Windows 10 tablet

Windows 8.1 works great on small 7 inch tablets (like the Linx 7) when using modern apps but not so well when it comes to the desktop. With Windows 10 having a new tablet mode I was curious to see how Microsoft would handle small form factors. Well it looks like Microsoft are categorising devices with screens of 7 inch or less as mobile devices (including phones) and that means no desktop.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore confirmed on Twitter that small devices (less than 8 inch screens) will not have the desktop and not run Win32 apps with larger devices running have a full desktop and Win32 experience. Joe also clarified that existing small devices already running Windows 8.1 will still have the desktop and use continuum mode where you can switch between tablet and desktop mode. So that means if you have an existing device 7 inch device you can still have the desktop and Win32 apps but if you buy a new 7 inch tablet with Windows 10 pre-installed (once released) it won’t have access to the desktop. It makes sense not to have the desktop on small tablets as they user experience is pretty poor.

Here is a quick table I knocked up, please let me know if there are any corrections:

Device Type New or Upgrade Will it have the desktop?
Phone New device No
Phone Upgraded from Windows Phone 8.1 No
7 Inch Windows Tablet New device No
7 Inch Windows Tablet Upgraded from Windows 8.1 Yes
8 Inch or larger Windows Tablet New Yes
8 Inch or larger Windows Tablet Upgraded from Windows 8.1 Yes

We don’t know about Windows RT devices yet, Surface and Surface 2 will get some kind of update but we don’t know exactly what yet.

Details from Joe Belfiore’s twitter:

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