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Something to look forward to: Whatever your opinion of RGB-covered accessories, their popularity can't be denied. Selecting the myriad of colors and patterns they display usually means installing third-party software such as iCue for Corsair products or Razer Synapse, but it appears that Microsoft is working on a native universal controller within Windows 11 for all RGB accessories.
Twitter user Albacore (via The Verge) spotted new options for device lighting in the latest Windows 11 preview build from the Dev Channel (25295), located within in the Personalization section.
New settings for device lighting make an appearance in build 25295. Is this the beginning of the end for low quality RGB gamer gear apps? 🎮 The spec for this is from 2018 and references to the feature have been around for years. Not cancelled after all 🥳https://t.co/oG4JbKsoeB pic.twitter.com/bMtxCH8REo— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) February 10, 2023
Screenshots show the feature includes a list of all supported RGB hardware, such as headsets, mice, and, in this case, Elgato's Stream Deck. Each device's lights can be customized by brightness, lighting effects, effect speed, and color. There's also a toggle for matching accessories' colors with Windows' accent color.
The list only consists of peripherals, so we don't know if Windows 11 will also allow owners to customize RGB lighting on hardware like motherboards, graphics cards, and RAM, but this functionality could be added before the final version arrives.
Third-party RGB-hub software can be a pain to use, intrusive, and a resource hog. There are some excellent all-in-one apps like SignalRGB that can control lighting on devices from multiple manufacturers and offer a host of bells and whistles, of course, but universal settings within Windows 11 would likely be a welcome addition for those who want a quick and easy way of customizing their devices and don't require the extensive options found in dedicated apps.
Microsoft has not made any public announcements regarding the RGB-lighting control panel in Windows 11 yet. Features that show up in preview builds don't always make it into the consumer versions of the OS, so there's no guarantee this one will. However, the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Microsoft is set to roll out an updated File Explorer that includes increased integration with OneDrive, email, and Microsoft 365 before the end of the year. It could be the centerpiece of a Moment update or Windows 11's 23H2 update, which might also include the RGB-lighting feature.