Steam's hardware stats show over 25 percent of its gamers use Windows 8/8.1

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The latest stats from Steam's monthly hardware survey of its users indicate that just over 25 percent of them access the popular PC gaming service with either a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 PC.

The numbers, updated this week for the month of June 2014, show that 25.11 percent of Steam users access it via some version of Windows 8 and 8.1. The percentage combines not only the two operating systems from Microsoft but also the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of each SKU. Windows 8.1 64-bit is currently the second most used OS on Steam overall at 16.19 percent, but is still well behind that of Windows 7 64-bit, which is number one at 49.41 percent.

The numbers come from an optional hardware survey that Steam users can decide whether or not to join, which then automatically sends the OS and hardware information inside their PC rigs from their Steam client to servers at Valve, the company that owns and runs Steam.

A few days ago, Net Applications's updated data, collected via users who surf to their websites, showed that Windows 8 and 8.1 are installed on just 12.54 percent of all PCs worldwide. While the Steam survey is optional and therefore cannot cover all of the service's 75 million active users, it would suggest that hardcore PC gamers, who tend to be more comfortable in buying new hardware and software than the casual consumer, are adopting Windows 8 and 8.1 at a much faster rate.

What do you think these Steam hardware survey stats mean in the long run for Windows 8/8.1?

Source: Steam


Reader comments

Steam's hardware stats show over 25 percent of its gamers use Windows 8/8.1


It's a shame there isn't an app, the summer sale would have been a while lot easier...

MSFT could do well joining with steam, getting rid of their joke games for windows and supporting the pc properly - the market they effectively created and are such a pivotal part of! (xbox notwithstanding)

Steam is another Apple. They'll never get together with MS, will continue to bash it while being it's main source of income, and will continue to subvert it with it's upcoming Steam OS. Steam is all about Linux now, even though it's gamers likely wont be.

Cant agree more. I also think valve are going out of their way to obstruct those who have the audacity to login to their steam account with IE on their WP. I can get in, but recently the steam guard popup has gone berserk and takes some effort to fill and submit.

I thought the games for Windows had been shut down.  Or are you refereing to the games in the Windows Apps Store?

I'd rather see Microsoft launch a true Steam competitor, tag it Xbox PC, and take back the PC market. It is mind boggling that they just let Valve come in and take that all away.

Games for windows live anyone? Remember that widely hated train wreck? Ubisoft and EA are trying to do that, Microsoft wouldn't have a chance. Besides, Steam is fantastic, its my most used application on both my computers, nothing needs to "take the market back".

He sees it as a threat. The Windows Store is for all intents and purposes a software distribution tool, just like Steam.

BS. He doesn't like Windows 8 because he says that it locks things down more than other versions of Windows. He made his own Linux distro because he wants things to be as open as possible. Hell, he even use to work for Microsoft.

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Had the Windows 8 Store been successful, it could have undermined Steam. Windows 8 is no more locked down than 7, it merely has an optional distribution channel added to it as well. That was too much for him, it seems. And I get it, to be honest.

Well he doesn't know what he's talking about. Windows 8 is open as ever. Only apps in metro are sandboxed. Gabe talks SHIT.

Let me get this straight, for clarity's sake.  So he hates Windows 8 so much, because it "locks things down", that as a response, goes out and creates his own version [Steam OS], which just locks things down . . . only this time, to a different format, 

Okay, now I get it.  Pot call the kettle black, much?


Is windows 8 as locked down as steam? It's a rhetorical question anyway, because we know what the answer is and that's a no, windows 8 isn't as locked down as steam. Truth is the win8 market was seen as a competitor to steam. That's where the fear was, because valve didn't have any sort of strategy to counteract someone with significantly deeper pockets from throwing money to kill competition.

MS has done many evil things over the years, but I get the feeling that the company has changed. Valve on the other hand, I get the feeling that they've built a lot of good will over the years, but they haven't really practiced what they've been preaching. They've started to assert certain anti-consumer positions which I think have really been glossed over, or not really been stressed by the games press as to what exactly has been going on.

