Microsoft employees have shown off a concept for what an optimized Windows user interface could look like on Valve’s Steam Deck handheld PC, and by extension, how Windows gaming would operate on that system. In a leaked video posted online by Twitter user h0x0d (via The Verge), the pitch details all of the problems that Steam Deck users have with trying to get Windows running on the handheld hardware, and it originates from a Microsoft Hackathon that was held in September 2022.

This internal event, where employees pitch ideas to Microsoft higher-ups in order to get support for them, saw the team present a prototype operating system for the Steam Deck. Led by senior UX designer Dorothy Feng, the launcher allows for games to be opened up from multiple storefronts such as the PC version of Game Pass, Steam, Epic Games Store, and more. Other improvements include an optimized keyboard and a floating taskbar.

It’s worth noting that this is just a pitch for now, but at the end of the video, the video narrator calls for Microsoft to “get serious” about handheld gaming so that the company can improve its credibility within the PC gaming community. Currently, Valve does provide drivers to get Windows working on its Steam Deck, but the experience is far from optimal. Compared to the default SteamOS running on the system, Windows simply isn’t optimized for the Steam Deck and suffers from numerous issues.

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