TECH NEWS – One of the Microsoft developers behind the recently revealed Windows Handheld Mode gives further insight into the newly leaked project.
The Microsoft developer behind the recently revealed Windows Handheld Mode has taken to the web to clarify the status of the newly leaked project. His insight directly responds to the news that Microsoft is experimenting with Windows 11 Handheld Mode.
The April 13 leak came in the form of a video detailing a rough overview of a Windows gaming experience optimized for handheld PCs similar to Steam Deck.
The two-minute clip and the accompanying project were shot during an internal Microsoft hackathon in September 2022.
In a later update, Reddit user AndrewMT identified himself as the original creator of the experimental feature. He pointed to a 7-month-old post publicly asking for user feedback on this exact idea. Aside from confirming that the now leaked video doesn’t precisely detail a top-secret feature, the developer also noted that the project “hasn’t gone anywhere”. This turnaround was primarily because the proper implementation of Windows 11’s handheld gaming mode was outside the scope of the 2022 hackathon. In addition, “the right engineers” were simply not available at the time, he explained.
That’s not to say the project didn’t make waves at the company. The creator noted that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer personally tried to facilitate future development. He tried to help by connecting him with some of his staff. They were “able to help”, presumably because of their Windows 11-specific expertise. However, everyone was busy at the time, so the venture itself was a bit of a flop, as this first-hand account shows. The Microsoft developer said he was still hopeful that he could see his idea through. He speculates that perhaps this spotlight from the news cycle might help him re-offer Windows Handheld Mode to Microsoft.
Many of today’s best portable gaming consoles are capable of running Windows, and the handheld PC market as a whole is on the rise, not least thanks to the success of Valve’s Steam Deck.
Given this situation, it seems that Microsoft is increasingly being encouraged to complete the official Windows Handheld Mode project.
The challenges of delivering an authentic portable gaming experience on Windows 11 handheld computers stem primarily from the fact that the operating system is simply not designed for controllers or touchscreens. The latter is somewhat ironic. Especially since Microsoft pushed a touch-friendly operating system quite aggressively a decade ago. The debut of Windows 8 in 2012 and its tile-like user interface proved to be quite divisive. Microsoft has backed away from this design philosophy in subsequent operating system releases.