Windows launched it’s own mobile tablet in late October of 2012. Its reception was met with lackluster reviews and blasé recognition from the tech world. The Surface RT was being considered a crippled, yet expensive version of a Windows tablet that could have been. By the time the Surface Pro hit store shelves, people were so into the iPad mini that they forgot all about the Windows 8-based tablet.
Maybe that’s why Microsoft is focusing on a smaller sized tablet. In November, it was rumored that the company was working on a smaller device to be used as an Xbox companion. However, new guidelines on Microsoft’s part implies that the company may be building a general tablet to compete with the iPad mini.
According to AppleInsider, Microsoft has quietly made subtle changes to the Windows 8 hardware certification guidelines with regards to screen resolution. The guideline revisions allow for devices with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 p at a depth of 32 bits. A lower resolution tablet is not what Microsoft is hoping for.
“This doesn’t imply we’re encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution,” Microsoft said. “In fact, we see customers embracing the higher resolution screens that make a great Windows experience. We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful.”
It sounds like Microsoft is implying that it is allowing lower screen resolution because the company wants original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to make smaller devices. Microsoft has been rumored to be working on a “Windows Reader” already.
The new screen resolution guideline is exactly what the iPad mini’s display supports. However, rumors of the second-generation iPad mini include the possibility of a Retina display for the 7.9-inch screen. That would make Microsoft’s mini old news before it even hit the market.