Leaked presentation reveals "Handheld Mode" for Windows 11 on handheld consoles

The Steam Deck console running Windows 11

The success of Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck caused an influx of similar devices with Windows, but Microsoft's operating system lacks optimizations for this kind of device, often resulting in an inferior experience. A leaked presentation from Microsoft Hackathon in September 2022 reveals that Microsoft is aware of the problem and looking for possible solutions.

The proposed "Windows Handheld Mode" aims to fix primary problems and inconveniences in modern handhelds running Windows. For example, poor controls in non-Steam games, lack of display and UI optimizations, many additional launchers, and more. The developers want to solve those issues by implementing a keyboard you can control from a gamepad, creating a single place for all your games, optimizing UI scaling, delivering a better onboarding experience, and addressing fixes for minor things that break the experience.

According to the presentation, all the proposed changes are achievable with the "right specialists and expertise." However, there is no guarantee Microsoft will bring the "Windows Handheld Mode" concept to life, so do not get your hopes too high. Perhaps, the company will pay more attention to this side of its operating system as more manufacturers offer their handheld consoles with Windows 11 onboard, such as the recent ASUS ROG Ally.

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