New Windows 8.1 features include Miracast, NFC, tethering, VPN and more (update)

Windows 8.1 build 9415 TechEd 2013 Microsoft conference demo 780_wide

Although the new features and enhancements coming to Windows 8.1 benefit every market the OS is use, most of them are focus on everyday-users, but now Microsoft is relieving more features available in Windows 8.1 aimed to help businesses to be more productive and mobile.

These new additions that will be part of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 were announced by Microsoft officials at the TechEd 2013 conference in New Orleans, and they cover a range of new components that will help corporate users to work more efficiently, including networking, security and management — So here is the roundup:


  • VPN: Windows 8.1 includes an auto-triggered VPN feature that will automatically prompt the end-user when a connection of this type is needed. This feature will extend to app and third-party VPN clients.
  • Broadband tethering: Turn your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot, Windows Blue now allows other devices to connect and access the mighty internet.
  • Mobile Broadband: Now Windows 8.1 PCs can come with embedded wireless radios that can offer longer battery life, enable thinner and cheap devices.

B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device)

  • NFC tap-to-pair printing: Print wirelessly to any NFC-enabled printer with a simple tap of your Windows 8.1 device. Microsoft also noted that it’ll work with existing printers by just putting a NFC tag to it to enable the functionality.
  • Wi-Fi Direct printing: It’s about printing. You can now print to any wireless printer without installing any other drivers.
  • Native Miracast wireless display: No more cables or extra accessories, you can now pair a device and project content on secondary screen with Miracast-enabled projectors using Bluetooth or NFC.
  • Work Folders: This new feature allows you to sync a specific set of folders in the server to your Windows 8.1 PC, that way files are also available offline — Microsoft said “This syncing is natively integrated into the file system”.
  • Workplace Join: This is a feature that Microsoft added to the PC Setting (modern-UI) and let you join an Active Directory domain by simply entering a username and password.
  • New policies: These new policies give system administrators greater control over features related to the Start screen, deploy apps, and prevent users from changing unauthorized settings.


  • Remote Business Data Removal: System administrators now have the power to trigger a smart remote wipe, only to corporate data from a specific device.
  • Improved Biometrics: Now every version of Windows 8.1 will include biometric capabilities including optimization for fingerprinting.
  • Pervasive Device Encryption: Device encryption currently found in Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT is now part of all versions of Windows. It comes enabled by default and it can be configured with BitLocker protection. Microsoft said “ Consumer devices are automatically encrypted and protected when using a Microsoft account. ”
  • Malware Resistance: Windows Defender will now include “network behavior monitoring” and according to the software giant this will improve detection and provision of known and unknown malware.
  • Assigned Access: This is the Kiosk mode that we’ve learned previously. Basically, it lets you configure Windows to only run one app in full-screen and it prevents users from further access into the system. In other words your PC become a dedicated machine for only one Windows 8 app.


Internet Explorer 11: “improvements include faster page load times, side-by-side browsing of your sites, 3D graphics, enhanced pinned site notifications, reading view and app settings like favorites, tabs and settings sync across all your Windows 8.1 PCs. Internet Explorer 11 also 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.”

SEE ALSO: Windows 8.1 Preview: Highlighting everything you need know

At the TechEd 2013 conference Microsoft used Windows 8.1 build 9415.winmain.130524-1723 to demonstrate all the new features. Also this new build showed the new Start button and it had the boot-to-desktop feature enabled.

Update: Microsoft already launched a new website in preparation to the release of the new update. When you visit the website, you’ll see a big blue banner that reads: Windows 8.1 Preview is coming…, and you will also find some information on what’s coming.

Source Springboard Series Blog

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].