Windows 8.1 OEM Hardware Requirements: Microsoft Focuses on Tablet & Business Space

By: Radu Tyrsina
2 minute read

Windows 8.1 is the first update to Windows 8 that brings quite a bit of news things to the table. And device makers all over the world also have to align themselves to the new changes that are coming. The Windows 8.1 update will have new hardware certification requirements which will actually take effect in 2014 and 2015. Could this mean that there won’t be any updates till then?

Just like Steve Ballmer’s recent announcement regarding the amount of servers they have in datacenters, this new information in hardware certification requirements for Windows 8 also comes from the Worldwide Partners Conference. Along with Intel, Microsoft talked about these new hardware requirements for Windows 8.1 devices at WPC 2013.

windows 8.1 hardware certification requirements

New hardware certification requirements for Windows 8.1 devices

Thse new hardware certification requirements mainly revolve around the following: Bluetooth, display, high-fidelity audio, Lync, TMP. What this means for OEMs is that  they will have to include Bluetooth support in all devices that come with WiFi. Also, front-facing 720p webcams have to be present in all  integrated display systems and they also need higher fidelity specifications for audio equipment. Let’s not forget that Windows 8.1 comes with native support for Miracast wireless displays, Internet sharing, NFC capabilities, WiFi Direct print and biometric authentication.

You can imagine what kind of devices will come in 2014 and 2015, if they will implement all of the above. All this is done because Microsoft wants its Windows 8.1 update to help Windows 8 to become as popular as possible among enterprise users and tablets, actually number one. Have a look at the chart from above, obtained by Zdnet. Mary Jo Foley also observes:

Microsoft is working closely with OEMs on making sure new touch-enabled, lighter, thinner, faster devices with longer battery life, support for “modern” security, connectivity and new sensors will be coming to market. Starting later this year, these machines will make use of the new features Microsoft is building into Windows 8.1, including support for NFC and biometric authentication; new portrait-mode enhancements; and InstantGo (the renamed and updated Connected Standby capability) to allow devices to turn on instantly and keep apps up-to-date.

So, to sum it all up, Microsoft is getting ready for awesome devices in the coming years. Will Windows 8.1 help them in this quest?

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