Microsoft's hardware requirements for Windows 8 devices, including tablets and notebooks, have been detailed, including the rebirth of CTRL+ALT+DEL and how NFC touch-points should be highlighted. Outlined in the recently published Win8 device documentation, Microsoft mandates that tablet PCs and convertible PCs should have at least a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and a digitizer supporting at least five-point multitouch. x86 machines, meanwhile, must resume in two seconds or less.
Interestingly, that resume time limit isn't applied to ARM-based Windows 8 computers, at least not at present. Still, all must have a fair array of sensors - including ambient light, a digital compass, 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope - together with five specific hardware buttons, for power, rotation-lock, volume up, volume down and finally a Windows key. The latter must be at least 10.5mm in diameter, but manufacturers are free to make it circular, square or another shape.
It's clear Microsoft has been thinking about usability for the new hardware. Unlike NFC on phones, which can basically be pushed together and fall within the short-range wireless technology's range, Windows 8 PCs must have some sort of indication printed on the chassis as to where the NFC contact point is. There's also mandatory support for no-reboot installation of graphics drivers, and the expectation that new PCs should have at least 10GB of drive storage free.
Direct3D 10 device (with WDDM 1.2 drivers) graphics is also obligatory, plus any webcam must be 720p capable at a minimum. As for restarting or joining a domain, CTRL+ALT+DEL is out and replaced by pressing the Windows key and Power buttons simultaneously.
The first Windows 8 tablets are expected to hit the market in the second half of 2012.
[via Within Windows]