In the past we have always required that you use Hyper-V Manager on the same version of Windows as the version of Windows that you are using to run Hyper-V (i.e. Use Windows 7 to manage Windows Server 2008 R2, use Windows 8 to manage Windows Server 2012). But we have made a change with Windows 8.1.
You can use Hyper-V manager on Windows 8.1 (or on Windows Server 2012 R2) to manage either Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012. In fact, you can connect to both at the same time if you want to.
What happens is that when you connect to a new instance of Hyper-V, we check to see what the version is that we are connecting to. If it is Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 we will load the UI for that version of Hyper-V. If it is Windows 8.1 / Windows Server 2012 R2 we will load the UI for that version of Hyper-V.
Here you can see an instance of Hyper-V manager where I have connected to a number of servers:
Above; I have selected “MELPOMENE” – which is a Windows Server 2012 R2 instance of Hyper-V. You can tell that this is case because we are using the term “checkpoints”. Below; I have selected “POLYHYMNIA” – which is a Windows Server 2012 instance of Hyper-V. Here you can see that we are using the term “snapshots”.
This all happens automatically, with no configuration needed.
One issue that you should be aware of is that there are now two versions of VMCONNECT.EXE. Hyper-V Manager will always launch the correct instance for the server you are connected to – but, if you start VM Connect directly you should know that "C:\Windows\System32\vmconnect.exe” is the Windows 8.1 / Windows Server 2012 R2 version of VM Connect. While “C:\Program Files\Hyper-V\6.2\vmconnect6.2.exe” is the Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 version of VM Connect.