Steam don't need to fear MS as the one thing Microsoft are truly hopeless at is discounts. Their prices are at or above retail pricing, which is already well above steam pricing... Then you have the amazing Steam Sales with like 85% off some things, compared to MS barely managing 25% off an inflated price. Fallout 3 was $99 for 2+ years, DLC like $12 each (5 in total, $60) so $160 total... But I could buy a GOTY edition on steam for $20-30. You can look at any PC game and Steam will have it cheaper with more value (dlc, bundles etc)

He hated the idea of the windows store taking so much profit from the developers and thus swore to never work with them, then put all the companies efforts into Linux.

I've given up asking this question... Windows is their biggest source of income, yet they can't get an app together for the mobile platform. Hell, Microsoft could even let them make an app with their own game store and they wouldn't do it! Steam would enter the mobile market!

Mouse is just smooth as Windows XP on Windows 8. Windows 7 has little of lag. That was the reason I used Windows XP for gaming instead of 7.

I disagree. Considering that almost all new computers have come with windows 8 for a while now, you would think it would be higher.

Gamers are less likely just go out and buy a laptop though. If they're serious they probably have a custom build gaming rig that gets graphics, memory, and processor upgrades every so often.

Grabbing 25% of a market like that in 20 months is pretty good! And I hope Steam finally decide to support their users by releasing a universal Windows app and really push to control gaming on the platform.

Or Microsoft should start offering a similar service, offer people discounted/free titles that they already own on Steam, and built that into the One Microsoft ecosystem allowing games to stream to any device you use...

gabe newell doesn't like microsoft/windows, they are even trying to courage developers to make games for linux by SteamOS, which imo won't last long.

the last idea would make Threshold even more awesome :)

Lies. He use to work for Microsoft and liked Windows prior to Windows 8. He only recommends that people use his Linux distro because he thinks Windows 8 is too "Apple-like" because of the windows store.

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Exactly. Any PC I get comes with whatever I put on it... Each component is hand-selected, put together, and the OS installed by myself.

You, yes, but Steam doesn't just appeal to hardcore gamers. There are a lot of casual gamers, or people that buy prebuilt systems, that use Steam. Part of the reason is the sale prices. Steam has some of the best prices on games around. Also consider laptops. I know I purchased a new laptop last year. While the graphics aren't as good as a desktop, I do have 1080p and a gtx 780m. I added a 256 GB SSD and am considering boosting the memory from 8 gigs to 12 or 16. I have Steam installed. I am also running Windows 8.1, because it came with the system (windows 8 at the time) and I didn't feel like spending $100 on another OS.

Thanks to start 8 I don't mind windows 8.1 nearly as much as I did originally. I know it defeats the purpose, but I bypass the metro tile BS and go straight to desktop with my start menu as backup. I'm happier that way.

I'm not sure why you're replying to me as I just agreed with prettyconfusd that I also built my own PC.

I agree that there are a lot of casual gamers on Steam - It would be interesting to see the demographics of their Google Analytics versus their Hardware Survey results... A huge portion of people don't bother to do the survey, and a casual gamer probably wouldn't care how their Nubstation 2000 compares to other systems ;)

I'm not sure why you'd need so much RAM - my gaming rig only has 6 GB DDR3 haha :P

BTW those that stuck with Windows 7 did so because they already had a license for it, and Windows 8 was only $15 so it was easy to buy just to experiment with. I use both, but there's no real compelling reason to recommend anyone upgrading from Windows 7 (especially as it's no longer $15) unless they're getting a new PC. I also bypass the Metro screen as it offers nothing of value except a wall of icons.

You naild it there.  Serious gamers tend to build their own PC, and graphics card, memory and processor are MUST have for them, os is not as important for them as the three items mentioned above.  However, they tend to stick with Windows, because aside from gamming, they do use Windows for other stuff.

you are right when you are talking about hardcore gamers. But if you look at the top 3 most played games on steam, Dota 2, Counter strike GO and team fortress 2. These 3 games run on intel hd graphics on low to med settings. And if you look at the stats for graphics cards, you will see most of people are using intel hd graphics. i.e. laptops (desktop users usually have dedicated graphics cards).

