Windows 8 is ready to run at resolutions that meet ‘Retina’ resolutions according to a new blog post by David Washington, a senior program manager on the User Experience team.
According to Mr. Washington, Windows 8 will require a minimum of 1024×768 to run and will be able to push out a maximum of 2560*1440.
As Windows 8 will be a hardware agnostic operating system, Mr. Washington stressed that the OS will be prepared to accommodate “device diversity”: implementing proper scaling so the OS looks good on devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions.
In order to ensure a consistency in screen real-estate, regardless of size or resolution, Microsoft has set some pre-determined scaling percentages based on “pixel density sweet spots” for 10 and 11 inch tablets with 1920×1080 or 2560×1440 displays: 100% when no scaling is applied, 140% for 1080p tablets, and 180% for quad-XGA tablets.
According to Mr. Washington, Microsoft’s rationale for having a 1024×768 minimum resolution is three fold: it’s large enough to support the layout of Metro style apps; it’s the minimum resolution that web developers design for; less than 1.2% of Windows 7 users have screens with a resolution less than 1024×768.
“Some people have asked why we enforce the minimum resolution instead of just communicating it as a loosely supported recommendation,” wrote Mr. Washington. “Enforcing the requirement simplifies the lives of developers as they never have to take these lower screen resolutions into consideration—they can just rule them out.”
“If we were to have a loose requirement, some developers might build and test for these lower resolutions, while others might not, yielding a fractured ecosystem where developers start targeting specific devices instead of the platform as a whole.”
Because of Microsoft’s concerted efforts in making Windows 8 compatible with a wide range of tablets, it is likely that we’ll see tablets with high, low, and midrange screens.
All sources point to a 2013 release date for the high-resolution 2560×1400 tablets.