updated 01:40 pm EST, Tue January 17, 2012
Windows 8 tablet requirements exposed
A scouring of Microsoft's Windows 8 hardware requirements document has uncovered very specific conditions for Windows 8 tablets. Every slate will need at least a 1366x768 display with five-point multi-touch, ruling out the cheaper displays used on some Windows 7 tablets. In a symbolic change of the times, the company will also require that the familiar Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut for managing logins and the OS be replaced with a Windows Key-plus-power command instead.
Tablets will have no more than five buttons beyond any keyboard they might have, including the Windows Key and basic volume, power, and rotation controls. They will also need UEFI firmware where it's optional on the desktop, at least a 720p camera, and a host of sensors for movement and light. At least Bluetooth 4.0 and one "exposed" USB 2.0 port will be present, and any NFC-equipped tablet will have to have a clear marker indicating where it has to get into contact to handle a transfer.
In software, Microsoft will bar graphics drivers that force the tablet to reboot for an update. Owners will also have to have at least 10GB of free drive space by the time the tablet is completely ready to use.
Microsoft has always set hardware requirements for Windows, but until now it has only seldomly had to address physical interface issues. The lack of conditions has hurt Windows 7's chances in the tablet space, since many of the tablets often miss out on sensors, complex multi-touch, or other features that iPads, Android tablets, and other take for granted. [via Within Windows]