Most Windows 8.1 devices will have Bluetooth (and other updated hardware requirements)

Microsoft is starting to layout its hardware certification requirements for devices running Windows 8.1 and later. Starting in early 2014, for instance, every Windows devices that features WiFi will also be required to support Bluetooth.

That’s not a huge shift — Bluetooth is already pretty common in Windows laptops and tablets. But it hasn’t been a requirement up until now.

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ZDNet has the run-down on some of the other requirements for device makers that want to offer Microsoft certified devices in the next few years. The software company is expected to discuss the new hardware requirements in sessions at the upcoming Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Every device that has a built-in display will be required to have at least a 720p front-facing camera.
  • By January 2015, all certified devices will have to have TPM 2.0.
  • Microsoft will start certifying “precision touchpads,” with the operating system controlling the touchpad drivers. All ARM-based systems with touchpads will be required to use these new precision touchpad models. they’re optional for devices with x86 CPUs.

Windows 8.1 is expected to hit the streets later this summer or early this fall, before some of the new hardware certification requirements go into effect. But pretty soon it looks like computers without Bluetooth will largely be a thing of the past.

  • John Morris

    The BT requirement isn’t the most interesting.

    How do they plan to sell into government accounts that forbid cameras? Shouldn’t they have asked some of the OEMs who service those markets for advice? Haven’t they wondered why companies like Lenovo still let you choose to leave the camera off?

    And the requirement for TPM is always worrisome. Will it be required to be available or activated? Big difference.

    • CyberGusa

      For the camera, it only applies to integrated displays… namely laptops, tablets, etc. So the requirement won’t effect desktops…

      While, having a physical camera doesn’t mean it can’t be disabled… Or they can choose to just not meet the requirement as that’ll mainly just mean it won’t get the MS Certification Logo… You’d mainly deal with the OEM system maker for hardware issues anyway and most companies would have their own IT or separate IT service…

      For TPM, doesn’t seem they changed it much aside from what has to be supported if it’s in use but doesn’t look like it’s a requirement in of itself…

      You can download the pdf listing all the details and read through it…

      http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh748188.aspx#_Windows8.1

  • Tsais

    After some surgery installing classic start menu, Windows 8 works fine for me, so I couldn’t care less if or when they bring out 8.1, except one thing: I think OEMs are holding back the laptops they announced at Computex till M$ releases 8.1.

    SO…. get it the hell done M$!

    • CyberGusa

      It’s not all on just MS… mind that hardware like the upcoming Bay Trail isn’t coming out till about October… Leaving November and December for when we’ll see most new models…

      While the 8.1 official release is scheduled for Sept/Oct… but they’ll be sending it to OEMs in about a month or so… So they can get ready…

    • Al

      What kind of surgery do you use? Start8 or something more subtle? I always interested in how to be the master of my PC again!