Windows 10 Penetration Hits All-Time High Of 51.2 Percent On Steam
Microsoft has been criticized for being overly aggressive in its attempts to push Windows 10 onto consumers, but to the company's credit, it continues to gain market share. That is especially true among gamers—usage among Steam users is now at 51.2 percent combined for both 64-bit (50.15) and 32-bit (1.05) builds in the month of March. That's a jump of nearly 2.5 percent from the prior month.
In other words, more than half of all Steam users are rocking a Windows 10 PC. The next closest is Windows 7, which accounts for systems owned by around a third (34.74 percent) of Steam users. Windows 8/8.1 is the only other operating system with a somewhat significant share of the Steam community, albeit it's less than 1 in 10 users (8.98 percent). Windows XP and Vista holdouts barely register a blip on the radar at 1.04 percent combined.
It's not too surprising that gamers are adopting Windows 10 faster than the general public. Windows 10 is the only OS that supports Microsoft's low-level DirectX 12 API. The promise of DX12 is that it can deliver big performance gains, as the API gives developers deeper access to hardware resources that were previously off limits. In building or upgrading systems, gamers have a vested interest in being sure their setups are DX12-capable.
Supporting this notion is another statistic—nearly three-fourths (74.76 percent) of Steam users own a DX12 GPU. That number has been steadily rising over the past several months and is up from 71.06 percent in November of last year.
Microsoft also did itself a solid by offering free upgrades to Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users for the first year. Technically the free upgrade period is now expired, though it's still open to users with accessibility needs. This is not something Microsoft actively polices, so undoubtedly there are some users without accessibility needs who are still upgrading to Windows 10 at no cost.
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