Microsoft has introduced a new twist to the Windows 11 installation and update process, transforming it from a mundane task into an enjoyable experience. Users are now encouraged to take a break and indulge in a surfing game while waiting for their systems to update.

During the installation of Windows 11 on a Surface Laptop Studio 2, The Verge first spotted this new feature. Microsoft has integrated the Surf game into the Microsoft Edge web browser, making it accessible through the edge://surf URL or even in the absence of an internet connection.

The Surf game, initially launched in May 2020, is a modern rendition of the classic SkiFree game that was part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3.0, released in October 1991. This nostalgic addition aims to engage users during potentially lengthy installation procedures.

Users are prompted with a message during Windows installation, saying, “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.” This diverting feature not only eases potential frustration but also taps into users’ nostalgia, especially for those familiar with the game from earlier Microsoft products.

Microsoft’s decision to include this game in the Windows install process is an effort to transform what might be a tedious task into a moment of relaxation. By providing an engaging diversion, users can enjoy a surfing round if Windows updates take longer than expected or during system restorations via Windows Backup.

It is still unclear whether the surfing game will be available exclusively on Microsoft Surface devices or on all Windows 11 devices. However, during BleepingComputer’s tests of Windows 11 installs on a PC, the Surf game prompts did not appear.

Update October 04, 16:52 EDT: Aaron Grady, VP for Windows Marketing, confirmed that the new Edge Surf prompts will appear on all Windows 11 systems when first setting up the device or when restoring from a backup. This out-of-box experience is applicable to all Windows 11 devices, including Surface.

Microsoft is constantly listening to customer feedback and making changes to improve the waiting experience during OOBE (Out-of-Box Experience). Edge Surf is now part of the setup process, allowing Windows Updates to be installed before the first use of the device. This ensures that users can benefit from the latest features and security updates from the very first day on their new Windows 11 device.

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