Every month, Valve releases their Steam Hardware & Software Survey, showcasing changes in hardware, operating systems, display resolutions and virtual reality units across their playerbase. While strictly volunteer, the survey provides a variety of useful statistics about the ways in which today’s PC players access Steam. Now that the September 2016 survey information is out, there’s a particularly interesting tidbit about Steam’s Windows users that’s included within the post: Win 7 is receiving a much higher acquirement rate than Win 10.
According to the survey, which is archived for September over here, 48.69 percent of all Steam users are on Windows 10. In comparison, 34.72 per cent are using Windows 7. So clearly, Windows 10 is the more popular operating system between the two. But when one looks at the change between August and September, Steam reports that there’s a 0.16 per cent drop among Windows 10 64 bit users, whereas Windows 7 64 bit saw a 0.25 per cent increase. Meaning Steam users are actually moving away from using Windows 10, whereas Windows 7 is seeing a sharp increase.
Why is this the case? For one, many PC users are comfortable with Windows 7. It’s a stable operating system that has stood the test of time and works quite well with videogames. Meanwhile, Windows 10 is still new, it needs time to settle into its own. There’s also ill feelings floating around about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform within Windows 10, which Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney claims is attempting to phase out Win 32 platforms in order to kill off Steam.
Outside of Windows news, there’s also a rise in Linux gaming users. The hardware survey notes .93 per cent of all Steam users are using a Linux operating system, with Ubuntu taking the lead. That’s with a .10 per cent increase over August, which is quite impressive. OSX comes in second place, with Apple’s Mac OS holding 3.54 per cent of the Steam userbase. Which is somewhat surprising, seeing how Mac received support first over Linux.
Does Linux hold a chance to compete with Windows as a gaming operating system? Well, not exactly. Despite Steam’s work on SteamOS, it doesn’t seem like Linux is about to become a major gaming operating system any time soon. But it’s definitely growing, and Steam users understand its benefits. Perhaps by this time next year, Mac will be going head-to-head with Linux players in the Steam Hardware Survey.