updated 06:15 am EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
MS outlines plans to support hi-res displays
Following hot on the heals of the super-high resolution display in the new iPad, Microsoft has posted a technical explanation on its Building Windows 8 blog about how it is readying the platform for the next generation of HiDPI displays. In doing so, the company has highlighted three general classes of display resolutions including standard, HD and quad-XGA (2560x1440) -- as incorporated on Apple's Thunderbolt Display and other similar 27-inch displays. The company said that support displays at these resolutions would help to ensure that UI elements are not too blown up, or too small and difficult to touch.
In the case of standard resolution displays (1366x768) buttons and text will be displayed without automatic scaling. For HD displays (1920x1080), buttons and text will scale to 140 percent. For quad-XGA displays, they will scaled to 180 percent. While the new iPad display is resolution-independent (icons and apps scale at the same size as they did before), Windows 8 will not support this capability, at least at the outset.
Microsoft also indicated that it has set its minimum resolution for display support in Windows 8 at 1024x768. It says this is because the Metro UI still works well enough at this level of pixel density and resolution, and that only 1.2 percent of active Windows 7 users use displays with a lower resolution.
To help developers, Microsoft has incorporated support for the SVG filetype as a development asset allowing them to build scaling into apps more easily where multiple or high-resolution bitmap images are used. When Windows 8 tablets ship later this year, high pixel densities and better resolutions will become increasingly common, making this support necessary. However, without resolution-independence, the Metro UI will shrink (but display more content) as a display packs in more pixels. [via TechCrunch]