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Windows 8 tablets to need 5-point touch, scrap Ctrl-Alt-Del

updated 01:40 pm EST, Tue January 17, 2012

Windows 8 tablet requirements exposed

A scouring of Microsoft's Windows 8 hardware requirements document has uncovered very specific conditions for Windows 8 tablets. Every slate will need at least a 1366x768 display with five-point multi-touch, ruling out the cheaper displays used on some Windows 7 tablets. In a symbolic change of the times, the company will also require that the familiar Ctrl-Alt-Delete shortcut for managing logins and the OS be replaced with a Windows Key-plus-power command instead.

Tablets will have no more than five buttons beyond any keyboard they might have, including the Windows Key and basic volume, power, and rotation controls. They will also need UEFI firmware where it's optional on the desktop, at least a 720p camera, and a host of sensors for movement and light. At least Bluetooth 4.0 and one "exposed" USB 2.0 port will be present, and any NFC-equipped tablet will have to have a clear marker indicating where it has to get into contact to handle a transfer.

In software, Microsoft will bar graphics drivers that force the tablet to reboot for an update. Owners will also have to have at least 10GB of free drive space by the time the tablet is completely ready to use.

Microsoft has always set hardware requirements for Windows, but until now it has only seldomly had to address physical interface issues. The lack of conditions has hurt Windows 7's chances in the tablet space, since many of the tablets often miss out on sensors, complex multi-touch, or other features that iPads, Android tablets, and other take for granted. [via Within Windows]

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    We know people with less than five fingers will NO

    This stuff is definitely more than 30 years behind the times.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: We know...

    It doesn't say you need 5 fingers, just that they insist it has support for 5 finger multitouch.

    I don't see you mocking Apple's 4-5 finger multitouch gesture support...

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003


    Not Section 508 Accessible

    Some people may not have 5 fingers to activate the function. Can't they just sense one middle finger shaking at the screen?

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I'm really enjoying seeing how

    the basic hardware requirements for Windows 8 tablets continues to grow. They should drive up the basic costs of a designing a Windows tablet quite nicely. It might be a rather nice platform but the highe initial costs will allow Apple to keep the lead in market share. I can only imagine that the Windows cheapskates won't be happy paying a premium. I doubt if many companies will be able to turn much of a profit from selling Windows tablets. Who knows, consumers may ignore the Windows 8 tablet platform completely by saying it's more than what they need for daily use.

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