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Windows 8.1 – Surface Pro and WMI GPO filters for Windows 8.1 and other findings

Just put windows 8.1 enterprise on my surface pro, works lovely, boot seems faster and it ‘seems’ to run less hot when doing low-power activities like reading or web browsing. Not noticed any improvement in battery life, but the instant on seems very instant now. Again this is subjective, as it’s a fresh install it’s always going to be a little snappier.

I used the 8.1 iso from technet and installed it with Rufus as per the next article down, i should mention 8.1 seems surface aware in that there was no odd scaling after it was installed, it seemed aware of the hardware and i think i recall that the wireless worked straight off the bat which was not the case with 8.

Also, WMI GPO filters for windows 8 do not work with 8.1, for a wmi to capture both OS’s (8 and 8.1) you’ll need to change your filter to:

SELECT * FROM Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE (Version LIKE “6.2.%” OR Version LIKE “6.3.%”) AND ProductType=”1”

The existing filter did not work as they’ve changed the version numbering with this new  rapid release cadence adopted, similar to apples approach with OSX which will hopefully reduce the amount of updating a year old windows install requires.

Other findings? not much so far aside seeming snappier, more logical start screen arrangement etc, I appreciate having the start button even in it’s hobbled form as it’s so much easier when using over remote desktop no more hovering near the corner pixel…. Though I think classic shell will be going on my non-touch screen machines when they get updated.

One other thing – VMWare Workstation 9 does not install on 8.1, but VMWare 8 does, as does 10. Hopefully this will be addressed.

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