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  • Voltaire Staff

Gaming platform Steam stops Windows 7 and 8 support

PC gamers who prefer older versions of Windows for their gaming experience might need to consider an upgrade soon as Valve Corporation recently announced that it will cease support on its Steam platform for Windows 7 and Windows 8 starting January 1.

After this date, the Steam Client won't run on these older Windows versions.

The decision is notable because it extends beyond Microsoft's discontinuation of support for Windows 7 and 8 in January 2023. GPU manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD had already halted support for their GPUs on these operating systems.

Steam, a video game digital distribution service and storefront developed by Valve Corporation, was launched as a software client in September 2003 to provide game updates automatically for Valve's games, and expanded to distributing third-party titles in late 2005.

Valve's decision to discontinue support for older Windows rises from a noticeable shift among users towards more recent operating systems, which is informed by the company's regular opt-in surveys on users' computers to gather insights into the preferences of PC gamers.

In the latest Hardware & Software survey conducted in November 2023, it was found that only 0.81 per cent of Steam users are still using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 combined. In contrast, a significant 53.53 per cent of Steam users have migrated to Windows 10, and another 42.04 per cent have adopted the newer Windows 11 platform.

The data indicates a clear trend of users moving away from older operating systems.

While the impact is minimal, affecting less than two percent of Steam users according to Valve's February 2023 survey, it's a move prompted by the challenges posed by the built-in Chromium-based browser used by Steam. This browser is no longer supported on Windows 7 and 8, making systems vulnerable to security and functionality issues.

Valve advises users to upgrade to a newer Windows version sooner rather than later due to the heightened security risks associated with unpatched systems. Windows 10 remains a viable option, especially considering the free upgrade offer from Microsoft that persists. Upgrading to Windows 11 might require new hardware, as the stricter requirements may limit compatibility with older PCs.

Sadly, if you're using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, it's a bit tricky now. Getting a free upgrade to Windows 10 is not an option anymore.

In September 2023, Microsoft closed the way people used to upgrade old Windows versions without buying a new key. One now must have a real Windows 10 or 11 licence to install and use a supported Windows version.


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