Valve has now released one of the most important Windows drivers for the Steam Deck, allowing users to change the operating system of the device with relative ease.
It’s clear that Valve is very confident in SteamOS 3 being a successful and widely adopted gaming operating system through the success of its steam cover Gaming laptop. Still, the company isn’t dissuading anyone from installing Windows on the Deck if they prefer, and there’s even been a certain amount of official support available lately.
While Steam Deck users are still missing out on some of the device’s key features if they end up installing Windows on it, Valve isn’t about to leave them dry. In fact, the company recently released a key set of audio drivers for Windows users, bolstering Deck’s support for Microsoft’s core operating system across the board.
While Steam Deck has supported Windows for some time, several aspects of the operating system weren’t entirely up to par or usable at all. Audio, for example, seems to have had a variety of issues that users couldn’t fix themselves, and it was up to Valve to decide if they would. Windows fans will be pleased to know that the Steam Deck now has official Windows audio drivers ready and available for download.
However, Valve still recommends users to stick with Windows 10 instead of Windows 11 for now, as Microsoft’s new operating system requires a different BIOS version than what is currently available. The release of audio drivers for Windows marks a major checkpoint in Valve’s support for different operating systems on the Deck, and most of the cool features, like Steam Deck’s 40Hz refresh rate limit, are now too. they should be available on Windows.
Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that using Windows on the Steam Deck causes performance drops. So users who want the smoothest and most efficient experience possible can opt for SteamOS 3. There’s also the matter of getting support from Valve. The company announced that its Windows drivers are provided as-is, which means that Windows users will not be able to rely on official support channels in case something goes wrong.
The fact that Valve provided official software releases for a competitor’s operating system was not a given, but the company’s goals aren’t too hard to figure out. The Steam Deck may already have pushed Linux gaming more than anything before it, and Valve will certainly try to position SteamOS 3 as a gaming-focused competitor to Windows. However, if it ends up succeeding, it’s a different can of worms.
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