Microsoft recently announced that it has relaxed a Windows 8 certification requirement, allowing devices with lower resolutions. According to analysts, this move signals that Microsoft could be the next company in the industry to make the shift to smaller, less expensive tablets.
According to IDC Analyst Bob O’Donnell, “The sub-eight-inch part of the tablet market will be growing this year to about 55% of the entire market. Microsoft hasn’t even been playing in that segment, and they needed to do something.” Microsoft laid out all the details of the new relaxed rule in a newsletter released March 12 by its certification program. The program oversees use of the Windows logos that OEMs display on their hardware.
Microsoft made it clear in the newsletter that even though it will allow lower-resolution devices, it would still prefer that original equipment manufacturers continue to work with higher resolution screens. Microsoft also detailed that the exact specifications of the new resolution are 1,024 x 768 pixels.
According to the newsletter, “This doesn’t imply that we’re encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution. In fact, we see customers embracing the higher-resolution screens that make a great Windows experience. We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful.”
The previous stipulations of the Windows 8 certification, which also applied to Windows RT, required screens with a minimum 1,366 x 768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This lower resolution rule would allow for tablets running Windows 8 and RT to be smaller in size, comparable to Apple’s new iPad Mini.
This move by Windows is obviously an attempt to stay competitive with the two other big names in the tablet industry, Apple and Samsung. Smaller Windows 8 tablets would be able to compete against Apple’s iPad Mini and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
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