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Microsoft to Impose Hardware Restrictions for Windows 8 Tablets

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 50 comments

Microsoft had a few restrictions in place for manufacturers wishing to produce Windows Phone 7 devices. All devices had to carry a certain level of specs before Microsoft would give manufacturers the WP7 stamp of approval. Now it seems Redmond is also planning on imposing restrictions for Windows 8 tablets, too.

Microsoft has apparently informed hardware partners that restrictions for those planning Windows 8 tablets will be announced in the coming weeks. Manufacturers aren't too keen on the idea that Microsoft will be restricting the types of tablets they can produce, and Acer has been particularly vocal in its objections.

“They’re really controlling the whole thing, the whole process,” Bloomberg quotes Acer CEO J.T. Wang as saying in a Computex interview this week. “They try to set the game rules,” he said, and chip suppliers and PC makers “all feel it’s very troublesome.”  

Though there is little in the way of specifics available right now, the Bloomberg report cites sources that say Microsoft will offer chipmakers incentives to partner with a single PC manufacturer. Bloomberg's sources say such incentives could include cheaper software or features that ensure the device runs more efficiently. The idea is that the restrictions will limit the variations of Windows tablets and, by having a tighter control, Microsoft will be able to deliver Windows 8 tablets that much faster.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    davewolfgang , June 1, 2011 10:47 PM
    This will help prevent the one main problem of Vista - OEM's putting it on WAY to low of hardware, and then MS getting blamed because it didn't work.

    Although - they need to make SURE that the minimums will actually RUN the OS too....
  • 11 Hide
    scout62 , June 1, 2011 9:49 PM
    Sounds like MS is taking pages from Apple's playbook.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    scout62 , June 1, 2011 9:49 PM
    Sounds like MS is taking pages from Apple's playbook.
  • Display all 50 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    scook9 , June 1, 2011 9:49 PM
    So it will pretty much become a wave of Microsoft ipads.....at least it makes choosing a product easier (if you actually wanted a microsoft tablet/phone that is)
  • 6 Hide
    rottingsheep , June 1, 2011 9:58 PM
    a right move for microsoft. i think they don't want windows 8 based tablets to be generalized as slow. different flavors, same experience... or the other way around.
  • 9 Hide
    dread_cthulhu , June 1, 2011 9:59 PM
    Personally, if I were a giant software corporation, I'd want some say in what systems my OS was running on as well. This will help with standardization, and prevent companies from trying to put the OS on hardware that it simply wasn't designed for. Kudos to Microsoft for putting some integrity into system builders.
  • 7 Hide
    COLGeek , June 1, 2011 9:59 PM
    Minimize hardware variation (just how customizable can a tablet be anyway?) and you maximize software compatibility with the hardware baseline. Less means more in this case. Makes sense.
  • 5 Hide
    Yuka , June 1, 2011 10:15 PM
    This reminds me of the cry out when MS said "no XP with less than 64MB", lol.

    Did you guys even tried to run XP with less than 64MB? EVEN with 64MB? XD

    Those restrictions are some-what a "common sense" thing, since you can't put, for instance, Win7 on a 486 and expect to tell MS "hey, your POS OS doesn't run on my 486!". Now... In all fairness... Why the hell a 5MP camera is mandatory, MS? Why? xD!

    Cheers!
  • 15 Hide
    davewolfgang , June 1, 2011 10:47 PM
    This will help prevent the one main problem of Vista - OEM's putting it on WAY to low of hardware, and then MS getting blamed because it didn't work.

    Although - they need to make SURE that the minimums will actually RUN the OS too....
  • -6 Hide
    memadmax , June 1, 2011 10:56 PM
    Same thing apple is doing.
  • 1 Hide
    adamboy64 , June 1, 2011 11:21 PM
    YukaThis reminds me of the cry out when MS said "no XP with less than 64MB", lol.

    Did you guys even tried to run XP with less than 64MB? EVEN with 64MB? XD

    Those restrictions are some-what a "common sense" thing, since you can't put, for instance, Win7 on a 486 and expect to tell MS "hey, your POS OS doesn't run on my 486!". Now... In all fairness... Why the hell a 5MP camera is mandatory, MS? Why? xD!

    Cheers!

    Lolz. I've seen XP on 128mb, and that was pretty hilarious.
    Your comment makes me want to try it on 32mb though.
  • 8 Hide
    house70 , June 1, 2011 11:28 PM
    memadmaxSame thing apple is doing.

    Not quite, with Apple you get only ONE tablet, period. No customization, no choice of vendor/hardware manufacturer... nothing.
    With MS, you get a MINIMUM specs requirement, then it's up to the manufacturer to improve on it. Resembles Apple's policy, but just on the first page, the rest of the book is completely different.
    I, for one, prefer to have multiple choices and not get enrolled in an army of clones.
  • 7 Hide
    gracefully , June 1, 2011 11:38 PM
    I don't see how different it is from putting "Minimum Requirements" in their OSs. There's a reason they're there. Microsoft needs to be able to expect a certain level of performance from all tablets using their OS.
  • 0 Hide
    pjmelect , June 1, 2011 11:40 PM
    The original XP worked quite well on 128MB of memory and it was useable all be it slow on 64 MB. If you were to try the same thing with XP SP3 with the same amount of memory then it would be unusable. You do tend to get a bit of creep upward in the minimum specification when service packs get released and I imagine that Windows 8 will be the same.
  • -2 Hide
    jhansonxi , June 1, 2011 11:41 PM
    house70With MS, you get a MINIMUM specs requirement, then it's up to the manufacturer to improve on it.
    Correct, but remember that M$ also had a maximum screen size limit on netbooks.
  • 8 Hide
    11796pcs , June 1, 2011 11:46 PM
    Yeah minimum specs are actually a really good thing to do for a product. Because if Microsoft hadn't put in place minimum requirements for Vista (1GB was still too low- 2 GB would have been better) we would have probably seen some 512MB Vista laptops and riots in the streets. Most consumers will pick the cheapest options and ask themselves later why their device is so slow.
  • 2 Hide
    hp79 , June 2, 2011 12:04 AM
    I think it's really good to do this so that shady manufacturers don't try to cut too many corners and release shiitty products with MS Windows on it.

    Limiting a maximum (like screen size for netbooks) would be a problem, but limiting a minimum spec is always welcome. I hate those real crappy low-end devices with android on them. This hurts the brand of the OS.
  • 1 Hide
    hp79 , June 2, 2011 12:06 AM
    Acer needs to STFU and stop whine. Just focus on trying to make a better product.
  • -8 Hide
    Flameout , June 2, 2011 12:08 AM
    y any tablet would use winblows instead of android is beyond me
  • 0 Hide
    11796pcs , June 2, 2011 12:08 AM
    Ok, I have a Compaq Presario sitting around with an AMD K6 3D processor @398 MHz and 28 MB of RAM running Windows XP- and it is terrible- don't even try it it's a complete waste.
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