If you believed that Valve was going to stop at supporting only SteamOS on the Steam Deck, well you might want to revise your opinion. They have just released some (but not all) drivers to make it easier to support Windows on the Steam Deck.
From their latest news post:
For now you can only perform a full Windows install. While Steam Deck is fully capable of dual-boot, the SteamOS installer that provides a dual-boot wizard isn’t ready yet.
Also for now, you can only install Windows 10. Windows 11 requires a new BIOS that is currently in the pipe (which provides fTPM support) and will be shipping soon.
Drivers are provided for GPU, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Audio drivers are still in the works with AMD and other parties – but you’ll still be able to use Bluetooth or USB-C audio with Windows on Deck.
- No dual boot right now, you would have to use the recovery image for the Deck if you want to come back to SteamOS
- Windows 10 only.
- No audio output apart from BT and USB-C
So, pretty poor support so far, but I guess it’s better than nothing if you really want to start using the Deck with Windows 10. Note that the Phawx has already made a video on that topic a few days ago too:
I think the bet that most people will remain on SteamOS after receiving their Deck might be looking good right now. We’ll see later in the year.
EDIT: previous version of the article mentioned Windows 11 as installable – now corrected to Windows10.
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People deserve to have the choice to run whatever they want on hardware that they own. I’m glad to see windows is an option– even if I’m rooting for SteamOS and the upstream improvements to linux gaming that follow.
I also think saying Valve is really “supporting” windows on deck is a strong statement. From their own news post:
I always said: hardware working on Windows, because there is no reason to make other os first class citizens. On market exist some hardware not working for Windows – mostly created by Universities, but it disappear due to limited interest. So cases, where Windows support very large amount of hardware (not by box opposite to Linux, where most supported hardware do not need device drivers) is not created by Windows itself, but by Windows popularity. The same about software. On Linux software do not requires installers, but Windows users can not imagine world, where system manage software. In fact, this… Read more »