Since RGB software entered the PC market many moons ago, it’s been a disorganized mess. Every company that makes hardware with RGB has its own software to control it. Few of these utilities, if any, can sync with one another. So you might have Corsair RAM, an Asus GPU/motherboard, and an NZXT CPU cooler, all with RGB. Good luck getting any synced-up lighting pattern going between those components.
This fractured RGB software ecosystem has been the bane of bling-loving gamers for years. Additionally, the software is usually unintuitive and crash-y. At least, that’s our experience with utilities from Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and Corsair. Now Microsoft is stepping into this quagmire with what could be a divine solution: integrating RGB control directly into Windows 11.
News of Microsoft’s plans was revealed in a recent Insider build. It shows a new section named “Lighting” listed under the Personalization area in Settings. Twitter user @albacore posted screenshots showing various RGB devices listed in the menu. They include a mouse, an Asus CPU cooler, a Steam Deck, and a generic keyboard. This still leaves out memory, mousepads, and GPUs, but it does seem to include all RGB devices connected to the system. This isn’t the case with most current RGB software, which usually only shows devices from the software manufacturer.
A second panel allows you to tweak each device’s lighting. The options are limited; instead of getting about a dozen presets to choose from, there’s just a handful. The lighting effects seem limited to a solid color, blinking, or a rainbow. That’s quite pedestrian, at least compared with our personal experience using Corsair iCue. This software presents myriad options and also allows you to download custom profiles.
What’s interesting is the source also posted a link to a request made by a Microsoft employee to create this in 2018. The technical paper clearly states the problem: a wide range of devices have “lamps” with no universal location to control them. According to OP, it was thought that work on this feature was cancelled, which apparently isn’t the case. It now appears in Insider Build 25295, even though Microsoft didn’t mention it in the release notes.
Even the most jaded Windows user would welcome this addition to Windows. In fact, this feature alone could be enough to convince people to “upgrade” to Windows 11, in our opinion. It’s been such a long-running national nightmare that a lot of users have given up on the dream of ever unifying all of their RGB lighting. There are alternatives like OpenRGB, but it’s not easy to use in our experience. Plus, in addition to making it easier to control lighting, you’d no longer have to install four or more separate utilities to change the lighting on something. If you’re reading this, Microsoft, please bring this to the masses as soon as possible.
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