Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM Now Available To Volume License Customers

Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM Now Available To Volume License Customers

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One thing that we’ve made clear over the last few months, beginning with TechEd North America, TechEd Europe, WPC and in conversations with customers: Windows 8.1 is designed with businesses in mind. Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM comes with a host of new capabilities only available in the Enterprise edition, as well as new industry-leading security features.

Beginning today, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM. This also includes access for Volume License (VL) customers with an active Software Assurance (SA) agreement, as you receive a TechNet subscription as part of SA.

Preparing Your Organization to Migrate to Windows 8.1 Enterprise

As we mentioned when we originally announced RTM back in late August, we talked about how we are moving forward with a rapid release cycle for Windows. If you have not started, begin your Windows 8.1 planning today. We encourage you to evaluate Windows 8.1 RTM bits to get a jump start on your deployment planning, using it with the new deployment tools that are already available to create a fully-functional model of the deployment processes that you will use once Windows 8.1 Enterprise is generally available on October 18*.

As my colleague Steve Guggenheimer shared this past week, the primary objective in making Windows 8.1 RTM bits available on TechNet and MSDN is so developers and businesses can continue testing the latest version of the operating system as our engineering teams refine and update the product and tools in preparation for Windows 8.1 general availability. And once GA bits are available, you will be ready to conduct final testing and begin your deployment of Windows 8.1. Testing your operating system for compatibility with existing applications and better understanding what needs to be done to migrate your business – especially for those organizations still on Windows XP – is paramount.

Businesses that are still running Windows XP need to accelerate testing and migration to a modern operating system – like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 – as soon as possible before end of support occurs on April 8, 2014. If you are currently deploying Windows 7, begin evaluating Windows 8.1 for all devices, including touch and mouse and keyboard options.

As business customers evaluate versions of Windows 8.1, we’ve just posted an updated feature grid comparing the Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise SKUs for reference as you’re evaluating Windows 8.1 for your business. That said, we strongly encourage business customers to evaluate Windows 8.1 Enterprise, which supports the premium features designed to address the mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization needs of enterprises. For all devices currently running Windows 8 and for those of you who are testing Windows 8.1, use Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM as another opportunity to evaluate the operating system so you can start your official migration when Windows 8.1 Enterprise GA becomes available on October 18.

And with the new business PCs recently announced at IFA earlier this month, we also recommend businesses start targeting Windows 8.1 touch PCs for their hardware refresh planning, as well as evaluate Windows 8.1 for all device form factors.

Additional Information About Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM Availability

To make sure that our Volume License customers running Windows 8 can experience the great benefits Windows 8.1 has to offer, organizations that acquired Windows 8 Pro through a VL agreement are licensed for Windows 8.1 Pro even if their SA expired prior to the GA release of Windows 8.1 Pro. This does not apply to Windows 8 Enterprise; you must have active SA for the Windows desktop operating system to have rights to Windows 8.1 Enterprise licenses. Windows 8.1 for production use (Pro and Enterprise) will be available through the VLSC on October 18 and for new customers to purchase through Microsoft Volume License Resellers beginning November 1.

We’re excited about this next step as we approach Windows 8.1 GA next month. So please, download Windows 8.1 RTM via TechNet or MSDN today to start testing the operating system in your organizations.

* Starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am on October 17th in Redmond).

18 Comments
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  • dao175
    0 Posts

    I have searched in VLC but no 8.1 available..

    So I called Microsoft, they said middle of october..

    chears

  • dabiebo
    0 Posts

    Hello,

    you talked about testing and preparing the organization for W8.1 Enterprise.

    But are any Information about activation available? What to prepare about KMS?

    Current 8.1 Enterprise is not able to activate by a KMS which already in place for Windows 8 activation.

    Is an update necessary for the KMS Server?

    Will there a new key available for 8.1 activation?

    Please any official Information.

    thx

    Daniel

  • JDinKC
    0 Posts

    For those of us with SA, but who have not activated TechNet Direct Plus before the September 1st 2013 date, is there a way to activate TechNet Direct Plus any more?  All I get is an error, and we have had SA for well over 7 years, but never needed to use TechNet Direct Plus, so we never activated it.

    It would be better if we could just get this through VLSC, since TechNet subscripts were supposed to be retired anyway, and since no one seems to think it important to put Enterprise editions on MSDN, which we have an active account on.

  • Thank you for clearing up the instructions. However when I click my license-id in step 4 in constantly recieves an "We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please close the browser and try again". How should I proceed?

  • , , , and - yes the bits are there and are available.

