Steam has officially ceased support for its launcher on the older versions of Windows operating systems, namely Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. As a result, these platforms will no longer receive security patches. This move is due to Valve, Steam’s creator, relying on software vendor updates, like specific Chrome versions incompatible with Windows 7. The company suggests users upgrade to Windows 10 or newer systems. Users who continue to operate on these older operating systems may face increased security risks and potential incompatibility with newer games or updates. Valve recommends that its users prioritize transitioning to a supported Windows version, such as Windows 10 or 11, to maintain optimal performance and security within the Steam platform.
Migration to Windows 10 and enhanced security
Back in January 2020, Microsoft stopped providing updates and technical support for Windows 7, while support for the less popular Windows 8 and 8.1 concluded in January 2023. Since then, Microsoft has been urging users to upgrade to their latest operating system, Windows 10, for optimal performance and enhanced security features. As a result, there has been a steady migration of users to Windows 10, ensuring that their systems stay up to date and protected from vulnerabilities.
The importance of security updates
Security updates are essential, as malicious software can potentially impact numerous applications and launchers, with vulnerabilities often found in both hardware and software.To mitigate these threats, developers regularly release patches that address identified weaknesses, ensuring that users stay protected against any potential attacks. Users should remain vigilant, updating their systems promptly, and utilizing proactive security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software, to minimize risks associated with cyber threats.
Additionally, in the pursuit of a robust cybersecurity strategy, do not forget to get a VPN, as it adds an extra layer of protection to safeguard your online activities and further minimize the risks associated with cyber threats. Where antivirus focuses on security, a VPN allows you to enjoy private online sessions.
Effect on Steam users and recommendations
This change won’t affect the majority of Steam users, as older Windows operating systems account for only 0.00% to 0.01% of global users. However, for the small percentage of users still utilizing these older systems, it is highly recommended to upgrade to a more recent version of Windows to continue enjoying a seamless Steam experience. Upgrading to a newer operating system not only ensures ongoing compatibility with Steam, but also provides improved security and access to newer features and applications.
Extended support for Windows Server 2019
Microsoft will maintain security updates for Windows Server 2019 until January 9, 2024, which benefits approximately 0.06% of Steam users.This extended support period allows those users to continue utilizing the operating system while ensuring optimal security. Microsoft’s decision showcases their commitment to customer satisfaction and addressing the needs of a diverse user base.
End of support for Windows 10
Support for Windows 10 is scheduled to end on October 14, 2025.This means that after this date, Microsoft will cease providing vital security updates and technical support for the operating system. Users are advised to prepare for upgrading their systems to a newer version, such as Windows 11, to ensure constant support and protection against security vulnerabilities.
Windows platform dominance among Steam users
Windows currently leads platform distribution among Steam users, holding more than 96.40% share.This overwhelming majority can be attributed to the wide range of gaming options and compatibility that Windows operating systems provide. However, other platforms such as macOS and Linux are gradually gaining popularity among gamers, holding 2.47% and 0.89% market shares respectively.
Market share of MacOS and Linux
In comparison, MacOS and Linux have a minimal market share.Despite having a smaller piece of the market, these operating systems still have a dedicated user base. Both MacOS and Linux offer unique advantages and features that make them attractive alternatives to the more dominant Windows platform.
User choices between Windows 10, 11, and Linux distributions
It’s yet to be seen whether new users will choose Windows 10, 11, or Linux distributions.As these operating systems continue to evolve and offer unique features, prospective users will likely weigh the pros and cons of each before making their decision. Factors such as system performance, security, customization, and software compatibility are all key aspects that need to be considered when choosing the ideal OS for the users’ specific needs.
Arch Linux Ubuntu 64-bit user base
Arch Linux Ubuntu 64-bit presently comprises 0.14% to 0.15% of Steam’s user base.This percentage represents a small but dedicated community of gamers who prefer the customization and control offered by Arch Linux as their operating system. As the platform continues to gain support and updates, the user base is expected to grow, potentially attracting more developers to optimize their games for this distribution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Steam ending support for older Windows versions?
Steam is ending support for older Windows versions, such as Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, because Valve relies on software vendor updates that are no longer compatible with these versions. It is recommended for users to upgrade to Windows 10 or newer operating systems for optimal performance and security.
What are the potential risks of using older Windows versions on Steam?
Users operating on older Windows versions may face increased security risks and potential incompatibilities with newer games or updates. Valve recommends upgrading to a supported Windows version to maintain optimal performance and security within the Steam platform.
How long will Microsoft provide support for Windows 10?
Microsoft is scheduled to end support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025. After this date, Microsoft will cease providing security updates and technical support for the operating system. Users are advised to upgrade to a newer operating system like Windows 11 for ongoing support and protection.
What is the current market share of Windows, macOS, and Linux among Steam users?
As of now, Windows holds more than 96.40% of the market share among Steam users, followed by macOS with 2.47% and Linux with 0.89%. These percentages reflect the widespread compatibility and gaming options provided by Windows operating systems for Steam users.
Why might some users choose Arch Linux Ubuntu 64-bit instead of Windows?
Arch Linux Ubuntu 64-bit offers customization and control that appeals to a dedicated community of gamers who prefer its unique advantages and features. As the platform gains support and updates, its user base is expected to grow, potentially attracting more developers to optimize their games for this distribution.