Microsoft's Windows 8 will require certain minimum hardware on tablets, according to a recently released document.
Windows Phone came with a fairly strict set of hardware requirements for the
devices, tied to a straightforward goal: Establish a consistent user experience
across multiple manufacturers' offerings.
next big mobile effort, Windows 8 on tablets and convertible PCs, will
apparently have its own set of minimum hardware requirements, according to a
rather voluminous document
Certification Requirements") posted on a Microsoft Website. Those requirements
include at least 10GB of free space, WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + Long-Term
Evolution (LTE) for networking, minimum 1,366-by-768 screen resolution, at least
one USB 2.0 controller and exposed port, a 720p camera, and a combination of
gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer and magnetometer.
are primarily focused on consumption scenarios such as Web browsing, media and
casual gaming," reads an accompanying note. "It is likely that this form factor
will also emerge in the enterprise as a productivity PC." In light of that, it
says: "These systems are optimized for consumption and light productivity.
Requirements are based on these usage patterns."
also defines a "convertible form factor" as a PC that transforms into a tablet
once input devices such as keyboard and mouse ("pointing device") are removed.
On his Within Windows
blog (not affiliated with
Microsoft), Rafael Rivera delved further into Windows 8 requirements and found
some other points of note, including that the company will require devices to
support a minimum of five touch points (in other words, the whole hand) and
feature exactly five hardware buttons-power, rotation lock, Windows key, volume
up and volume down. Pressing the Windows key plus power will be the tablet
equivalent of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
8 tablets built atop ARM architecture apparently won't need to come alive and
resume in two seconds or less, unlike their Intel-compatible cousins. "I
suspect ARM doesn't come with this requirement because of architecture
implementation volatility," Rivera wrote, "or, more likely, that Microsoft
simply doesn't have enough data in this space."
the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show to reveal still more details
about Windows 8, which will likely appear in the second half of 2012.
want to compromise on what they have today," CEO Steve Ballmer told the
audience during his keynote, referring to the upcoming operating system's
tablet compatibility. "They want the best of what they have, and the best of
what they want."
Windows' overwhelming market share on PCs, Windows 8 will face some significant
challenges in the tablet arena, where it faces Apple's best-selling iPad in
addition to a variety of touch-screens running Google Android. Those rivals
will surely battle to prevent Windows from gaining traction among tablet users.
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