Microsoft recently opened the way to low cost Windows tablets, which would compete with Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini. The publisher has actually removed a restriction that previously prevented this price drop.
Microsoft has quietly eased one of the more restrictive criteria inside their Windows Certification Program, which allows manufacturers to sell their computers with Windows 8 or Windows RT. In the last newsletter for manufacturers operating the program, sent March 12 and marked yesterday by ZDNet, Microsoft actually lowers the minimum screen definition to 1024 x 768 pixels.
Until now, the minimal definition to benefit from the valuable Windows logo on Windows 8 tablets was 1366 x 768 pixels. Yet there is virtually no diagonal screens less than 10 inches with this definition. This is part of what explains the higher than average cost of Windows tablets, but also the absence of tablets with small screen diagonal.
Now the manufacturers can design tablets with XGA screen at 8-inch size, like the iPad mini, or 7-inch WXGA display, as on the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Manufacturers will specify that the Snap feature, which allows to use two applications Modern UI is not compatible, but it will undoubtedly be a lesser evil to address a growing segment.
The newsletter states that this relaxation is not an incentive to reduce the screen resolution (in pixels per inch), and suggests that rather allows to address the emerging markets. But low cost tablets at price of $300 are popular in industrialized markets.
Anyway, the first low cost Windows 8 tablets will probably not be available before the release of Windows Blue, waited for the next school year.