At Microsoft’s WinHEC event, the company talked a lot about new Windows 10 developments, all with hopes to better equip hardware partners with that they need to develop amazing Windows 10 devices that will hopefully deliver the vision of a unified computing experience to the masses.
To deliver these experiences, it is important that Microsoft sets the minimum hardware requirements that will be consistent across the different brands of Windows 10 devices. These minimum requirements, as outlined by Paul Reed, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, will need to be met in order to boot and run Windows 10, update and service the OS, as well as deliver a baseline user experience for devices that run the OS, regardless of the make or brand.
All Windows 10 Mobile devices which consist of both smartphones and tablets with screen sizes ranging from 3-7.99” will have to support a UEFI 2.3.1 firmware with Secure Boot enables, at least 512MB of RAM, a minimum of 4GB of storage space (SD card required for 4GB devices), graphics that support DirectX 9, and a button combination that includes only the power, and volume controls. No front capacitive Start, back, and search button required except for devices with WVGA displays.
Speaking of screen resolutions, different resolutions will require varying amounts of RAM, with the lowest screen resolutions of WVGA (800x480) requiring no less than 512MB of RAM, and the highest QSZGA (2560x2084) resolutions demanding a minimum of 4GB. See the full list in the image on the right.
As for Windows 10 for PCs, the OS requires a lowly 800x600 resolution 7” display. The same UEFI and Secure Boot requirements as its mobile version, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for 32-bit installs, 2GB of RAM and 20GB of storage for 64-bit, DirectX 9 graphics, and a minimum of a power and volume control for buttons, with Start and rotation lock buttons being optional.
Expect Windows 10 devices to have the expected components and connectivity sensors as the devices available today, however, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 for PCs will not support cellular voice communication even if a cellular radio is present, as it will use the radio for data only. So you won’t be placing phone calls on your new Surface Pro 4.
Microsoft also announced some new SoC processor support for Windows 10 devices including ones from Qualcomm, Intel, and AMD. This includes support for the new 8-core Snapdragon 810 processor, as well as the Snapdragon 808, Intel Cherry Trail, Skylake, and Atom x3, and AMD’s latest Carrizo and Carrizo-L processors.
Back when Windows Phone 7 was unveiled, many people praised Windows Phone’s relatively high minimum system requirements, but in an effort to make it easier for OEMs to develop hardware for Windows, especially so that they can easily convert existing Android devices to Windows phones, those requirements have been taken down a notch. How do you feel about this? Let us know in the comments below.