Windows 10 Nag Screens Return As Windows 11 Still Trails Among Gamers On Steam

Windows 11 teaser 2
Microsoft has put an expiration date on Windows 10—in a mere 16 months, the aging OS will run out of support. That's a problem for Microsoft as the majority of Windows users are still on version 10. The company is apparently hoping to annoy Windows 10 users into upgrading with a number of new nag screens, but it's going to take a lot of nagging to alleviate Microsoft's Windows 10 headache.

It just so happens there's a new Steam hardware survey that reveals the scale of the problem. As of May 2024, Windows 10 still accounts for 50.35% of all Windows PCs running Steam. It's lost a fraction of a percent in the past month, but that's after an increase in usage share earlier this year as users moved off of even older versions of the OS. Currently, Windows 11 sits at 46.08% market share on Steam.

According to Windows Latest, Microsoft is beginning an aggressive new campaign of nagging Windows 10 users to upgrade. The site has a pair of screenshots from the new full-screen upgrade alerts. One of these, titled "A new journey with Windows," we've seen before, but it wasn't being seen widely. The other "Time to upgrade" notice does appear to be new.

Microsoft recommends Windows 11 for PC
A new popup making the rounds on Windows 10 PCs as Microsoft scrambles to get people on Windows 11.

Both banners warn users of the October 14, 2025 end of support, telling them to upgrade to the latest OS. However, the warnings appear on all Windows PCs regardless of their Windows 11 compatibility. Microsoft took the controversial step of requiring newer CPUs and a TPM 2.0 module for Windows 11, which prevents many from upgrading even if they want to. That could complicate things for Microsoft as the deadline approaches.

The situation may be even worse than the Steam numbers suggest. Gamers are more likely to be technical and have systems that can handle the new OS. Statcounter aims to tabulate general usage, and it shows Windows 10 at more than 68% usage versus just 27.6% for Windows 11. And the numbers have hardly changed since last year. That's a lot of Microsoft's user base on track to lose access to important security patches in 16 months.

For several years, it looked as though Windows 10 would be the last distinct version of Windows as Microsoft busied itself rolling out new features to that OS. However, the arrival of Windows 11 has presented the company with a problem as it seeks to end support for an OS it released almost a decade ago. Those past decisions could turn Windows 10 into another XP-style debacle. Microsoft tried to end support for XP several times, but it pushed the deadline back because there were too many active systems. Windows 10 could end up dogging Microsoft for even longer.