Small businesses now have until August 12 to move to Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Embedded 8.1 Update and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update, according to a recent Microsoft blog.

The deadline extension of three months applies to users deploying the updates via WSUS, Windows Intune or System Center Configuration Manager. By moving to Windows 8.1 Update, firms will continue to receive security patches, as well as fixes and updates. The original May 12 deployment deadline still applies for consumer customers.

If you already have 'Automatic Update' turned on, you will receive the Windows 8.1 Update before May 13.

What does Windows 8.1 Update offer to small business?

With enhanced usability and super-fast speeds, Windows 8.1 Update is designed to make small firms more productive and efficient.

The enhanced operating system features enterprise-grade security and reliability.
It also includes additional features that improve the compatibility of Internet Explorer, extend policy settings for mobile device management and make installation of first-party applications easier for faster deployments across businesses.

The enhanced operating system unifies Microsoft's developer platform, the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store in a bid to synchronise app experiences across devices. This is especially significant for smaller firms, which are increasingly taking advantage of the mobility and flexibility provided by cloud.

As well as coming with even better cloud connectivity, Windows 8.1 Update is designed to work on a wider variety of devices. Therefore firms have much more to choose from, including budget-friendly laptops and tablets made by vendors such as Dell.

Updating

If you are not already running Windows 8.1, you will need help to upgrade. Small firms with PCs still running XP can take advantage of Dell Windows Migration Services which can cut costs by halving the time taken to migrate.

For more information on using Windows 8.1 Update, see our blog.