Similar to the release of Windows 8 and Server 2012, Microsoft Press is again providing a free ebook to prepare IT Professionals for an updated operating system, in this case, Windows 8.1. The ebook is titled Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals and is written by Ed Bott and freely available for download. It is currently available in PDF format with Mobi and ePub formats coming soon, according to the announcement blog post.
With Windows 8.1 reaching general availability this Friday, there’s no time like the present to dive into the new features. If you prefer a physical copy of your books, you can pre-order Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals on Amazon.
You can download the PDF version and check for the other formats here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2013/10/14/free-ebook-introducing-windows-8-1-for-it-professionals.aspx
The book’s introduction:
It’s difficult to believe that Windows 8 was introduced only a year ago, and yet today its successor, Windows 8.1, is ready for widespread adoption. By Microsoft’s standards, that is warp speed. And it is a tribute to the developers who designed and built Windows 8 and 8.1 that they have been able to sustain that pace and deliver such a polished product.
The Windows 8 product line represents a radical departure for Microsoft. A new user experience. A new app platform. New security features and new management tools. If you’re an IT pro, you have the daunting job of helping your users adapt to the newness of Windows 8.1 while you try to stay at least one step ahead.
Although I’ve written in-depth guides to Windows in the past, this book is not one of those. Nor do I pretend to offer much in the way of opinions or review. Only you can decide whether and how and when to incorporate Windows 8.1 into your enterprise, based on your own organizational requirements.
My goal in this book is to help you on that upgrade path by presenting the facts and features about Windows 8.1 as clearly as I can. If you’ve been living in an environment built around a previous version of Windows, you have a lot to absorb in the transition to Windows 8.1. I’ve tried to lay out those facts in as neutral a fashion as possible, starting with an overview of the operating system, explaining the many changes to the user experience, and diving deep into deployment and management tools where it’s necessary.
By design, this book focuses on things that are new, with a special emphasis on topics of interest to IT pros. So you might find fewer tips and tricks about the new user experience than your users want but more about management, deployment, and security—which ultimately is what matters to the long-term well-being of the company you work for.