Valve has announced that its gaming client, Steam, will drop support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 from January 1st, 2024. Steam’s latest features use an embedded version of Google’s Chrome browser, which stopped supporting these operating systems in February. Additionally, upcoming versions of Steam for Windows will require OS updates that are only available in Windows 10 and later versions.
While this change will not impact most Steam users, around 1.9% of Steam’s audience is still using one of the affected Windows versions, according to Valve’s latest survey. This could potentially leave a significant number of users with no choice but to either upgrade their OS or purchase a new PC with a supported platform. However, if you rely on an older version of Windows for work or a retro gaming system, the end of support could cause some complications.
Microsoft discontinued support for Windows 7 in January 2020, and Windows 8.1 at the beginning of 2023. Even Epic Games no longer supports these platforms if you want to run Fortnite. It is becoming increasingly challenging to use an outdated Windows machine in general, and Steam’s compatibility change could be the final straw that forces users to upgrade.
It’s important to note that newer versions of Windows generally offer better performance and security features. So, upgrading to Windows 10 or later versions is a wise choice in terms of both performance and security. It is also worth considering that older operating systems can be vulnerable to malware attacks and might not support the latest software updates.
Valve recommends upgrading to Windows 10 or later versions for the best Steam experience. While this change might be challenging for some users, upgrading to a newer version of Windows will provide improved performance, security, and compatibility with the latest software updates.