Windows 8 Will Support Retina Display Tablets Just Like The iPad

Windows 8 Will Support Retina Display Tablets Just Like The iPad

Windows 8 will ensure it won't be long before the new iPad has its Retina display rivals.

If you thought that the new iPad would be the only tablet to sport a true Retina display, then think again. Microsoft is encouraging tablet makers to introduce high-resolution displays into their devices with support for resolutions up to 2560×1440.

Windows 8 will have the ability to upscale elements of its user interface to accommodate high-definition devices. For example, for HD tablets with a resolution of 1920×1080, 140% scaling will be applied, while quad-XGA tablets with a resolution of 2560×1440 will get 180% scaling. This means that you will see the same thing on a HD display than you would of a standard-definition one, only the user interface is sharper and crisper.

Microsoft actually uses the new iPad in a post on its Building Windows 8 blog to explain scaling:

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).

This strengthens previous rumors that claimed Samsung was working on an 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet that would feature an extreme 2560×1440 resolution. Samsung, of course, has already partnered with Microsoft to build the first Windows 8 tablet for developers.

With this support in Windows 8, we could see rival tablet displays with even greater pixel densities than the new iPad. It’s a shame they won’t be running iOS.

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  • Eric

    I thought Apple owned patents to the Retina Display technology.  Does this mean Samsung will try and mimic (what’s new) Apple’s Retina Display with an alternative method?

  • p__dot

    The retina display is an LG IPS display.

  • eliterrell

    Can’t tell if you’re trolling, erics72, as Samsung actually manufactures the display in the new iPad.

    Like many of Microsoft’s initiatives, this one seems doomed to mediocrity. There’s a reason Apple stuck with doubling the linear resolution. Anything that is scaling interface elements by 140% is going to introduce blurring and require a lot more processing. So already it’s going to look worse and drain your battery.

    There are two other points this is missing.

    First, Apple has an inherent advantage in that developers know how big their interface elements are going to be. They will be one size on the iPad and one size on the iPhone, regardless of whether they have designed with retina display in mind.

    Second, in the almost two years since the iPhone 4, no one has put out a smart phone that beat the 4′s pixel density. Some have come close to the resolution but on displays that are much larger. This is because no one else has been able to make a profitable device that runs such a display. The weird things is this includes OEMs like Samsung that actually build the displays for Apple.

    So I guess it makes sense for MS to assume that no one is going to put out a REAL high res tablet any time soon. But it is a bit disappointing if this is the best the competition can offer.

  • Alfiejr

    except for 200% pixel doubling – as Apple is doing – upscaling offers modest improvement at best to graphics designed for lower resolutions (how do you covert one pixel to 1.4 pixels? well, you “interpolate” somehow). pixel doubling is a noticeable improvement. but what is really essential are new apps designed for that higher resolution.

    that has nothing to do with the OEM’s. that is decided by the software developers – will the Metro tablet market become large enough to justify their investment in high-res apps? when?

    MS can always bribe/strongarm a few developers to create some fancy hi-res apps to show off. but by that time there will be thousands of them for the iPad.

  • mattj78

    I’d expect it not to be long before both Android and later Windows 8 tablets have screens matching or surpassing the retina display in the iPad – don’t forget Samsung demoed their 2560×1600 10inch screens back in October so they must be ready for production by now.

    I just hope they’ll put a screen of that sort of res in the next MacBooks – imagine how gorgeous that would be.

  • mattj78

    There’s no such thing as Retina Display technology.  Retina Display is just a marketing term Apple invented for their screens where you can’t see the pixels at normal operating distance.

  • Eric

     Thanks for clarifying.  My understanding (or misunderstanding as it were), was the ability to have such a high res screen also involved software and hardware technology.  Which Apple was able to do with their iOS and GPU on their iPhone 4/4S.  Which is in part their patent.  As I recall, LG sold the IPS display to Apple, and Apple was able to modify their iOS and hardware to take advantage of a higher res screen.  Which, looks like, no other company has been able to do, until now.

  • Eric

     Not trolling.  Trolling is useless and pointless.  Mine was just curiosity based on what I was lead to believe.  I do understand that Samsung makes their display.  They used to produce parts for Apple before their rivalry.  But even after they have parted ways on most things, both are still locked in with other manufacturing agreements.  But it’s the iOS and hardware in Apple’s design that is able to power the display as well as it does.  No other company has been able to do so.  And I agree, even with MS coming close, it’s still not as good as Apple’s Retina Display.

  • Eric

     Rumors would have it that Apple is working on the Retina Display iMac.  So based on those rumors, I can’t see why they wouldn’t apply it to MacBooks either.

  • tv_gadget

    Retina display is apples own technology..but they dont own the resolution like how you cant own numbers…other companies may have the same resolution displays but they have different technology.

