In an imaginative move, Microsoft has decided to make the process of installing or updating Windows 11 a bit more enjoyable. Users can now engage in a surfing game, courtesy of Microsoft Edge, while waiting for their systems to update. This creative twist is aimed at turning what could be a tedious task into a fun diversion.

The Edge Surf Game: A Blast from the Past

The Edge Surf game is not new; it was initially launched in May 2020 as an integrated part of the Microsoft Edge web browser. The game can be accessed either via the URL edge://surf or even when there is no internet connection. The Surf game is a modern take on the classic SkiFree game, which was a part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3.0, released in October 1991.

During the Windows 11 installation process, users are prompted with a message: “Want to play a game while you wait? Check out the fan-favorite surf game! Type edge://surf in Microsoft Edge to play again later.”

Screen Shot: The Verge

Purpose Behind the Playtime

This feature aims to engage users during potentially long waits caused by system updates or restorations. It’s not just a matter of killing time; it’s about enhancing user experience. The game is particularly targeted at those who may feel nostalgic about the SkiFree game from the early ’90s, offering them a walk down memory lane while their system gets up to date.

When Does the Game Appear?

The surf game appears as an option not just during initial installation but also if there are pending Windows updates or if a user is restoring settings using Windows Backup. This means that even if an update takes longer than anticipated, users can distract themselves with a round of virtual surfing.

Is It for Everyone?

At this point, it’s unclear whether this feature is exclusive to Microsoft Surface devices or if it will be rolled out to all Windows 11 systems. During tests conducted by BleepingComputer, the Surf game prompts did not appear during Windows 11 installations on a regular PC. Microsoft has not yet provided a comment on this.

Past and Present: Evolution of Windows Setup

The Windows setup process has come a long way. Older versions were often criticized for being user-unfriendly, but Microsoft has made significant strides in improving the out-of-box installation experience. The introduction of the Surf game is a testament to this progress, making the process more engaging than ever.

Final Thoughts: More Than Just a Setup

Microsoft’s initiative to include a game in the Windows 11 setup process reflects the company’s attention to detail when it comes to user experience. This move is not merely about keeping users entertained; it’s a strategy aimed at transforming a mundane procedure into a memorable interaction. It also signals the tech giant’s commitment to evolving and innovating, even in areas as seemingly trivial as system installation.

So, the next time you find yourself staring at a screen waiting for Windows 11 to install, why not catch a virtual wave? After all, it’s not just about reaching your software destination; it’s also about enjoying the journey.