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Microsoft alters Windows 8 tablet specifications ahead of new 7-inch devices

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview on ViewSonic tablet
Windows 8 Consumer Preview on ViewSonic tablet

Microsoft has made a subtle change to its minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8 tablets recently. The alteration, spotted by ZDNet's Ed Bott, allows hardware makers to create Windows 8 tablets with a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768. Windows 8 has long supported this resolution, but specific tablet hardware requirements from Microsoft have prevented device manufacturers from adopting it on strictly tablet devices.

A slight caveat means that OEMs must disclose that devices at 1024 x 768 do not support Windows 8's new Snap View feature, to run apps side-by-side. Despite the forced disclosure, Microsoft's real intentions are in preparation for its Blue update later this year. A leaked build of Windows Blue has revealed that Microsoft is changing its Snap View support to let 1024 x 768 users take advantage of a 50 / 50 Snap View. The changes are all part of improved support for 7- and 8-inch form factors and Microsoft's official guidance notes that "partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful."