Earlier in December, Microsoft had released documents titled Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements. If you visit this page, accept the License agreement to access these documents, you will see 3 sets of PDF documents:
- Windows 8 Client and Server Systems Requirements (Size : 2.13 MB )
- Windows 8 Device Requirements (Size: 5.32 MB )
- Windows 8 Filter Driver Requirements (Size : 917 KB)
These documents are in fact a big source of interesting information. If you go through these documents, you can get an idea of what kind of features a Windows 8 device, tablets or PCs are expected to have. These requirements are also mentioned for the new generation of ARM based devices supporting Windows 8.
A Windows Certified System is composed of Windows certified components. These internal devices are certified before system integration.
Let us check some of the interesting features that might be preset on these devices. We’ll be looking at them from the Windows 8 Tablet point of view, as Windows 8 certified tablets are yet to hit the market.
Some of the interesting points are:
Bluetooth : If a system includes a Bluetooth controller it must support the Bluetooth 4.0+LE specification requirements.
Digitizer : Pen feature for digitizer
UEFI : Systems might implement Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of BIOS for Secure Boot.
NFC : Near Field Proximity is a set of short-range wireless technologies to enable communication between a personal computer and a device. Any Windows 8 device providing this Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology should provide some visible Touch Mark to help users locate and use this proximity technology.
“If the system has a proximity technology then there must be a touch mark to indicate where to tap devices together.”
“When tapping two devices together with two tablets, both tablets should line up the radios with each other (meaning the upper right quadrants are lined up) and then a successful tap will occur.”
“When tapping two devices together, a connection cannot be established if the touch point of the host device is greater than 10 cm away from the other touch point. “
Accelerometers : Accelerometer are required to adjust to the screen rotation – when a user rotates a device from landscape to portrait and vice versa. All Windows 8 systems with an accelerometer must have sufficient graphics performance to meet performance requirements for screen rotation.
Various Sensors: All or some of these sensors might be integrated into Windows Sensor platform – Human proximity sensor, 3D Accelerometer, 3D Inclinometer, 3D Compass, 3D Gyrometer, Ambient Light Sensor.
Minimum required components to be present in a Windows 8 tablets in order for it to be certified for Windows 8.
Let us see this in detail:
- Bezel width - Touch mobile systems must provide sufficient bezel space on the face of the device to allow it to be held without resulting in accidental touch input on the edges of the digitizer. The bezel width must provide sufficient space to all it to be held by the end user without resulting in
accidental touch input.
- Extremely fast resume- “Windows 8 will support extremely fast resume on systems that support connected standby. As touch is the primary input mechanism on connected standby capable tablets, it is imperative that the I2C touch controller be available to respond to HID commands and provide input reports almost immediately upon resume to ensure a consistent user experience.”
- Hardware Buttons – Windows 8 Tablet and Convertible PC must have these hardware buttons:
- Power : To put the system into standby mode. And shutdown by pressing and holding for four seconds.
- Rotation Lock : Allows users to lock the display in a specific orientation. Can either be a press button or a slider.
- Windows Key Button : For Navigation. The default orientation is in landscape mode and the Windows Key button must be on the front of the device facing the end user in the center along the bottom bezel. The Windows button must be a soft press button type unless the front of the system is manufactured with optically bonded glass
- Volume up and down button : A single physical button, but must present two distinct interrupts to control the audio
- New Button Combination for CTRL+ALT+DEL – The famous button combination CTRL+ALT+DEL will be required to login to system in a domain environment. In Windows 8, Windows Key + Power button will be used for this.
- The minimum components that make up a tablet and tablet convertible are -
As you can see in the above table, at least 10GB of storage space to be available after the install. So can we expect 16GB ARM devices? The minimum screen resolution is 1366X768
- High-definition video playback – The system to be able to playback high-definition video without any glitches.
Webcam – Front or rear facing camera integrated in the system needs to support scenarios such as taking a photo, recording video or real-time communication.
And all these features are given the Enforcement date as Windows RC . So one can expect Some of the Windows 8 Tablets including ARM devices to be ready at least in prototypes at the release of Windows 8 RC
These are some of the features that have been posted from a very detailed document provided by Microsoft. For a detailed look, please check out the Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements documents.