The hate for windows 8 on desktop is still high. And most of 25 percents must be from laptops.

Just Wondering why people hate windows 8. are they love start menu so much >,< metro UI looks good on desktop even better with 8.1

I use Windows 8.1 build 9600 and using it from 8.0 since released and I'm very happy about it. my boot time period shorten into few second unlike windows 7 :v

I hate the metro screen because it's useless. At first I enjoyed having notifications on there, but it soon turned into a "pin everything" just so I can organise my app list. Now it's just a wall of icons like the bad days of Windows XP with 500 icons on the desktop. Now I don't even use it and just skip to the desktop (automatically).
It would be fantastic if it just displayed a single group of icons at a time... that way I only see what I want to see and not just an overwhelming wall of icons

AMD RAPTR gaming evolved... Whatever you want to call it. It is Steam by AMD pretty much and AMD loves MS. I like it...

Maybe next year it will? It seems unlikely they wouldn't position it to be the same/very close to the new modern Windows coming along via Threshold...

I mean Windows RT. Like on the surface. Or just 8 without the desktop since it had Kinect and is 64... That easy it really could be there screens and a cloud. Imagine the cross apps we'd have. Go one step further, steam on it. Yes, ms loses sales on software, but damn best steam box ever... I wonder how much valve is worth...

I don't care for Steambox, there is no advantage - and that controller looks horrible.

Cross apps = universal apps. They are coming, and MS will eventually merge all platform to code to 1 API / one BCL. You will soon see many more apps for Xbox One because of this, as it will be simpler to code for Windows, and compile for WIndows Phone and Xbox.

(I know, I have started re-coding one of my apps. Its not totally simple, but in the future it will be. Some previous libraries and calls won't work so there is some updating to do)

There will be one store. You can't really have one OS, not on a console geared to be voice and controller navigated. Universal apps are enough, trust me as a developer :/


That's where mandatory Kinect gestures and Cortana would have came in... Universal apps would have been better with a third screen and more easily handled if xbone was more or less a PC. A little more than what it is...

I wish the Windows store could sell games of the quality steam has instead of shovelware garbage. If not at less have the awesome sales steam has unlike the horrible red stripe program.

And how would that be managed exactly? Considering Steam has licensing deals with vendors for exclusivity on certain titles. MS has no vested interest in becoming a retailer for apps and programs to compete with Steam, Origin, Uplay, Amazon, justcdkeys.com, etc. For your bottom bid purchase.

Instead, they locked in Xbox, where they believe gaming's future will be.

Well Games For Windows Live was supposed to compete in that space. I never saw a good deal / sale the whole time it ran though. It died a justified death

I don't know if it means anything really... a lot of W8 devices are bound to be tablets and laptops that are not suitable for serious gaming. My "gaming rig" still runs W7 because I can't be arsed upgrading it and I don't see any reason to. I have W8 on my day-to-day PC that I can still use to satisfy all of my casual gaming needs (i.e. Store games)... I have Steam installed on it too, but I only install a few games on it as opposed to my entire 340+ games catalogue on the gaming PC. I took the survey on my W7 PC as that's my gaming machine, not my W8 machine... so there's bound to be a lot of people in similar situations only taking the survey on one PC when they own several.

I have yet to see any difference... I installed W8 on a spare drive and ran it on my gaming PC. I played Diablo3 on both W8 & W7 installs and they seemed the same. I went back to 7 as 8.0 was too irritating to use. I put the W8 license onto a spare PC that I use for general daily things. 8.1 might be okay to install now, as it's far less horrible. Threshold looks like it might be perfect!

Seemed != numbers.

Win8 does run games faster, if only slightly.

Win8 though is more secure, and if you move to Metro more and more a rebuild puts your system back exactly how you like it when you replace a PC.

As some who also replaces or gets Windows Phones often, I love how it puts me back "as I was" even my texts. Its a winner I tell you.

