Microsoft has quietly changed the minimum display requirement for manufacturers to place the Windows 8 logo on their products. While earlier it would require a display to have a minimum of 1366 x 768 pixels to justify its association with Windows 8, the same has now been reduced to 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits. This could pave the way for manufacturers to start offering smaller tablets with 7 or 8 inch displays running Win 8. While there is no stopping tablet makers from launching a smaller tablet with a 1366 x 768 display, 7 inch tablets with that resolution are often prohibitively expensive and don’t do well on the market. Most tablets in this genre boasts of a cheap price tag of around $199 or so. No wonder there haven’t been any Win 8 tablets so far that offer a display of less than 10.1 inches.
However, before we start to celebrate the prospect of smaller and hopefully cheaper tablets running Win 8, there will be a few compromises to be made. We may have to give up on a few unique features. These include Windows Snap, which enables two Windows Store apps to be viewed simultaneously. Microsoft has stated in its Windows Certification Newsletter that all companies that wish to make the best of the changed scenario will have to clearly mention what features their devices will not be able to support.
The Win 8 operating system has given birth to a whole new segment of hybrid tablet devices, which are tablets with attachable keypad units that combine to form a notepad. Typically, they also cost much more than what the average tablet buyer would like to spend. Also, with the focus seemingly shifting towards the smaller tablets, which are a lot more affordable and portable, Microsoft would be stupid not to create a presence in that market. What remains to be seen now is how manufacturers respond to the scenario. HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and others have all launched low cost Android tablets and maybe a Windows 8 version is next. Word on the street is that a smaller Win 8 based tablet from Barnes & Noble might also be in the making. Or maybe a low cost version of the Surface tablets with a 7-8 inch display. However, what is almost a surety is that manufacturers will most likely wait till Microsoft launches the nest Windows iteration, Blue, before venturing in the low cost Windows 8 tablet game. Microsoft Blue is due out this summer.