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Microsoft sets new hardware certification

Just a month or so before Windows 8.1 gets sent to OEMs and the Redmond giant has helpfully provided new hardware certification requirements for them to meet. Announced at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, these prerequisites include Bluetooth support in all devices with WiFi, front-facing 720p webcams in all systems with integrated displays and higher fidelity specifications for audio equipment. This comes on top of Windows 8.1’s native support for Miracast wireless displays, internet sharing, NFC capabilities, WiFi Direct print and biometric authentication, which all points to some pretty interesting hardware coming our way. These new certification must-haves are set for 2014 and 2015 devices though, so we likely won’t see them for a while yet. Until then, familiarize yourself with our in-depth Windows 8.1 hands-on so you’ll be all set when they arrive.