    My apologies for the confusion. The instructions included in my previous comment on this were incorrect. I was able to go get educated on how this should work for VL customers with Software Assurance.

    As part of SA, you get access to TechNet Chat and Newsgroups *as well as* a TechNet Plus Direct subscription. The TechNet Plus Direct subscription is where you will find the bits.

    Please note that only one person within your organization can be assigned access to your company's TechNet Plus Direct subscription (and has access to the downloads).

    If you are not that person who is assigned - you will not have access to the downloads.

    To determine who from your company the TechNet Plus Direct subscription is assigned to within an agreement (for subscriptions already activated):

    1. Sign into VLSC.

    2. Select Software Assurance from the top menu.

    3. Click on TechNet Plus Direct Subscription. This will take you to the Software Assurance Benefit Details Page.

    4. Click on the LicenseID for which you want to manage TechNet Plus Direct subscription. This will take you to another summary page.

    5. Click on TechNet Plus Direct Subscription under Activated Benefits.

    If you have not activated your TechNet Plus Direct subscription for your company as part of your Software Assurance agreement:

    1. Sign into VLSC.

    2. Select Software Assurance from the top menu.

    3. Click on TechNet Plus Direct Subscription. This will take you to the Software Assurance Benefit Details Page.

    4. Click on the LicenseID for which you want to manage TechNet Plus Direct subscription. This will take you to another summary page.

    5. Select TechNet Plus Direct Subscription.

    6. Enter contact information and applicable domains for your organization.

    7. Click Activate Benefit.

    To reiterate - these instructions are for VL customers with an active Software Assurance agreement.

  • ok, but paragraph two here:

    Beginning today, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM. This also includes access for Volume License (VL) customers with an active Software Assurance (SA) agreement, as you receive a TechNet subscription as part of SA.

    Leads me to believe its available....  oh well, It's not like I have nothing else to do.

  • mkeehn
    0 Posts

    Thanks JorgTheElder. That's what I thought, but it seems like a number of the reports about the download being available aren't very clear. I'll try to stay patient until 10/18.

  • TechNet subscriptions that come from SA are 'Forum and Chat' only. No downloads!

  • Good news hopefully, although I have some questions:

    1) I am using win 8 ent + visual studio 2012 which was acquired as part of a now expired msdn open value agreement; from the above it seems that " organizations that acquired Windows 8 Pro through a VL agreement are licensed for Windows 8.1 Pro even if their SA expired prior to the GA release of Windows 8.1 Pro" applies and I am able to get  8.1 pro - is this so and will this be available also via the store?

    2) How do I benefit from 8.1 pro from 8 enterprise - can I convert this to 8.1 pro without  a reinstall?

    3) Additionally I bought a new pc with an oem win 8 std installed, which I upgraded to 8 pro using the msdn version, is this possible to upgrade for free to 8.1?

    thanks

    Andrew

  • mkeehn
    0 Posts

    Brandon, I have activated my "TechNet SA Subscription Service" through my Volume License, but when I log in to TechNet it says that I don't have any subscription associated with the account. Are you certain that this should work? On the account page it shows my subscription benefits as Priority Support in TechNet Forums and TechNet Online Chat. Should I have more than that?

  • and -  The Windows 8.1 Enterprise bits will not be available in VLSC until Oct 18. In the meantime, if you have SA you should leverage your TechNet subscription to gain access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise through TechNet.

    To activate your TechNet subscription:

    1. Sign into VLSC

    2. Click the “Software Assurance” tab

    3. Click the “TechNet SA Subscription Service” link

    4. Follow instructions to activate your TechNet Subscription

  • I'm in the same boat. I'm looking at my Volume Licensing site in the Software Assurance section and all I see is Windows 7 and Windows 8. No Windows 8.1.

  • I checked and I do have SA, I see all other products but I still don't see Windows 8.1 listed. :(

  • Brandon, how can I tell which agreement I have?  I do have access to sign into VLSC.  I can download other products but I don't see Windows 8.1 yet.

  • - that is my understanding, yes but I am double checking on that.

  • - Hi Harry, are you a VL customer with an active Software Assurance agreement? if so, you should be able to sign in to TechNet to download Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM. If you don't have an active Software Assurance agreement, see the above blog post re: bits becoming available through the VLSC.

  • yuhong
    5 Posts

    Will the full version be available via Volume Licensing?

  • Hello,

    I signed in to my Volume License account but it doesn't appear to be available for download yet.  Any idea what time it will be available?

    Thank You,

    Harry Caskey