‘PUBG’ release in China may be behind the surge of Windows 7 use on Steam

playerunknown
Despite all the work Microsoft is dumping into Windows 10 to make it the best gaming platform on the planet and seamlessly link it with the Xbox One consoles, PC gamers appear to prefer the 64-bit version of Windows 7 once again. That revelation stems from the November edition of the Steam Hardware and Software Survey, which shows 69.89 percent of Steam’s customers using Windows 7 (64-bit) and 23.65 percent using Windows 10 (64-bit). Windows 8.1 (64-bit) comes in a distant third with 2.47 percent.

The data collected by Steam isn’t conducted through a voting system. The software takes a snapshot of a PC’s current specifications and then asks permission to send that data back to Valve Software. The data is optional and anonymous, and allows the company to determine “technology investments.” The resulting collection of numbers are published each month and contain statistics about processor use, memory amount, primary display resolution, and more.

At first glance, PC gamers appear to be reverting back to Windows 7 instead of using the newer, gaming-focused Windows 10. In September, the survey’s numbers saw Windows 10 usage drop five percent while Windows 7 number increased six percent. By October, fewer than 30 percent of Steam’s customers were using Windows 10 versus the number of Windows 7 users shooting past 60 percent. The gap grew even wider in November.

April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov.
Win 7 30.86 32.26 32.05 32.91 35.01 41.01 63.60 69.89
Win 10 50.08 49.05 50.33 49.59 50.03 45.37 28.23 23.65

So what’s going on? As the chart shows, around 50 percent of Steam’s customers relied on Windows 10 until September, and the platform’s usage is obviously spiraling downhill. That puts the start of the decline around the time Fall Creators Update began to roll out to the mainstream audience. But speculation instead points to the Chinese market where gamers may simply be relying on Windows 7 instead of Windows 10.

Based on November’s survey, 64.35 percent of Steam’s customers use Simplified Chinese while English falls into second place at 17.02 percent. But in September when Windows 7 use rose over 40 percent, the top language was English at 34.64 percent followed by Simplified Chinese at 29.54 percent.

April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov.
Chinese 13.97 12.09 16.95 16.64 21.63 29.54 56.37 64.35
English 41.80 43.95 40.13 40.53 38.56 34.64 21.24 17.02

As the chart shows, Steam’s Simplified Chinese customer base more than quadrupled in size over the last six months, most of which likely still use Windows 7. Although piracy is a global problem, blaming the sudden rise of Windows 7 machines on Steam can’t be solely attributed to the widespread problem. Many gamers residing in China may simply not have access to Windows 10, thus they’re stuck with the older platform. Windows 7 may also be the gaming platform of choice in a country with more than 1.4 billion residents.

That said, the big operating system and language spikes were between September and October, possibly packing eager gamers wanting to get their hands on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds once its cleaned up and localized by Chinese gaming company Tencent Holdings. Previously, China’s content regulator warned in October that the game could be banned for its violent content, thus sparking interest in the game as seen in the Steam surveys. Tencent will make the game more suitable for Chinese gamers.

Gaming

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.