If you’ve ever felt a little guilty for blinging out your PC with a Christmas tree’s worth of RGB lighting, don’t. Microsoft believes in RGB enough that it’s bringing the technology to Windows with an upcoming Dynamic Lighting feature. (Perhaps, they even heard our complaints!)
Microsoft unveiled a grab bag of new, upcoming features for Windows 11 at Microsoft Build, including changes to the Taskbar and alterations to how Windows widgets work. But one of the weirdest has to be the addition of Dynamic Lighting controls, which are usually controlled by specialized utilities that ship with your PC or peripherals.
“Lighted accessories have been on the rise and can add energy and emotion to your PC experience,” according to a blog post by Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay. “Today, many of these accessories rely on third-party apps and integrations that are highly fragmented. With Dynamic Lighting, Windows users will be able to effortlessly set up and customize their devices with RGB lights directly from Windows Settings. It has never been easier to help all your RGB accessories seamlessly work together for Windows apps. This month, we are making the Dynamic Lighting preview available to Windows Insiders so that developers and hardware partners alike can experiment with new integrations for RGB accessories and components.”
So far, we haven’t seen the Insider build that Panay references, nor do we know which channel it will appear in. (Windows Insider Release Preview and Beta Channels are for code that will definitely arrive on your PC, while the Dev and Canary Channels don’t offer any guarantees.)
It’s also unclear whether Windows will offer anything better than the surprising number of RGB utilities already on the market, from SignalRGB, OpenRGB, RGB Fusion, and others. New hardware features also often necessitate a complementary feature in the accompanying software utility, and it isn’t clear that Windows will be able to keep up with everything.
What we do know, however, is that apparently you won’t need to always rely on a piece of third-party code to keep the party pumping. Besides, can you really game without a swirling rainbow of lights in the background?
For more from Microsoft Build, check out our stories on Windows Copilot, how Microsoft will make moving to a new PC easier, and the changes coming to Microsoft Edge.