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Steam Officially Abandons Older Windows Versions: What It Means and How It Affects You

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It was only a matter of time before this happened, and the moment has arrived: PC gamers using older versions of Windows have lost support from Steam. Valve has officially announced through its help page that as of January 1, Steam has ceased support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. While this might be a setback for some gamers, in reality, and considering the available data, it might not be as impactful as it seems. Let’s break it down.

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What Does This Exactly Mean?

Valve ceasing support for these versions implies that the Steam client will no longer receive any updates of any kind, including security updates. Likewise, the Steam support team won’t be able to offer assistance for technical issues, and obviously, “Steam cannot guarantee continued functionality on unsupported operating system versions.”

In fact, according to Valve, “We expect the Steam client and games on these older operating systems to continue functioning for some time without updates after January 1, 2024, but we cannot guarantee continued functionality after that date.”

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Read Also: Practical For Steam Players: With This Tool You Can Prevent Annoying Bad Purchases

Why This Move?

The truth is rather straightforward. Steam’s core functionalities rely on an integrated version of Google Chrome that no longer operates on older versions of Windows. Additionally, as pointed out by Valve, future versions of Steam “will require feature and security updates from Windows that are only present in Windows 10 and higher.” Not to mention that unsupported software lacking security patches is inherently insecure, and in that regard.

Steam Officially Abandons Older Windows Versions

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These Windows Versions Are Outdated

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have been without support since January 10, 2023. Actually, even before that, but some users had extended support for security updates (or third-party patches). In the case of Windows 7, Microsoft ceased support on January 14, 2020. These are outdated operating systems and as such, may not be secure. It makes perfect sense for Steam to finally abandon these versions.

The Scope of the Measure

According to the latest Steam hardware survey (December 2023 at the time of writing), Windows 7 is installed on 0.68% of computers, while Windows 8.1 is on 0.15%. In other words, this move will not affect even one in a hundred players. The most popular version on Steam is Windows 10, holding a 53.45% share, followed by Windows 11 with 41.95%.

Diverging Data

These Steam-based statistics might not come as a surprise, as gaming users tend to stay updated. However, beyond the gaming realm, the scenario is quite different. According to StatCounter, Windows 10 holds a 67.46% share. Windows 11 follows with 26.52%. Windows 7 stands at third place with 3.34%, and Windows 8.1 at fourth with 1.66%. For the curious minds, there’s still 0.64% of computers running on Windows XP.

For further information, visit Valve.

Read Also: Steam’s 2023 Review: Baldur’s Gate 3, Starfield, And Sons Of The Forest Among Top-Grossing And Played Titles

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