It can be safe to say that if you purchase any computer with Intel processors from 2011 on, it is likely to have an ME/firmware.
The Intel ME Firmware Recovery Agent is needed for updating firmware when critical security vulnerabilities have been found.
While Intel patches the firmware and makes the new releases available to OEMS, not every OEM takes the updates right away, if at all.
The agent detects new firmware (for the ME 1.5Mb and ME 5Mb images) and automatically performs the update from Intel servers.
In order for my ASrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 Z68 motherboard to support the i7 Ivy Bridge, I had to update my BIOS to the latest 2.30 version.
The confusing part of this is that it no longer strictly pertains to Intel Active Management Technology.
There are actually many new Intel technologies that make use of the ME.
It allows you to select your desired language, Windows 8.1 edition and system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).
It can be used to download following editions of Windows 8.1 OS: You can download 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) version of any Windows 8.1 edition according to your requirements.