Windows 8 was obviously built with tablets in mind, but the OS only supports tablets with 1366x768 displays. That's all going to change, and it could mean big things for Windows 8 going forward.
In a recent Windows Certification Newsletter, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 now supports a minimum resolution of 1024x768. The company says the new rule is for "partners exploring designs for certain markets."
So, what does this mean? A lower resolution could point to Microsoft opening up to putting Windows 8 on smaller devices, including 7-inch tablets. The current stable of Windows 8 tablets all size in at either 9 or 10-inches, and the price reflects that. The high price commanded by the current stable of Windows 8 tablets has definitely been an obstacle for consumers, and a lower resolution, lower priced tablet may just be what the company needs.
The possibilities don't stop at 7-inch tablets either. ZDNet speculates that Microsoft may be using its partnership with Nook to create a Windows-powered eReader that would have access to Barnes & Noble's extensive collection of eBooks. The 1024x768 resolution would be a perfect fit as it would finally allow Microsoft to sell cheap hardware.
Of course, all of this is mere speculation for now. All we know is that Microsoft is relaxing its certification requirements. It's too early to tell if OEMs will start making 7-inch tablets, but I wouldn't be surprised if we start to hear something along those lines later this year.