Windows 10 Finally Cracks 50 Percent Share Milestone Among Steam Gamers

Microsoft may have caused a few grumbles when it limited support for DirectX 12 to just Windows 10 and not earlier versions of Windows, but even so, gamers do not seem to be holding a grudge. Just the opposite, more than half of all Steam users are rocking Windows 10, according to the most recent hardware and software survey results. This is the first time that Windows 10 has topped the 50 percent mark on Steam.

Just over 49 percent (49.10 percent, to be exact) of Steam users access the digital distribution platform on a machine running Windows 10 64-bit. Another 1.25 percent are running a 32-bit build of Windows 10, bringing the total to 50.35 percent. That is impressive in and of itself, but what is also interesting is the gap between Windows 10 users and those running the next most popular OS, Windows 7.

Windows 10
Image Source: Flickr (Brett Morrison)

Here is a look at the breakdown:
  • Windows 10: 50.35 percent
  • Windows 7: 33.87 percent
  • Windows 8/8.1: 10.01 percent
  • Windows XP: 1.15 percent
  • Windows Vista: .19 percent
Various versions of MacOS and Linux round out thebreakdown, which collectively account for just a few percentage points. Windows 10 is by far the most popular OS on Steam, with about 16.5 percentage points separating it from Windows 7, the next most popular version. And all of all Windows builds, only Windows 10 increased its share in the latest survey—all other versions either dropped slightly or stood still.

While coveting support for DX12 is undoubtedly partially responsible, it is probably not the only reason why Windows 10 has gained so much ground in less than a year and a half. Credit goes to Microsoft for making upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 to Windows 10 free for the first year. Microsoft was a bit too aggressive at times with its free upgrade promotion and has even admitted as much, but given how things are turning out, it might not regret that strategy.