Microsoft have released more information about how they will address high resolution display support in Windows 8.

As usual Steven Sinofsky introduces the post:

There’s a ton of innovation in the world of displays—from pixel density, to aspect ratio, to core technologies. Windows 8 is designed to grow and improve as the display ecosystem grows and improves. Our goal is to support the broadest range of display technologies so PC makers can build PCs or you can use external displays that provide the best experience for your needs. To do this, we architected the WinRT to provide the platform necessary to support this diversity. This is a complex post that looks at the details and nuances around supporting many permutations of physical screen dimensions, pixel densities, and resolutions. There’s a lot more to this than “my 27” monitor,” as you can see in this post authored by David Washington, a senior program manager on our User Experience team.

A few points.

  • Microsoft are making 1024×768 a minimum resolution for Windows 8 support.
  • Windows 8 tablets will have pixel densities of “at least 135 DPI,” with some HD tablets and quad-XGA tablets going as high as 190 DPI and 253 DPI, respectively.

More from the post that addresses the Apple iPad by name.

“Some might be curious about the new iPad screen. For this screen, Apple has chosen a scale factor of 200%. The new screen has twice the pixel density (132 PPI to 234 PPI) on the same size screen. Because iOS and developers only need to support the predefined resolutions, they only need to design for this one additional scaling factor. In the case of iPad 2 compared to new iPad the 200% scaling factor means that what you see on 1024×768 is exactly what you see on the new resolution, only sharper because more pixels are used (as in the image of the app above). Additionally, on higher pixel-density screens like the new iPad, developers for games and other performance-critical apps may decide the right balance between letterboxing and running at a lower fidelity to deliver the best experience (frame rate, for example).”

There’s a lot of detail about how developers should properly scale Windows 8 apps when moving from resolution to resolution.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 supported screen resolutions

Windows 7 and Windows 8 supported screen resolutions

The piece is summed up this way..

A lot of planning, thinking and development are involved in making sure that Windows 8 scales across different screens and form-factors. For users, Windows 8 offers an experience that is predictable and consistent across devices. On larger screens, they can see more content in each app. On higher pixel-density screens, they get a crisp, premium experience that is easy to read and easy to interact with via touch or keyboard and mouse. For developers, Windows 8 makes it easy to support different screen sizes and pixel densities through standards-based and well known layout techniques, and by automatically scaling to pixel density. All while allowing developers to tailor their experiences to be great on each form factor.

You can read the full post here.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  • hootadmin

    Your post’s title “Microsoft have addressed high resolution display support in Windows 8” is very optimistic. They have ‘Talked’ about it for years, but and implemented half-baked solutions that even Paul Thurrott has pointed out, don’t work. Their post is only more talk. They need to ‘demonstate’ these high resolution display applications on actual devices and make the ‘developer’ store for these kinds of apps clears. 

    In summary, I don’t believe them, “They need more people!” 🙂 jk.

  • hootadmin

    Using scalable vector graphic images for UI elements would have been an interesting solution. It does take some work to support DPI’s and form-factors in Apple’s very controlled ecosystem, but in the proposed vendor driven ecosystem that Windows 8 will usher in, that solution may prove to unmanageable for any but the most motivated development houses.