Windows 10 continues to be preferred by PC gamers

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 8, 2023
Windows 10, Windows 11 News

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system continues to be the most popular desktop operating system for gamers. Valve Software's latest hardware survey on its Steam gaming platform highlights that 63.51% of all Steam users run the software on Windows 10 powered devices.

Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system runs on 30.33% of all devices; the operating system broke the 30% mark for the first time after its launch in October 2021.

Windows 10 usage dropped by 1.91% in the month of January overall, while Windows 11 usage gained the exact amount. Windows 11, being the newer operating systems of the two, benefits from a few effects that more or less guarantee that its share continues to grow.

Microsoft, for one, ended sales of Windows 10 on its website. There is no option anymore on the Microsoft website to purchase a Windows 10 license or a device with Windows 10. Other manufacturers continue to sell Windows 10 devices and this is not going to stop anytime soon, though.

Most new devices come with Windows 11. While computer users may purchase devices with Windows 10, manufacturers start favoring Windows 11 for a number of reasons, including that support is guaranteed for longer by Microsoft than October 2025, the end of support month for Windows 10.

Windows 11's usage share is gaining rapidly with gamers, at least when compared to the overall performance of the operating system. Usage share tracking company Statcounter, for example, sees Windows 11 at 18.12% of all Windows devices worldwide. Windows 10 dominates the chart with its 68.86% of all Windows PCs.

windows steam distribution

The difference is explained by several factors. First, that both Valve and Statcounter do not provide exact numbers, but only a view of a certain percentage of the market. Statcounter, for example, analyzes web traffic, but only part of it. Valve asks Steam users to participate in the survey, but it is not mandatory. These systems are ideal for spotting trends.

As far as the difference is concerned, it is clear that gamers require more powerful systems than the average desktop user. These systems may be newer or equipped with better hardware. More of them may be compatible with Windows 11 as a consequence, and there may also be a tendency to run the latest version of an operating system.

Microsoft started to push Windows 11 upgrade prompts to more Windows 10 devices, but this should affect non-gamer and gamer systems alike. When the company launched Windows 11, it promised that the operating system was the best Windows version for gaming. While Windows 11 included support for a few gaming related features that Windows 10 did not support or less-good, some of these features were not used by any game until the recent release of Forspoken, the first PC game to make use of

Even the gaming changes of Windows 11 version 22h2 did not make a huge impact, even though they added Variable Refresh Rate support and optimizations for windowed games. All in all, Windows 11 game performance equals that of Windows 10 though in most cases.

Now You: do you play games on PC? Which operating system do you prefer?

Windows 10 continues to be preferred by PC gamers
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Windows 10 continues to be preferred by PC gamers
Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system continues to be the most popular desktop operating system for gamers.
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  1. Laguna said on February 12, 2023 at 4:58 am

    I have pc and laptop running on win10. Both can upgrade to win 11 but why should I? New GUI? mmeehh if win 10 has this classic gui, i will use it. just don’t make any sense for me, all CPU and GPU power wasted on UI, animation stuff like i will care? Just open the game or software that i need.

  2. John said on February 10, 2023 at 1:10 am

    I have seen benchmarks that have been done all seem to point to very little improvement in Windows 11 over Windows 10. Some users just flat out don’t like the changes in Windows 11.
    I still use Windows 10 on my gaming laptop even though it can run Windows 11. The snail’s pace of adopting Windows 11 can be attributed to the tighter hardware requirements and the fact there is no obvious gain or positive for upgrading. I figure Microsoft will eventually relax some requirements to nudge more to upgrade.

  3. Anonymous said on February 8, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    Microsoft should reconsider Windows 11, as it is a failure. We need an operating system similar to Windows 7. Not 8 or 10…

    1. Anonymous said on February 10, 2023 at 1:14 am

      that ship sailed at latest when nadella took over. We’ll never see something like a proper OS from MS again, but Spy.. err Software-as-a-Service, that wont even be usable when there is no connection to their cloud. It will be so interwoven with onlineservices that it has nothing do do anymore with an Operating System that runs ‘encapsulated/isolated/purely on the local device’. Such model has so many avantages from a greedy control freaks pov that it wont change in forseeable future. most customer rights gone, since its a service not a product in classical sense, total control over features – they add and remove features w/o the customer has any chance to veto – monitor behaviour and other interesting data, etc ppp. So why should they go back and give the users a tool where the (normal) user actually has sovereignty over? (at least MS is unable to see how important that would be to give users their empowerment and dignity back – thats important on a long time scale for societey matters. But most techcompanies are unable to recognize or ignore how destructive their short view is for the future of societies – that does not only apply to social networks)

      tl:dr if anything then linux will be the solution, though even there im not sure what happen long term if more and more naive developers take over, that dont know anything other than a concept where eveything is interwoven + comfort is the new tin god.

  4. Anonymous said on February 8, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    hypothesis: ppl who use win7 also dislike the use of steam, rather prefer gog and direct installs w/o the launcher. so i wondering if the steams ~ 1.7% win7 is that representative.

    1. basingstoke said on February 9, 2023 at 1:26 pm

      You are spot on correct!

  5. Jdkkd said on February 8, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    As for gaming, there is no winner in case of performance.
    On a new pc I will install Windows 11 for sure.
    My Windows 10 runs for more than 6 years now.

  6. Karl O. said on February 8, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    I think it’s probably because fewer and fewer (young) people know how to install Windows. And to make matters worse, they would have to patch the official Windows 11 ISO file first so that it can be installed without TPM 2.0. How do I come up with this? The vast majority of ‘gaming’ youtubers can’t even assemble a PC, which is why there are fun competitions among themselves to see if anyone can get the PC to boot.

    And who does not learn something so simple (anymore) or wants to learn it, who also can’t patch an ISO file, let alone install windows 11.

    1. ECJ said on February 8, 2023 at 2:29 pm

      I’ve clean installed Windows hundreds of times. I have no interest in installing Windows 11.

      If Microsoft continues in the direction they’re going under Satya, it’s highly likely I won’t install Windows 12 either and will replace all the current machines with M2 Mac Minis come 2025.

      “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows, to ditching Windows for MacOS and GeForce Now”

  7. Paul(us) said on February 8, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    It’s very entertaining to know that after a year and a half, these figures are still ahead.

    In fact, I wonder if the two percent drop in Windows 10 is even due to companies having to replace their hardware and buying machines with Windows 11 pre-installed.

    I’m beginning to suspect more and more that Windows 11 is an interim pause to introduce a new subscription system for Windows 12, for example.

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