We still don’t know when Windows 8 will be released, however today we can finally reveal some of the operating system’s requirements, this in-turn tells us quite a lot about what to expect from the first Windows 8-based tablets and some limitations it may have.
According to WithinWindows.com it looks like Microsoft have quite a few demands in regards to what hardware needs to be within any tablet which runs Windows 8 and features it must boast, firstly there will need to needs to be at least five buttons on the device, these are for power, volume up / volume down, rotation lock and just like Windows Phone 7 there needs to be a Windows key – Microsoft specifically say that the Windows key must be no less than 10.5 mm in diameter and have also stated that the CTRL + ALT + DEL function will be replaced by pressing the Windows key and power button simultaneously.
In terms of internal hardware there must be at least one USB 2.0 port, speakers, Bluetooth 4.0, WLAN, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, speakers, Bluetooth 4.0 and a multitouch display which supports at least 5 touch points. Microsoft has also said that any camera which features on a Windows 8 tablet must be 720p or better and the touchscreen display must output at no less than 1366 x 768.
It looks like Microsoft is also keen to support NFC. Apparently all devices which run Windows 8 and offer NFC will require “touch marks”, this sounds posh, but all it means is that hardware manufacturers will have to mark where the NFC contact can be made (we’re sure that this most companies will put this somewhere on a tablet’s rear cover so you can easily tap two NFC devices together).
Before we leave you there’s a few other tidbits to tell you about, firstly ARM hardware running Windows 8 won’t allow for manual operating system installations, secondly there will need to be at least 10GB of free space after Windows 8 is installed (given Microsoft’s track record this suggests that in total you will need at least 20-25GB of storage), thirdly ARM hardware won’t support two second resume and finally video card driver installation won’t require a reboot.
As you can see Microsoft are really enforcing some strict guidelines to ensure that the Windows 8 platform doesn’t become too fragmented, this is particularly great news for app developers and we’re pretty happy with almost everything we’ve seen, but ARM Holdings probably won’t be. What requirements would you like to see changed? What would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments section below.