What makes up a Windows 8 certified device

According to a recent report, Microsoft Windows 8 tablets will only be licensed if they have certain specifications which classify it as such to give consumers a good experience with the new operating system and tablet environment.

Within Windows has blogged about how Windows 8 devices can only be certified by certain aspects of the device. Now there is a fine line between what is a portable tablet, and a Windows 8 tablet.

What makes up a Windows 8 certified device - OnMSFT.com - January 17, 2012

Give me five! In order to be licensed to sell a device with Windows 8 on it, Microsoft "requires that Windows 8 touch PCs use digitizers supporting a minimum of 5 touch points." Most hardware companies find it simple to call "dual touch screens" multitouch, yet you can only have two touch points. In order to have a generally good experience with Windows 8, you need to maximize the requirements that can make users do so.

Microsoft also requires that a PC or tablet must have a sticker acknowledging that it has an NFC device built in, and in the exact location of where it is. "Knowing where the sensor is physically located becomes crucial to avoid (the) Neanderthal-like clashing of tablets" which makes it easier to use. NFC devices help connect a mobile device to other mobile devices.

Give me 5...again. Microsoft also requires tablet makers to "have 5 hardware buttons. Not three; not six. Five." Those buttons must be the power, rotation lock, volume up, volume down, and Windows key button. Apparently the Windows key must be "at least 10.5 mm in diameter and be sported in any number of shapes (e.g. circular, rectangular, square)". I didn't think the Windows key had to be such a specified button!

We all know Ctrl-Alt-Del is a must-have for most users trying to open the Task Manager or log off, but what if you have a tablet and need to access it...WITHOUT A KEYBOARD! Don't worry. Microsoft is going to fix that too. The new "key combonation" which is exactly the same as Ctrl-Alt-Del will now be "Windows Key + Power."

There are also certain minimum requirements that Microsoft has listed below:

What makes up a Windows 8 certified device - OnMSFT.com - January 17, 2012

Microsoft also does not want hardware manufacturers to make drivers (for example, graphics) that force your computer to reboot their device. "With XDDM drivers (non Windows Aero compatible) gone in Windows 8, however, enforcement is easy and should be welcomed by users and gaming enthusiasts with wide open arms."

2 for Intel, and none for ARM. Microsoft has required that all Intel-based devices must "resume in two seconds or less." This requirement was also used for Windows 7 but was not implemented the way Microsoft wanted it. Microsoft may not yet "have enough data in this space" because ARM is a new platform Windows is now using, but we do expect a certain specification for ARM in the future as the future of Windows progresses.

As you can see, Microsoft is trying real hard to get consumers to have the best experience with their Windows 8 tablets, which are expected to hit the market very soon.

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