After many years, Steam is finally ending support for older versions on Windows. As of today, Steam won’t be supported on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. This marks the end of an era that began with the launch of Windows 7 in 2009.
Why it matters: Windows 7 is almost 14 years old at this point, so the end of support was a long time coming. Even Windows 8.1 turned 10 years old this year, highlighting the age of these operating systems.
According to a survey by The Verge, this won’t affect most users. 95.57% of users are currently on Windows 10 or 11, 2% on Linux, and 1.5% on Mac. Therefore, barely 1% of Steam’s user base is still on these older versions.
Older MacOS versions are also being stripped of Steam support. MacOS 10.3 and 10.4 users won’t be able to access the gaming platform from 15 February. MacOS 10.4 was the last to support 32-bit games, and since most games today are 64-bit, they aren’t compatible with the older versions.
Terminating support on older operating systems is not the worst decision, in our opinion. Steam has been operating for over 20 years, supporting these platforms for a large part of its lifespan.
While some might be disappointed, the limited number of users on these versions of Windows and macOS should make the recent update mostly inconsequential for the overall platform.
Ultimately, resources supporting these outdated operating systems could be better used to solve issues and patch vulnerabilities within the current and more popular versions of Windows or macOS.
Windows 7 had quite the legacy for more than a few reasons. Unlike its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed, and many found it difficult to move on from the platform. Windows 8.1, on the other hand, was not as popular.
Still, Microsoft found the right balance with Windows 10 and 11, making them the operating systems of choice for millions of Windows-based PC users.
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Abdullah is an avid gamer who primarily plays single-player titles. If you can’t find him anywhere, he’ll probably be at his desk playing The Witcher 3 for the millionth time. When he isn’t playing games, he’s either reading or writing about them.