Windows 8 Hardware recommendations for OEMs

Microsoft discussed the new hardware recommendations for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets and slates today during the OS’s unveiling at the Computex trade-show in Taiwan. According to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Mike Angiulo Windows 8 devices manufacturers will have to follow strict hardware guidelines when building products similar to Windows Phone 7 OEMs right now. Three ARM chipset manufacturers are currently certified to for Windows 8: Qualcomm (Press Release here), Texas Intrusments (Press Release here) and NVIDIA. ODMs and OEMs will apparently (according to Acer) only be allowed to deal with one of the three SoC makers for their whole line of Win8 products.

Microsoft is also setting up a new OEM Activation 3.0 program to speed up time to market. The company is also heavily supporting the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) specification to provide a fast interface between the OS and BIOS/Firmware at boot time. The new Windows 8 HTML5 / JavaScript / CSS development platform will also include a Sensors API similar to the new one introduced in Windows Phone 7 Mango.

In terms of display support, Windows 8 will work best on 16:9 screens but will also be able to run on lower-res screen with different aspect ratios. Only a 16:9 aspect ratio will enable the snap functionality to work though: A 1024×768 4:3 display will for example only run the applications in full screen and a lower-res 1024×600 display will only run the regular Windows UI Shell (not Metro..).

An edge-to-edge glass capacitive digitizer is also required to allow the user to aces the application menus, task bar and application switching capabilities of the OS. Windows 8 has been designed so that you access all of the main features using both thumbs on the left and right of the screen. You can watch the full presentation below:

  • MobileTechWorld

    That’s the same one I embedded in the post :)

  • Nick

    oops… didn’t see that

  • ???? ???

    yes, yes, yes. Makes sense. (no sarcasm)