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Windows 10 leaps ahead of 7 among Steam gamers

Man wearing headphones and looking at monitor.
Iryna Tiumentseva/Shutterstock
Windows 10 64-bit is now used by 36.97 percent of Steam users, jumping Windows 7’s 64-bit version for the fist time. This means Windows 10 64-bit is the OS of a plurality of Steam gamers for the first time.

The stat was revealed in Steam’s March 2016 hardware and software survey, which outlines a number of stats related to gamer’s machines. For example, 4GB is the most common amount of RAM to have; 1,920 x 1,080 is the most common resolution. It’s a treasure trove of information just about any month, but this month it’s the operating system stats that stand out.

This is, in part, because of how different the stats are from the general PC-using population. NetMarketShare shows Windows 7 as being by far the most common OS on the market, with 51.89 percent in March. Windows 10 is trailing at a distant 14.15 percent.

So why are the Steam numbers so different? For one thing, PC gamers tend to be early adopters, buying the latest processors, hard drives, and especially graphics cards way before the rest of the population. Apparently that trend also extends to downloading the latest operating system.

Windows Version Share
Windows 10 64 bit 36.97%
Windows 7 64 bit 32.99%
Windows 8.1 64 bit 12.93%
Windows 7 32 bit 6.97%
Windows XP 32 bit 2.00%
Windows 8 64 bit 1.64%
Windows 10 1.31%
Windows 8.1 0.34%
Windows Vista 32 bit 0.24%
Windows 8 0.15%
Windows Vista 64 bit 0.13%

It’s also worth noting that, with a few exceptions, most gamers don’t install Steam on their work computers. Windows 10 adoptions has been slower in the enterprise market, as is typical for new operating systems. Adaptation of a free operating system is going to be faster on home computers, where individuals can make the choice to upgrade without having to run it by IT first.

Windows 10 doesn’t actually have a majority share here. The results look different if you combine 64 and 32 bit versions of the operating system: 39.96 percent of users prefer some form of Windows 7 to some form of Windows 10.

But Microsoft’s lastest OS grew by 2.97 percent last month, and there are plenty of months left in year of free upgrades.

Whatever happens, the results show that, despite some gamer’s apprehension, a number of Steam users are embracing Microsoft’s free upgrade and switching to Windows 10. Gamers have had some complaints with Windows 10, mostly related to the Windows Store, but that’s apparently not stopping Steam users from making the switch.

The numbers also outlined Mac and Linux systems, though the totals are tiny by comparison. The highest rated version of Mac OS X, by contrast, saw only a 1.31 percent user share; OS X combined for a total of 3.32 percent of Steam users. All Linux systems combined add up to 0.85 percent of Steam users, which is less than half of Windows XP.

Want to learn more? Check out the complete results here.

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Justin Pot
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