  • tv_gadget

    Microsoft thinks they can do anything that apple dies in their own way..the reason everything apple does is succesful is because of their style of doing things..they make their own hardware and software they control 3rd party software the whole ecosystem..this is why they are able to maintain such high quality and profitability..2nd they understand what peole needs and what needs to be done do provide all that.. They are not just installing a new theme on windows 7 and releasing it a new os fir desktops and $2000 tablerlts..or stripping off all its features and apps for ARM devices and calling it the same os as the one on desktops.

  • koopapoopas

    It’s simple.  Microsoft will give you next year what Apple has this year.  And then they’ll add some crap on top so they can say they are better than Apple.

  • msnight04

    You should check your facts. The HTC Rezound has a higher pixel density than the iPhone 4/4s. It’s resolution is 1280×720 at 4.3″. This gives it a PPI of 341.54. In comparison, the iPhone 4/4s is 960×640 at 3.5″. This equates to 329.65 PPI. Additionally, the Galaxy Nexus is comparable at 315.83 PPI.

  • captainjy

    Oh BS.  Don’t act like Apple doesn’t copy and steal- mouse and wheel navigation on the iPod.  Grow up and get real. Hey, my dick is bigger than yours and it’s childish.  Yes, Apple makes great stuff, yes, Apple has style.  Yes, Apple is simple, but there’s a huge ecosystem where everyone is different and can all exist.

  • MaxxFlash

    You have a childish dick? Ewwww!!

  • techgeek01

    I don’t think this should be surprising at all. 1) Display companies were already demoing (more talking about) this high resolution displays.  I believe all the way back in 2010.  Maybe earlier.  So it should be no secret that more will be coming. 2) Windows natively supports a huge verity of resolutions out of the box.  Again, not surprising.

    The MOST surprising thing is (too bad it’s not shown here) is that on this slide, it shows a 1920x1080p 17 inch TABLET. (well tablet display size)

    17 inch tablet.  Let that soak into you.  a 17 inch tablet.  Again, it’s no secret that there will be a large verity of tablet sizes, but 17 inches?  nobody really suspected.

    You may ask, why is this important?  This is important because it could open a huge box.  Just imagine what can be done with a tablet this large.

    (Theoretically) you could have a “workstation” tablet.  The larger size will allow for a larger battery or more “grunt”.

    It would very well be a MBP in tablet format. Have the power of a MBP in a tablet.

    Who knows what this will end up be, but out of everything, I think this is the most important.  Because this could open a door to a whole new world.

    I personally predict that ultrabooks and tablets will “die” and be replaced by a tablet/laptop hybrid.  It could very well be that anything between 10.1 and 17 inches will become a tablet/laptop hybrid device.

    This 17 inch tablet needs to be “watched”.  It will be very interesting to see what will happen here. 

  • microlith

    And nothing they’re doing is special in the least.

  • DasithWijesiriwardena

    iOS has nothing to do with it. It’s like setting the resolution on your monitor. If your monitor and GPU supports it then that’s it.

    Retina Display means you can’t distinguish pixels at “normal range”. The new iPad is only retina at 10″ away.

  • baby_Twitty

    Can’t wait to see the lastest Retina-Blue-Screen-Of-Death.
    Must be brilliant.

  • baby_Twitty

    Microsoft have the smallest dick.

  • koopapoopas

    Microsoft will copy Apple.  It’s the Zunely way to Vista.

  • Eric

    So if the iOS has nothing to do with the way the iPhone/new iPad can generate high quality images on their display, and that it’s just the hardware supporting high resolution on a high resolution display, then why haven’t other companies put out their version of Apple’s Retina Display?  There should be nothing that can prevent them from doing so.  According to this article, Microsoft is the FIRST to do so, and it’s still can’t get as good as Apple’s New iPad.  Unless, there is some sort of patented technology or clause that Apple has to be the sole creator of such a high res display.  Which right now they are.

  • Eric

    I’ve tested side by side with my friends’ Rezound and Nexus, by going to the same sites, and looking at videos and pics?  Or taking the same pictures and video under the same conditions and comparing them side by side?  As good as the displays are for Rezound and Nexus, I still found the 4S display that much better.  Not by much, but better.  Specs are one thing.  Actual visual inspection is another.

  • DasithWijesiriwardena

    There are plenty. The Nexus has over 300ppi and is retina. Retina is just a name Apple gives. Apple has no patent over resolution.

    Retina means that at a certain distance you can not distinguish between pixels. For the iPhone it is something like 6″ while for the iPad it is 10″. Any closer and you can see the pixels. So it’s just a marketting name.

    I can gurantee you that there is no patent regarding resolution. If you can set the right resolution your monitor can be retina too.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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