Microsoft laxed minimum display resolution required for Windows 8 logo certification for tablets, down from a rather harsh 1366 x 768 pixels, to 1024 x 768. This move, according to ZDNet, could be prelude to smaller, or at least cheaper Windows 8/RT-based tablets. In a recent Windows logo certification update dated March 12, which surfaced earlier this week, Microsoft updates:
System.Client.Tablet.Graphics.MinimumResolution relaxed for Windows 8
We're changing the System.Client.Tablet.Graphics.MinimumResolution requirement to create a consistent minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits across all Windows 8 system form factors. The physical dimensions of the display panel must still match the aspect ratio of the native resolution. This doesn't imply that we're encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution. In fact, we see customers embracing the higher resolution screens that make a great Windows experience. We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful.
Not only is the minimum display resolution lowered for tablets, but also Microsoft is "encouraging" partners to adopt it. Screen resolutions in the neighborhood of 1024 x 768 are most prevalent in cost-effective 7~8-inch tablets, such as the iPad Mini. It's also possible that Microsoft could seek out a slice of the 7~8-inch market with a Windows 8/RT based "reader."
Last October, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble (B&N), the company behind the Nook line of e-book readers, inked a strategic partnership deal that sees the two companies share their assets. This fact alone makes the idea of a Windows-driven "Nook" product, with just the right amount of cost-cutting, and just the right hardware, extremely plausible.