Microsoft is improving gaming support in Chromium for Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop screen

One of the main advantages of Windows 10 has always been
compatibility support for older apps and hardware. This is
possible because Windows has decades of legacy stuff to support
the vast majority of apps and games created in the past decade.

Lately, Microsoft has been experimenting with modular and
modern versions of Windows to ditch decades of legacy cruft
that simply can’t be removed from Windows 10. While Microsoft
has given up on long-rumoured Andromeda mobile OS, the related
“Windows Core OS” project or WCOS, is still underway.

Microsoft also appears to be working on a new update for
Chromium that will enable support for a wide range of gamepad
on Windows 10, Windows Core OS and Windows 10X.

According to commits
and bug posts found on Chromium Gerrit, Microsoft is working on
a new feature that will allow Chromium (Chrome, Edge and other
browsers) to support a wider range of modern gamepad devices on
Windows 10.

The change will enable “Windows.Gaming.Input (WGI)” by default
on Chromium, which should allow WGI to provide support for
gamepad-specific Plug & Play APIs, even on WCOS devices.

In a support document, Microsoft has noted that the WGI
provides access to game controller input for Windows apps and
games.

The tech giant believes that WGI support could also allow
Chromium to support rumble triggers on the Xbox One gamepad,
and paddles on the Elite controllers when you use
Chromium-based browsers to play web-based games.

Windows Core OS and Windows 10X

Microsoft also noted that WGI Gamepad JavaScript API will
enable support for gamepad-specific Plug & Play APIs in
Chromium for Windows Core OS. You can expect all these gaming
improvements to work on both Windows desktop (Win32 apps) and
even Windows 10X.

“While low-level APIs like Raw Input does not support WCOS
devices, with this WGI Gamepad JavaScript API, Chromium gains
support for gamepad-specific Plug & Play APIs, even on WCOS
devices. This feature can work on both Windows Desktop (Win32
apps) and Windows 10X,” Microsoft noted.

Microsoft has been actively working on legacy-free ‘Windows
Core OS’ since 2017 and it’s widely believed that the OS has
been in the works for much longer. Windows Core OS is a
stripped-back version of Windows, primarily designed for new
form factors such as Surface Neo, Chromebook-like devices and
it is said to be the future of Windows.

Windows 10X emulator

Windows Core OS uses a ‘Composable Shell,’ a modular version of
the existing Windows Shell, to easily create new versions of
Windows 10 such as ‘Windows
10X‘ and share features across different form factors.

Earlier this year,
Microsoft started optimizing Chromium for Windows Core OS.

It’s also worth noting that Windows Core OS-powered Windows 10X
has deep ties with web experiences. It also puts UWP and PWA
Windows apps front and center.

Since Microsoft has abandoned EdgeHTML, there are plans to
optimize all rough areas of Chromium, which will also power the
web-based interface of apps and games in the upcoming versions
of Windows 10.

Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10X is no longer
exclusive to foldable PCs and
it will first launch on laptops and 2-in-1’s, which also
confirms the adaptable and modular nature of Windows Core OS.

Windows Core OS-based Windows 10X is expected to launch next
year and there are plans for public beta testing of the
operating system on existing hardware.

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