Microsoft has introduced a new twist to the Windows 11 installation and update process, transforming it from a mundane task to an enjoyable experience.
Users are now encouraged to take a break and enjoy a browsing game while they wait for their systems to update, as The Verge first discovered when installing Windows 11 on a Surface Laptop Studio 2.
This browsing game is the one integrated into the Microsoft Edge web browser, which can be accessed through the URL edge://surf or in the absence of an Internet connection.
Initially released in May 2020 when bundled with the Microsoft Edge web browser, the Surf game is a modern version of the classic game SkiFree, part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3.0, released in October 1991.
“Want to play while you wait? Check out the fan-favorite surfing game! Type edge://surf in Microsoft Edge to play again later,” users are asked during Windows installation.
The company’s decision to add this game to the Windows installation process is intended to involve users during potentially lengthy installation procedures.
If Windows updates take longer than expected, or when users initiate system restore via Windows backup, they are also prompted to enjoy a round of browsing.
Beyond simply alleviating potential frustration, this addition taps into the nostalgia of users, particularly those familiar with gameplay from previous Microsoft products.
By providing engaging fun during the installation process, Microsoft seeks to transform what could be a tedious task into a moment of relaxation.
At this time, it’s unclear if the navigation-only game is coming to Microsoft. Browseace or all devices running Windows 11. Additionally, these Surf game prompts did not appear during BleepingComputer’s testing of Windows 11 installations on a PC.
A Microsoft spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by BleepingComputer today.