Microsoft has internally developed a customized Windows 11 tailored for handheld gaming devices

Twitter user Walking Cat recently shared information indicating that Microsoft has internally developed a customized Windows 11 operating system tailored for handheld gaming devices such as the Steam Deck, incorporating a bespoke interface allowing users to quickly launch games from Xbox Game Pass, Steam, and other services.

Developer “AndrewMT” confirmed on a Reddit forum that this was an internal hackathon project at Microsoft, emphasizing that its purpose is to facilitate the use of services other than Steam on handheld gaming devices, such as Xbox Game Pass and the Epic Game Store. The project also includes improvements to device drivers and the enhancement of user experience through a customized interface.

However, this initiative has not made significant progress within Microsoft. As a result, “AndrewMT” hopes that discussing the project on Reddit will prompt Microsoft to continue its development. Prior to this, Valve had created the Steam Deck interface based on the Linux operating system. Although users can install Windows and access gaming services beyond Steam, the overall operation is not as intuitive.

For upcoming handheld gaming devices like the ASUS ROG Ally, a customized interface is added on top of the Windows 11 operating system, making gaming content more accessible and convenient. Similar approaches have been taken by other handheld gaming devices such as Ayaneo.

Microsoft has previously stated that Windows can be adjusted at the system core level to adapt the user interface, as demonstrated by the Xbox gaming console interface, which is fundamentally designed around the Windows operating system core. Therefore, theoretically, applying Windows to handheld gaming devices should not pose significant challenges. The main consideration is how Microsoft perceives the market value driven by such products.