How much do those numbers mean if they are slight enough for a user not to notice a difference, given you keep the same hardware? Running benchmarks and reviewing framerates is good and all but schulubadub is justified in saying he didn't see much difference.  Gamers are not computers so some of us don't notice those minute details in everyday gameplay that benchmark software does.  I love Windows 8 but I'm not going to try and convince someone to buy it over Win7 because benchmarks show a 5 or 10% improvement. It would need to be substantial and most likely I would convince them on other merits such as loving how all of Microsofts services are integrated from the desktop because of one login, such as OneDrive, without installing a separate app.  Unless they are someone like a video editor or graphics compositor who needs every bit of performance they can get for rendering out of their current rig, I would be more likely to recommend newer hardware if someone truly needs a significant performance increase.

Do point out the part where I tried to convince him to buy it?

Or where I told Schulabadadub he his perception was wrong. I just pointed out it is faster, only slightly - but there are other benefits of Win 8 worth thinking about.

You seem to be suffering from nerd rage, have a lay down, perhaps a beer and child out brother. There are no wars here. Unless its DJCBS and his anti MS rants, then its all guns blazing :)

I agree and the only war you brought was in your head.  I was just pointing out that numbers are not everything.  I can't believe you thought that was an attack against you and yes, I pointed out a specific benefit of W8 so no disagreement on that front. My comment had no personal insults, no harsh words, etc, unlike your last paragraph.  You could have simply backed up your point of view further but you chose another route. Let me leave you with this acronym.


Oh I didn't think it was against me, just a technical war of words, but glad it wasn't. My Uzi is made out of plastic and contains water, so you're only at risk fo getting wet.

I typed your acronym into the Internet, and it came up blank.

So I am going to take it to mean," love n kisses". Right back at you honey bun. XXX

Same here. W7 for serious gaming, W8 Ultrabook with steam and a few games installed. The Ultrabook runs games pretty well, including gmod with no lag when playing single player.

2 gaming desktop rigs, a htpc/gaming rig, 2 Surface 2's and 2 Lumia 1520's. Everything on 8.1 and love it. Wouldn't touch 7 with a bargepole now... Slow, kludgy, lacks features and less connected than. 8.1. Having to use 7 at work is enough legacy I can tolerate.

problem is the head honcho at steam doesnt want anythimg to do with ms. He hates MS with a passion.

He's greedy. He has the income of the Windows Eco system - yet hates the store principle.

He doesn't want MS curating, nor taking a cut. Its all about money. He's a greedy money and pie obsessed knobwit of the highest order.

No interest for steam at all is indifferent for me. I play only in console for many reasons. But us like play in PC is good i think.
PC for me mails, net, multimedia, and a lot things but play no at all.

Makes sense, gamers know their way around software. So why not install Windows 8? It's faster than Windows 7 and they have the know-how to bring back the startmenu. Besides having the latest, greatest is a way of life for PC gamers. Only reason not to instal it is if you have some unfounded hatred towards Windows 8, which unfortunately plays a large role in why the number isnt at 50% yet.

It's MS fault it is for releasing one windows after another. The whole entire world are in tantrum oh wait, what's next??windows blue?9?gj there MS gg as if bwahh

Big gabe must be drowning his sorrows now.  I wish there's a steam alternative so I can get rid of it for good.  GOG is getting there but needs more newer games to compete.  Maybe MS should buy it instead.

Yeah, drowning his sorrows in a gigantic pile of money alright. Steam is the reason PC gaming has been flourishing these past years and Microsoft buying Steam would be the worst thing to happen to PC gaming. MS has a horrible track record when it comes to this stuff. Games for Windows Live was a travesty.

Are there any performance drawback for games if you use windows 8.1? I'm asking because I seem to recall vista back in the day caused issues for PC games . 

8.1 is faster on games, average about 5%-7% if I recall. But its faster at boot, sleep/hiber, resume... Smaller memory footprint... Search much better and has a stack of new features for power users. Best Windows yet.

No drawbacks I've noticed, it's even improved performance on a few of my games that my pc would struggle with. I mean, not epically, but a little better is still better. Also, my boot time just about halved after 8.1 (from 7). Install already!

