7-inch Windows 8 Tablets: Microsoft's Ready

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Go to any electronics shop in your city and in the tablets section you’ll see all kinds of sizes: 10 inch, 7 inch, 8 inch and so on. However, if you’re looking for a 7-inch tablet with Windows 8 or at least RT inside, you will be disappointed – there’s not yet such a device on the market. You can experience Android on almost any size; you can take the smaller 7.9 inch iPad Mini if you’re into iOS. But with Windows 8, things are different.

But that is about to be changed, apparently. New Windows 8 hardware specifications and requirements hint towards the possibility of seeing 7-inch tablets with the latest OS from Windows. Is Microsoft getting ready to launch a 7-inch Surface tablet or is this all nothing but mere speculation? Microsoft silently changed the hardware certifications guidelines for Windows 8 earlier this month.

Would something like this fancy you?
Would something like this fancy you?

From Microsoft’s newsletter:

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.

7-inch Windows tablets incoming

These changes are effective immediately but could it be that they are planned along with the Windows Blue update? As we can see, the resolution has been stepped down from 1366 x 768 to 1024 x 768. And recently, a leaked Windows Blue build showed that the minimum resolution for app snap view mode has also been reduced. While this could mean that Microsoft is relaxing its requirements, there’s also room for speculation that this would allow OEMs to make 7-inch tablets.

However, special attention needs to be given to this phrase – We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful. Could this mean that Microsoft is giving the green line to start the fight against iPad Mini, Google Nexus, Kindle Fire and many others?

But could Microsoft be secretly planning something? What about an e-Reader? Too old, ‘ye think? The Surface tablet wasn’t such a novelty, either, so I won’t be really surprised to see a Microsoft Reader. If they manage to price it accordingly, and thanks to their partnership with Nook, offer appealing content, then it would be an interesting product, after all.