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. 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.
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.
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