Steam users who run the gaming platform on devices that are powered by Microsoft's Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems won't be able to run the client anymore from 2019 onward.
Steam parent company Valve announced yesterday that the company will end support for Windows XP and Vista officially on January 1, 2019.
The company notes that Steam won't run anymore on those systems and that users who run devices with these operating systems need to switch to a supported operating system to continue using Steam on the device.
Starting on January 1 2019, Steam will officially stop supporting the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. This means that after that date the Steam Client will no longer run on those versions of Windows. In order to continue running Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users will need to update to a more recent version of Windows.
Valve explains that Steam relies on embedded versions of Google Chrome and that new versions of Chrome don't function anymore on XP or Vista. Google dropped support for Windows XP and Vista in April 2016. Mozilla will drop the last version of Firefox that supports XP and Vista officially, Firefox ESR 52.x, in September.
Future versions of Steam will rely on security features that Microsoft introduced in Windows 7 additionally according to Valve.
The newest features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows. In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 7 and above.
Steam will function normally in 2018 on XP or Vista devices but some functionality may be limited already. Valve refers to the recently introduced new Steam Chat functionality as an example, as it won't be available for XP or Vista versions of Steam.
There is little that can be done to force compatibility on XP or Vista devices. The most obvious option is to update to a new version of Windows or start with a clean slate. While Linux may be an option, as Steam supports Linux as well, many games won't run on Linux.
Users may need to research whether their purchased games support Linux; if the games do, switching to Linux is definitely an option going forward. Check out the Linux section on Steam to find out about games that support Linux.
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