Microsoft issues hardware specifications for manufacturers from time to time, so that everyone is on the same page as to what the current version of Windows will support. They have issued new specs for Windows 8.1, which should be generally available at no cost to all Windows 8 users towards the end of 2013 (the 8.1 preview is available for download now). Support for hybrid drives and other features give an inkling as to where Microsoft thinks things are headed.
NeowinIf a new PC has Windows 8.1 installed and also has NFC hardware, they must use the NCI protocol, according to the new requirements. Inbox support for fingerprint readers is being added to Windows 8.1. As we reported earlier, Microsoft and Intel are also working on a better trackpad technology that will launch later this year. Windows 8.1 running on ARM will require the use of the upcoming Precision Touchpads technology, but it will remain an option for x86 PCs.