Productivity

No Netbook Concessions For Windows 8

I recently pointed out that Microsoft’s current requirements for Windows 8 don’t make it a great choice for older netbooks. Despite speculation, it doesn’t seem like Microsoft will be doing anything to make Windows 8 more effective on those devices.A post about screen sizes on the Building Windows 8 blog reinforces that Microsoft has no intention of backing down on its current screen resolution requirements (a minimum of 1024 by 768) for Windows 8. The post argues that this doesn’t impact many machines in the market:

Looking at the data about devices in the marketplace today, we see that only 1.2% of active Windows 7 users have screens with a resolution of less than 1024×768. When designing a new platform that supports the devices of today and tomorrow (with undoubtedly higher resolutions) we optimized for the majority of today’s screens (i.e. 98.8%) without sacrificing the experience and complicating the developer story for legacy screens. In addition, the runrate of new PCs with screen sizes of 1024×600 and 1280×720 has dramatically fallen and, to the best of our knowledge, almost no new mainstream PCs are being manufactured with this resolution.

While some people (me included) have speculated that Microsoft will produce a ‘starter’ edition of Windows 8 for netbooks, it seems more likely that netbooks will either adopt a higher resolution, or companies building simpler devices will stick with Windows 7 Starter.

Another interesting stat from the post:

On laptops (over 75% of PCs purchased by consumers) most applications are run maximized all the time—this makes sense given the real estate available and the design points of most interfaces and web sites.

I’ve copped heat from Mac fans in the past for my own preference for running apps maximised, something that is hard to do with many Mac OS X apps (unless you use the very handy RightZoom). Those criticisms become somewhat more muted after Apple itself began promoting full-screen apps, but it’s good to see that I’m not alone in working that way.

Scaling to different screens [Building Windows 8]


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