Poll: Which form factor should Microsoft focus on for Windows 12?

Installing Windows 11 on Steam Deck
(Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Tech tends to go in phases. When one company strikes gold, others tend to follow. We saw a wave of 2-in-1s after Microsoft came out with its Surface Pro lineup. Now, we could be in the next wave of Windows PCs, handheld gaming consoles.

The Steam Deck has proven popular with both console and PC gamers. When it launched, it had a unique form factor that brought people's Steam libraries into the palm of their hand. We've since seen companies like ASUS follow suit with the ROG Ally.

What does all this have to do with Windows? A recently leaked Microsoft hackathon project showed a handheld game mode for Windows 11. While only an experimental project at the moment, that handheld mode would fit well on devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally. It is possible to install Windows 11 on a Steam Deck, but it's not the smoothest experience.

With the next major version of Windows, Microsoft is looking to optimize the operating system for different devices.

The Windows Handheld Mode would bring a dedicated interface to devices like the Steam Deck. (Image credit: @_h0x0d_ on Twitter)

"The project is codenamed CorePC and is designed to be a modular and customizable variant of Windows for Microsoft to leverage different form factors with," said our Senior Editor Zac Bowden in a recent report.

"Not all Windows PCs need the full breadth of legacy Win32 app support, and CorePC will allow Microsoft to configure 'editions' of Windows with varying levels of feature and app compatibility."

With Bowden's comments in mind and the emergence of handheld gaming consoles, I wanted to see what people think Microsoft should focus on when it comes to form factors for Windows 12. Should the company lean heavily into handheld devices like the Steam Deck? Should it focus on 2-in-1s? Perhaps Microsoft should focus on desktops, where so many people use Windows.

Let us know which form factor you think Microsoft should focus on the most with the next version of Windows. Obviously in a perfect world Microsoft would optimize Windows for a range of form factors but for the sake of this poll I'm asking for your top priority.

In addition to voting in our poll, you can also comment below. You may have noticed that comments have appeared again on Windows Central. We'll share more on them in a bit. For now, take advantage of the chance to comment on this article and hop on over to the forums.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.