-screen Start menu, expanded compatibility and an updated file explorer.
If those basic upgrades aren’t enough, a bevy of upgrades to the operating system’s networking, security and management features might persuade small business owners to make the switch.
Windows 8.1 supports Near-Field Communication (NFC) tap-to-pair printing, letting users tap a Windows 8.1 device against an NFC-enabled printer to print a document. The OS also lets users pair PCs with Wi-Fi Direct printers without installing extra drivers or software.
It also now supports broadband tethering, allowing users to turn a Windows 8.1 PC or tablet into a mobile hotspot so business owners can stay connected on all of their devices.
Meanwhile, the update adds new user authentication options, including support for fingerprint-scanning devices to keep your company’s files safe and secure.
Windows 8.1 also includes new features to help business owners manage devices issued to employees. The update finally lets you control and tweak the Start menu layout across company devices and even within individual work groups, and it adds features to ensure only trusted devices can access secured company servers.
Business owners can even remotely wipe company data on devices while leaving a user’s personal files intact for more flexible “bring your own device” scenarios.
Windows 8.1 hits Thursday for $119, while Windows 8.1 Pro retails for $199. Current Windows 8 users can upgrade for free.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.