Microsoft is Experimenting With Improved Windows UI on Steam Deck

Microsoft seems to be expressing internal interest in bringing proper Windows support to the Steam Deck and other handheld gaming PCs.

Microsoft seems to be exploring better Windows 11 support for handheld gaming systems like the Steam Deck. According to The Verge, a video from a Microsoft hackathon that took place in September 2022 reveals a Microsoft developer presenting an idea for an improved gaming-centric UI for use on the Steam Deck.

The video reveals some of the major problems with running Windows 11 on a platform like the Steam Deck, highlighting various aspects like the lack of proper controller support in the Windows UI, and the on-screen keyboard not being suitable for devices with smaller display sizes.

A prototype UI developed by Microsoft senior UX designer Dorothy Feng is shown off, featuring a launcher that can open games from a variety of different digital distribution platforms, including Steam, PC Game Pass, EA Play, and Epic Games Store.

While the presence of the prototype is by no means official confirmation that Microsoft might be working on bringing Windows 11 to the Steam Deck and other handheld gaming PCs, the presence of the prototype indicates that there is at least some level of interest at Microsoft in making Windows more accessible on handheld platforms.