Windows Handheld Mode leaks as gaming handheld mode for Windows 11
Leaker WalkingCat has shared details about Windows Handheld Mode, a gaming handheld concept based around Windows 11. While Microsoft has not acknowledged the existence of the project yet, WalkingCat has shared a video of Windows Handheld Mode on Twitter, embedded below. As the teaser image shows, Windows Handheld Mode debuted last September during an internal Microsoft Hackathon.
In short, Windows Handheld Mode streamlines Windows 11's UI, effectively creating a facsimile of Steam OS on the Steam Deck. However, Windows Handheld Mode contains a few elements that Steam OS lacks, such as a customisable game launcher with access to the EA Play, Epic Games Store, Steam and the Xbox Game Pass, among others. Additionally, Windows Handheld Mode allows people to adjust their device's controller method and to select Performance Mode for the best in-game experience.
According to Tom Warren of the Verge, 'Microsoft is experimenting' with the project. However, the project leader has since written on Reddit that this is not the case. Instead, it was a Hackathon project that went nowhere, with the project lead unable to garner enough support internally to bring the project to fruition. Warren disputes this, remarking that it was 'more than just a hackathon' and that there is 'work across multiple parts of Windows and Xbox here'. Hence, it seems that Warren is implying that the project remains active, despite the project lead's claims to the contrary.