Windows 8.1 will have updated hardware requirements

New hardware requirements include Bluetooth, TPM 2.0 and 720p on devices with front-facing cameras.

During a session at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Microsoft took the time to introduce new hardware specifications for future updates. The requirements will roll out with Windows 8.1 initially, but some won't be implemented until 2014 and 2015 releases. 

Starting with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has instituted new certification protocols for NFC devices and precision touchpads. Manufacturers will have to certify their accessories through Windows, ensuring a standard for NFC communication and touchpad function across Microsoft PCs.

In addition, after January 2014, Windows PCs will have to include at least 720p resolution on any front-facing cameras, while Wi-Fi equipped systems will need to have a Bluetooth module on board. More stringent requirements will also be added for speakers and microphones, although most modern computers appear to already conform to these requirements.

Finally, Microsoft will be updating the Trusted Platform Module, a feature that generates encryption keys and is usually installed on a device's motherboard. The new TPM 2.0 will become a requirement in 2015, allowing enough time for manufacturers to sort things out.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2013 07 > Windows 8.1 will have updated hardware requirements
Omar Qudsi, 2013-07-13 (Update: 2013-07-13)