The new guidelines relax the minimum resolution for Windows 8 devices to 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits. That’s a significant change from the current guidelines, which require a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768 for a device to be certified with the Windows 8 logo.
It is beyond my technical capabilities to comment on whether or not that will wreak havoc on devs.
But it’s not beyond my capabilities to comment on this:
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.
Microsoft has lost its mind.
Same-day Update: According to The Verge:
A slight caveat means that OEMs must disclose that devices at 1024 x 768 do not support Windows 8’s new Snap View feature, to run apps side-by-side. Despite the forced disclosure, Microsoft’s real intentions are in preparation for its Blue update later this year. A leaked build of Windows Blue has revealed that Microsoft is changing its Snap View support to let 1024 x 768 users take advantage of a 50 / 50 Snap View.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
So the distinction is between current Windows 8 and upcoming Blue? Since a Windows RT-based Nook will likely run Blue, you can skip the rest of this post now. Never mind, as Emily Litella would say.
Original post continues …
Putting aside how badly they’ve botched multi-paning with Windows 8 (what a waste of a large desktop touchscreen!), hasn’t Microsoft seen that multi-paning is a selling point that’s made the Samsung Galaxy Note successful?
It’s as if they’re operating in their own little Reality Distortion Field now.
Don’t give me any crap about “minimum resolution.” That just won’t fly. Here’s why: Both the HP TouchPad and the iPad (1 and 2) have screen resolutions of 1024 x 768. And they can do multi-paning just fine.
Exhibit A: Glimpse for webOS
Exhibit B: Quasar for iOS
1024 x 768 handling multi-paning wonderfully.
Yet Microsoft wants to prohibit Snap from such a screen resolution?
This is insanity.
A tablet is not like a phone. I thought Microsoft understood this by incorporating Snap into Windows 8. It was supposed to be a selling point over Android and iOS. And now they’re going to arbitrarily take it away?
Yes, I understand the plan here is to protect their $300M investment in Nook Media and offer a Windows RT-based eBook tablet. But how do you do that when you intend to limit people to what they’ve already rejected: tablets from Barnes & Noble that have restricted functionality?
These manufacturers will jump at the chance to grab a Windows license and offer these tablets with that OS too. So the competition against a Windows RT-based Nook already exists. It’s just waiting to pounce.
A Windows RT-based Nook is already doomed.
And taking away Snap cripples all other tablets at that resolution.
So this isn’t just about resolution, it’s about fear. Microsoft is limiting functionality on cheaper tablets because they need some excuse to sell the higher-priced tablets.
This is a losing strategy all the way around.
First, it cripples a Windows RT-based Nook right out of the gate. It restricts people to devices they’ve already shown they don’t want.
Second, it shows that Microsoft is not operating in the best interest of users. It’s operating in the fearful best interest of Microsoft. They are fighting the future.
Third, what happens if Android Key Lime Pie incorporates multi-paning? This is not a stretch. Why shouldn’t it? It’d be a selling point against iOS, one that Android device makers could market the hell out of.
Fourth, there is just no reason for another round of Nook hardware outside of an eInk device. Nook is an app, period. Barnes & Noble set off on the wrong road to begin with and lost. Disabling Snap just ensures even more losing.
Fifth, and finally, if Snap won’t work at a certain resolution, then the problem is with the way multi-paning is being done, period. You’ve screwed up here to begin with, Microsoft. Go fix it.
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