Microsoft lowers Windows 8 resolution requirements, Enables ‘Snap Mode’ on low rez devices in Windows Blue

When it comes to Windows 8, the official resolution for tablets made specifically for Windows 8 was 1366×768 or higher. That said, Windows 8 Modern apps could run on 1024×768 displays, but snap couldn’t and Microsoft didn’t want to push out devices with this resolution for that reason.

Things change, though. It seems that Windows 8 now has changed its minimum requirements to 1024×768 for Windows tablets, which means a vendor could release something with such a low resolution without a problem.

Microsoft’s statement said they weren’t encouraging PC OEM makers to use this lower resolution but understand that “partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful”.

Translation: Microsoft is preparing for the 7 and 8-inch tablet market.

Let’s face it, no 10-inch form factor in the year 2013 is going to ship with a 1024×768 display I’d wager, unless it is an ULTRA-BUDGET device. A 7 or 8-inch device with this low of a resolution? Yah, that’s actually a pretty common resolution still for these form factors.

Not convinced that change is coming to Windows 8 and beyond? A few days ago it was revealed that Windows Blue allows snap mode (which allows you to run two apps at a time) to work on 1024×768 displays, no longer limiting it to devices with 1366×768 resolutions.

With Windows Blue snap allowing you to have a 50/50 split ratio, it could actually work reasonably well even on smaller screen devices.

Who will be the first to debut a Windows 7 or 8-incher?

I’m pretty much 99% certain that smaller tablets are coming this year, it just wouldn’t make since to wait any longer than they have to. It is also very likely the first tablets with this form factor will either arrive right before Windows Blue or right when it launches.

What we don’t know is who will create the first device to act as a sort of flagship for other smaller Windows tablets. The Surface is certainly a likely candidate, but there is plenty of rumors that Nokia has been working on a tablet as well and considering their strong partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone devices – they would make sense as a partner, too.

If Windows tablets start surfacing later this year with 7 and 8-inch form factors and prices that are sub-$300, would you be interested or not? Share your thoughts below.

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