No drawbacks I can see but not any noticeable gain in performance on the same hardware either where my games are concerned.  Yes, I can bring up FPS in a particular game, compare it directly to W7, probably see better framerate(not all games benefit) but significant and noticeable gains by just playing?  Not really. Some people can notice a 5%, some can't. /shrug  I say also look at W8 for other merits such as continued support for DirectX, touch features, tighter integration with WP and Xbox, etc.  On the performance front(again with same hardware) it was not a 'OMG' moment in graphics beauty or performance.  That said, I do 'feel' the UI is more snappy than W7, imo.  Overall, I'm pleased with the OS and not sure why it gets the bad rap in some forums(not here).  I think it was a solid release even before 8.1 and has nowhere near the problems, such as drivers, that Vista encountered.


As far as the article, I consider 25% good considering the lukewarm general public reception.  Also, I don't really differentiate between 8.0 and 8.1 and I'm not sure why tech sites continue to separate them to make more drama.  I don't remember seeing stats of previous Windows versions being split by service packs.

And steam company do not creating native win8 app. Microsoft must block all activity of steam in win8 and win7.

I'm pretty sure he has no idea what Steam is and probably hasn't even used it before. "Steam Company" lol it's called Valve. And if MS blocked Steam there would be an absolute outrage among millions of people. Get your facts straight before you comment.

Meanwhile, there is still no touch controls for steam...hurts using it on a tablet other than launching games

Drivers! they keep you from upgrading to 8 or 8.1. The drivers I got from dell for my ati card just suck. Many games are unplayable now, I'm going to install 7 in another drive just to play games.

Go to AMDs website and download the drivers from AMD directly (as they absorbed ATI) and see if that helps. Granted it turned my 6770 to a 5700 in windows 8 but games work awesomely

I did, but they work same as those I got from the support page of my laptop.
Another thing i had was something called turbo boost for my cpu, those driver don't work anymore, it's now 2.53 ghz which was used to be around 3 with that.

I have noticed a great performance improvement after upgrading to windows 8.  For example, I used to overclock my PC (both GPUs and the CPU) to run Skyrim at max setting.  Now on Windows 8, I run Skyrim smoothly at max setting without overclocking anything.

I'm one of those systems stream says I'm using win 8.1 pro 64bit. Have 32gb of ram, 2 ssd's 770GTX Nvidia, I7-3770K Intel CPU on a GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5TH motherboard. BF4 is loving the amount of ram I have to feed that hungry game in 64 bit mode

I've got 64gb in a X79 rig, 32gb in a Z87 and a Z97.. All 3 are SSD Raid0. The main benefit is no paging whatsoever... Incredibly fast at everything and can handle encoding whilst gaming... And you are right, BF4 runs fast and beautiful.

This is a significant number considering how most PC gamers are stubborn and probably still think XP is the best OS around.


ZERO pc gamers think XP is the best around. What an idiotic thing to say. I don't even know where to start with you.

I don't know why people complain so much about Windows 8.1, I love it, even thought I have a tablet I mostly use it with the keyboard dock and almost never use the touch screen at I hater to see it fill of finger prints. I still think that it is a great UI even if it's used without a touch screen.

No touchscreen on my desktop or htpc, but 8.1 works great with kb/m... Love it on Surface too where I use a lot with touch and with kb.

Everyone with AMD cards or APUs check out Gaming Evolved/Raptr. It is a marketplace like steam for windows and makes sure your hardware drivers are up to date. I am a huge AMD desktop fan.... I have delated buying a tablet or surface because I am waiting for am AMD competitor chip that has some graphic bite to it when plugged into a power source... If it ever happens

Raptr is not the same thing as steam. They don't sell games, they try to get you to earn points by leaving it running in the back ground. It would take almost a year to save up the points required for 1 free game and it's also a bit of a resource hog. Check it out if you want but to say it's the same as steam is fundamentally wrong

My gaming rig is still on 7pro... Maybe time for an upgrade/downgrade?, have w8.1 on a tab and laptop but not sure about making the jump on my PC... Anyone made this change recently? Thoughts?

i gained a couple of fps in all games and benchmarks since switching from 7 to 8.1. Radeon R9 270X