Microsoft Reduces Minimum Resolution Requirement To Enable Cheaper, Smaller Windows Devices


In a Windows Certification Newsletter, Microsoft announced that they are reducing the minimum resolution requirement to 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits across all Windows 8 system form factors. Microsoft believes that this change will  enable OEM partners to develop more cheaper and smaller form factor devices. However, this new resolution will disable snap feature in Windows 8 PCs which Microsoft is asking OEMs to inform customers.

The lower resolution would disable snap, a feature that allows two Windows Store apps to be viewed simultaneously side by side. To avoid potential consumer disappointment, OEMs need to disclose the loss of snap.

To achieve certification with a sub-1366 x 768 panel, OEMs must explain how they will provide appropriate, clear, and conspicuous disclaimers that customers can see before they buy their PCs. For example, OEMs may use ads, websites, packaging, and/or point-of-purchase materials. This disclaimer must disclose that the system doesn’t support snap. OEMs can also disclose what’s needed to get snap to work, like connecting an external display that meets the standard minimum display resolution requirement of 1366 x 768. That part is optional, but providing a solution tells people that snap can be used, with some system modifications. Plus, it’s a nice thing to do.

When creating their own disclaimers, OEMs should do something like this:

  • The integrated display resolution of this system is below the threshold for snap, a feature that lets people view two Windows Store apps at the same time. App snapping will work if you attach an external display that supports a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 or higher.

You can read about the exact hardware spec requirements here at Microsoft site.


  • joe bedlocks

    tons of 720p displays out there that were abandoned by windows 8, seems like they should of made 1280×720 the min if they were going to do this, but we can’t forget its microshaft

    • theflew

      Supporting 1024×768 doesn’t mean a manufacturer couldn’t use a higher resolution panel. They are just saying you can’t use lower.

      • JRV

        Joe’s not referring to the minimum horizontal res; he’s referring to the minimum vertical, which remains 768 and therefore prevents use of 720p displays.

        The “microshaft” pejorative is inane though. One wonders how he believes it benefits Microsoft to prevent use of 720 vertical res. Microsoft is not a display manufacturer, except to a very limited degree, through the Surface. That requirement–whether he likes it or not–is Microsoft’s effort to benefit the customer with a better UX.

        Windows 8 would run on many more legacy displays if 720 vertical was the minimum. So in fact, Microsoft has hurt themselves with this requirement at the same time as they apparently hurt Joe.

        BTW, I say this as an owner of 2 720p HDTVs that doubled as computer displays under Vista & Windows 7, but had to be replaced when I upgraded to Windows 8. So I got hurt too. But I got over it. Because 720 vertical res, while supported, wasn’t enough for Vista or Windows 7, either!

  • Mark Bryant

    I thought blue was supposed to be enabling snapping on 1024×768.

  • Bugbog

    Maybe now some of these “lazy” OEM’s can get off their butts and create a form-factor market!?

  • Sebbs

    1024×768 has been the minimum supported resolution for Windows 8 since at least Octobe 2011. 1366×768 was only the minimum requirement for snap (as with a snapped app, the main portion would be 1024×768). (see and
    I suppose the only real difference here is if Blue is supporting the snap being through the centre of the screen, then you might end up with two smaller snaps on a 1024×768 screen

  • Tim

    Frack MS. Still doesn’t fix the resolution problem for those us with 720p TVs. Screw MS. Idiots