Microsoft has been missing out on a portion of the mobile device market, having smartphones and larger tablet, but not really any sort of mid-sized device. Could it be looking to do something about that? We’re asking ourselves just that question upon reading Microsoft’s Windows Certification Newsletter from a little earlier this month, announcing a new minimum resolution for Windows 8 tablets.
Instead of the 1366 x 768 which we’ve seen on tablets like the Surface RT, Microsoft will now permit OEMs to drop that down to 1024 x 768. The thing is, we’re not entirely sure this could mean significantly smaller devices, or just cheaper ones. It would definitely mean new shapes for Win8 tablets, since Microsoft has said that the aspect ratios of these screens would need to match their native resolutions – that means 4:3 in this case, like we see on the iPad.
The big consequence for this lower resolution will be the disabling off app snapping, and OEMs will have to disclose as much on the packaging for such new 1024 x 768 tablets; you can always get it back by using a high resolution enough external monitor.
Microsoft isn’t necessarily pushing OEMs to go low-res with their new designs, but notes, “partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful.”