Microsoft is making the Windows 11 setup process a little more entertaining, at least on some laptops. I unboxed the Surface Laptop Studio 2 yesterday (read Monica Chin’s review here) and noticed that Microsoft now prompts you to play the modern version of its SkiFree game while you wait for updates to be applied.
It’s the same secret surfing game that Microsoft added to its Edge browser three years ago, a fun little Easter egg that’s very similar to the SkiFree skiing game that was released as part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows back in 1991.
The game appears as an option if there are outstanding Windows updates available or if you’re restoring settings using Windows Backup, as far as I can tell. I’m not entirely sure if this is limited to just new Surface devices or whether Microsoft has added the game to the Windows 11 setup process in general. I asked Microsoft for more information on this addition, but the company hasn’t responded in time for publication.
Either way, it’s a fun addition to the often boring Windows setup process. Microsoft has come a long way with its out-of-box installation process in Windows in recent years, with Windows 10 improving on the work of Windows 8 to serve up a more modern and simplified process. I’m old enough to remember how unfriendly setting up a Windows laptop was more than a decade ago, and Windows 11 is a refreshing change.
It’s also far better to be offered a game than having Cortana shout at you when you’re trying to configure a bunch of laptops.