Microsoft's Windows 8 PC and device requirements

Microsoft unleash Windows 8 PC and Device requirements, what do device makers need to do to get thei.

1 minute & 20 seconds read time

Windows 8 requirements are quite interesting, more interesting are the details inside for "device requirements". If you want to check them out, here's the link. Better get a coffee, energy drink or similar because it's nearly 1000 pages long. Onto the good stuff!

Within Windows have covered the interesting requirements, where Microsoft have stated that there must be five hardware buttons on Windows 8 tablet/convertible PCs, as well as a minimum component set for tablets and convertible PCs.

Microsoft's Windows 8 PC and device requirements |

Microsoft requires '5-point digitizers', which is a minimum. This means it supports at least a hand of fingers on the screen at once. NFC "touch marks" are featured in Windows 8, where any tablet or slate must have a sticker of similar signage telling the user its NFC-capable. Microsoft also require that Windows 8 has the aforementioned 5 button minimum, with those buttons being Power, Rotation lock, Windows Key, Volume up, and Volume down.

There's a new button combo, too. Where Microsoft enforce that Windows 8 PCs joined to a domain and without keyboards implement a new Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence. The on-screen keyboard still remains as an option, but the quicker (and new) option is to press Windows Key + Power.

The minimum component set for tablets and convertible PCs is nice, with the absolute bare minimum being:

Storage: At least 10gb free space after the out-of-box experience completes

System firmware: UEFI

Networking: WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE (low energy)

Graphics: Direct3D 10 device w/ WDDM 1.2 driver

Resolution: 1366×768

Touch support: At least 5 touch points, must pass all tests

Camera: 720p

Ambient Light Sensor: 1-30k lux capable w/ dynamic range of 5-60K


Accelerometer: 3 axes w/ data rates >= 50Hz


USB 2.0: At least one controller and exposed port


Although this is kind of support already, Windows 8 won't require reboots for driver updates. Microsoft require that Windows 8-based PCs support no-reboot upgrade of graphic card drivers. Finally, a 2 second resume for Intel-compatible, Windows 8 PCs. What about ARM-based PCs? It looks as though they escape this requirement. This could change before release, though.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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