Steam support for Windows 7 and 8 ends on January 1, 2024
Steam customers, who run the client version on Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices, won't be able to use the platform anymore from January 1, 2024 on.
Valve Software, the company behind Steam and maker of smash hits such as Half-life or Counter-strike, has announced the end of support for the Windows platform on the Steam support website.
Microsoft ended support for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in January 2023. The operating systems are no longer supported, which means that they do not get any updates, security or otherwise, anymore. Several companies, including Google and Microsoft, have announced end of support for some of their software products for these operating systems already.
Valve provides two reasons for its decision to end support for the unsupported Windows operating system versions:
- Steam uses an embedded version of Google Chrome. Since Google ended support for Windows 7 and 8.1, newer versions of Chrome won't run on devices with these operating systems anymore.
- Future versions of Steam will use security features and non-security features that are only present in Windows 10 and newer versions of the Windows operating system.
Valve Software recommends that Steam customers upgrade their devices to a supported version of the Windows operating system. Most Windows 7 and 8.1 devices can be upgraded to Windows 10, as the newer operating system has the same system requirements than the older versions.
Upgrades to Windows 11 may not be possible for many machines, as Microsoft changed the system requirements when it released Windows 11.
Steam users who can't upgrade their devices won't be able to use Steam anymore on the platform. There is another option available though, which Valve Software does not mention. The installation of Linux on these devices would also ensure that Steam can be run on the devices after January 1, 2024.
In the worst case, Steam customers may no longer be able to access their purchased games on the platform.
Valve's hardware survey for February 2023 provides insights on the operating systems that are used by Steam users. Windows 7 is listed there with 1.58% and Windows 8.1 with 0.36%. The total of the operating systems that won't be supported anymore after the end of 2023 is 1.94%. The number will go down in the coming months and the announcement that Steam won't be supported anymore on these Windows platforms will likely accelerate the migration to other platforms.
The entire Windows 7 platform is still widely used, according to the most recent Statcounter statistics. Statcounter lists Windows 7 at a usage share of 5.34% in February 2023. Its share sank by more than 4% since January 2023, the month support ended officially.
The different numbers are explained by multiple factors, but gamers have a tendency to upgrade systems more often, and that includes upgrading the operating system.Advertisement