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Microsoft is testing a Windows 10 setup screen with 'gaming' as an option

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Some of what goes into a new Windows 10 installation is fluff, like certain Start menu tiles and programs you might not have any interest in using. In an effort to tailor Windows 10 to your actual interests, Microsoft is toying with the idea of an initial setup screen that lets you select how you plan to use your PC, with several different categories to choose from. One of them is Gaming.

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There six categories in all, the others being Family, Creativity, Schoolwork, Entertainment, and Business. Each one offers a broad description. For example, the Gaming category states, "Play and discover games, keep up with new releases," while Schoolwork reads, "Take notes, write essays, and collaborate on projects."

Microsoft is not 100 percent committed to adding the optional setup screen to the Windows 10 installation routine, and is instead "exploring" the possibility, first within the Windows Insider program via preview build 20231 in the Dev channel.

"Based on feedback, we’re exploring adding a page to Windows setup (OOBE) to help better understand how you plan to use your device and aid in customizing your device given your intended usage," Microsoft says.

At this early stage, selecting one or more customization categories does not do a whole lot. Microsoft says Insiders may see different options during Windows setup, depending on which boxes they tick, but it will not result in any actual configuration differences after exiting Windows setup. Which is kind of weird.

To that end, it is also not entirely clear how the different category designations will affect Windows 10. Specifically as it relates to the Gaming option, I suspect it would least enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling by default, and turn Game Mode on. Beyond those things, though, who really knows.

Looking at this broadly, Microsoft seems to understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to Windows 10 is perhaps not the best way to go. Outside of launching a version of Windows 10 specifically for gaming (Windows 10 Gaming Edition), this could be the next best thing.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).