Windows 8 is a video game industry failure according to Valve and the NPD Group


Windows 8 hasn’t been the hit with consumers that Microsoft was hoping it would be, at least not yet. In the video game industry, it has been the abject failure game developers like Valve’s Gabe Newell said it would be even though some of Valve’s customers have already adopted the new operating system. About 237,600 of them based on data from the company’s latest survey of Steam users.

Valve compiles a monthly overview of Steam’s membership through a voluntary, optional survey of its users. It breaks down what PC technology Steam users are running the client and games on, covering everything from video cards, graphics processors, operating systems, etc. Based on the latest survey, 0.44 percent of Steam users are running Windows 8. With 54 million active users on Steam, you get 237,600 Windows 8 users on Steam provided that Valve’s data is consistent across all its users. It’s likely not, but it’s a reasonable estimation.

The short version: Windows 8 is definitively not a hit with PC gamers, even if some of them upgraded to the new OS. It isn’t just Steam that proves Microsoft’s bid to win the Apple audience isn’t connecting with video game players. The NPD Group reported that Windows PC game sales crumpled in the month after Windows 8’s release, shrinking by 21 percent between Oct. 21 and Nov. 17 compared to the same month the previous year.

“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either,” said the NPD’s Stephen Baker, “It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.”

Even Microsoft’s own partners are badmouthing the OS. “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now,” said David Chang, the CFO of PC maker Asus.

Video game developers have been opposed to Windows 8 since Microsoft first announced the operating system, because it was an attempt to make PCs a closed platform rigidly controlled by Microsoft. If you wanted to make a PC game and sell it through the Windows 8 store, you had to abide by Microsoft’s approval process and store rules, much like on Apple platforms. Independent apps can be purchased and run on Windows 8, but the process would not be as open as on past Windows platforms.

Windows 8 isn’t actually the least used operating system amongst Steam users, though. That distinction belongs to Apple’s OS X 10.7.4.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

The best software for filing your taxes — because you can never be too early

The best tax software offers a variety of services for saving money, completing your taxes at top speed, or getting advice for more complex tax scenarios that you haven't had to deal with before.

Through the wire, to the limit, to the wall: The 5 best ethernet cables

While our world may be transitioning to wireless connectivity, Ethernet connections are still faster and less prone to lag times than traditional Wi-Fi networks. Here are five of the best Ethernet cables you can buy.

Your amazing PC rig needs an amazing computer case. These are the very best

There's an incredible variety of PC cases on the market, but a few stand above the rest. Any of our five best computer cases will make your desktop look and work great, no matter what your budget is.
Emerging Tech

How Super Mario, Magic: The Gathering, and PowerPoint are low-key supercomputers

What if the creators of Super Mario World, PowerPoint, and even Magic: The Gathering had accidentally created tools hiding a general-purpose computer in plain sight? Turns out they have.

Yes, Google tracks and collects your online purchases through Gmail. But why?

Google has been tracking your purchase history and while the company says that the tracking is part of an effort to help you keep track of your purchases, there are indications that there might be other, less clear motives for doing so.
Product Review

The first AMD-powered Chromebook will make you wish you had Intel inside

The HP Chromebook 14 is a budget Chrome OS laptop that cuts its price in part by choosing AMD over Intel and by using plastic instead of metal. The results are mixed.

HP slashes $200 off Spectre x360 laptops in Memorial Day deal

HP's Spectre x360 laptops are among the best premium convertible notebooks on the market today, and now you can save $200 on these laptops thanks to HP's Memorial Day sale. The 15-inch model also supports discrete graphics.

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Walmart, Dell, and Home Depot start early

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Home Theater

Plex is free and easy, and you'll wonder how you survived without it

If you want a Netflix-like experience for the media you already own, you need Plex. It's the free media center software that automatically catalogs and plays your movies, music, photos, and more, on your TV. Here's how to use it.
Product Review

Oculus Quest is the affordable VR rig we’ve been waiting for

Oculus announced that its Project Santa Cruz virtual reality headset will ship next year as the Oculus Quest, and we got to try out several new game titles on the Quest. Find out our impressions of VR without wires.

Amazon’s one-day sale takes up to 69 percent off wireless accessories

Looking for a mechanical keyboard or a better mouse to take your gaming experience to the next level? You can now save up to 69 percent on these accessories through Amazon's sale. These prices are only good for today, so act fast!