Vista just beats Windows 8 in latest Steam hardware survey

Last month, Valve's monthly hardware survey of its Steam users for November 2012 showed that the percentage of its Windows 8 owners had already overtaken Steam's Mac users. This week, Valve updated its hardware survey for the month of December 2012 and once again showed Windows 8 gaining among its hardcore PC audience.

The stats on the hardware survey page shows that the percentage of Windows 8 owners (combining 32-bit and 64-bit SKUs) stands at 6.93 percent, well above the 4.69 percent of Windows 8 users that Steam recorded in November 2012. Windows Vista users of Steam in December (again combining 32-bit and 64-bit) totaled 6.96 percent of Steam users. Yes, that means Vista outnumbers Windows 8 by just .03 percent.

It's also clear that the vast majority of Windows 8 users, at least those using Steam, have installed the 64-bit SKU. Just 0.60 percent of Steam users are using the 32-bit version. Windows 8 64-bit users are now the fourth biggest group of Steam users when broken down by individual SKUs.

This is the first month on Steam's hardware survey that we have seen stats for Linux Ubuntu users, which are currently participating in an open beta test. As you might expect, the total number of Ubuntu users on Steam is still quite small. The combined total percentage stands at 0.80 percent.

Windows 7 users of Steam are now 70.47 percent of all Steam owners, down from 72.56 percent from the month before. Windows XP is still being used by 10.44 percent of Steam owners and the combined number of Mac Steam owners is currently at 3.72 percent.

Source: Steam | Image via Valve

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Well we know that ALL Gamers USE STEAM, so this is really accurate. Oh wait, actually they DO NOT.

In fact since the Gabe comments, I have watched gamers on our teams uninstall their product in fairly large numbers. There are other options than Steam.

What surprised me there is the total percentage of MacOS users compared to Windows 8 users... rather more than I would expect to see! Really nice to see Steam available so many platforms now - kudos to Valve. I look forward to seeing more titles being rolled out on other platforms

OS/X - 3.72%
Windows - 94.8%
Ubuntu - 0.8%
Other - 0.71%

If we go by Windows 8 users, it's 6.93% about 186% more than OS/X users. For an OS that has only been out for 2 months. Not really surprising.

What's interesting is if you strictly go off of the numbers, Windows has about a 95% marketshare according to Steam as opposed to about 4% for OS/X...and of course Linux being next to nothing (granted it's very early for them).

Compared to most marketshare sites, Windows usually sits at about 91% and OS/X around 6%. Tough to compare statistics across services like this, but this is saying what most of us believe:

More gamers are using their PC's for gaming compared to gamers using OS/X for gaming.

Gee, get a life, I've even forgotten I'm running 8 by now. If I wasn't a geek I'd never have upgraded though. Don't see any compelling reason for people running 7 to upgrade really.

Maybe wise to wait a few days more so that everyone participate on the survey? I just added mine, so there must be a lot more that haven't yet.

edit: And it is more interesting to see the changes since last time.

Win7x64 dropped about 2%, while Win8x64 increased 2%, Also Vista is dropping more and more.

Pretty sad when you have to compare your latest and greatest OS to that already well known POS Vista!!

Windows 8 WILL NOT over take Windows 7 any time soon, guaranteed!

vista sold 400 million copies. there are tens of millions of people still using vista. windows 8 only came out 2 months ago and its already showing percentages similar to vista.

Whats not to understand? It lists individual SKU's by percentage. But when combined Vista has slightly more users (by 0.03%).

A 12-year old OS has more users than a 4-month old one? What a fail! I wonder what bs you'll search for in a few months when 8 has overtaken XP?

It's actually not even 4 months old. Released on October 26th, it's more like 2 months. Sure, some had access to early release, but we're talking about general availability here.

Albert said,
gawd. even xp is higher than win 8. how's that for win egg-suckers. lol.

The fact that ANY gamer would still be taking a major hit in performance by using XP or trying to get a XP generation machine to run games better than Win7 or Win8 is what is more astonishing.

1ghz P4, 512mb RAM - Win8 is 10% faster than XP across the board.

He's right actually, 0.60% of Steam users run Windows 8 32-bit, that compared to the total of 6,93% Windows 8 users on Steam shows that 8,67% of Windows 8 users on Steam have the 32-bit version.

wendoman said,
"Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." © Gabe Newell, Valve

Just because it's selling (mainly to OEMs), doesn't mean it's not a disaster.

King Mustard said,

Just because it's selling (mainly to OEMs), doesn't mean it's not a disaster.

So I guess you are suggesting the steam numbers for Win8 are high because OEMs are actually have a bunch of assembled pc's sitting in their warehouse running the steam client ? Or... These numbers reflect actual gamers running the steam client ? To me the latter sounds a lot more logical.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
sjaak327 - You're wrong. MS actually bought around ~40k pre assembled PC's and are now running Steam on them to show that Win8 is actually being used.

Yeah right.

King Mustard said,

Just because it's selling (mainly to OEMs), doesn't mean it's not a disaster.

Haha i love how others also liked that comment. Where do you people come from? Talk about living in denial. As if these Steam stats could possibly include OEM machines that haven't been sold LOL.

King Mustard said,

Just because it's selling (mainly to OEMs), doesn't mean it's not a disaster.

I hate when people,sites and blogs spread misinformation,its unbelievable. These guys want to be known as journalists,yet they spew so much garbage and some people take it as fact.

Microsoft doesn't sell bulk licenses to OEMs.Thats just not how it works. Microsoft only sells codes to OEMs,and OEMs install those codes on their PCs. When the customer activates their copy of Windows using the code, that's when the copy is counted as a sale,and that's when the OEM pays Microsoft for that license. That 40 million copies sold figure is copies that were activated on PCs,not some bulk licenses sitting in the OEMs offices,or some license on a pc sitting on shelf or warehouse.

Edited by vcfan, Jan 5 2013, 4:01pm :

vcfan said,

Microsoft doesn't sell bulk licenses to OEMs.Thats just not how it works. Microsoft only sells codes to OEMs,and OEMs install those codes on their PCs. When the customer activates their copy of Windows using the code, that's when the copy is counted as a sale,and that's when the OEM pays Microsoft for that license. That 40 million copies sold figure is copies that were activated on PCs,not some bulk licenses sitting in the OEMs offices,or some license on a pc sitting on shelf or warehouse.

I'd be curious to know if you have any sources for this? The amount of misinformation on this topic is astounding.

ModernMech said,

I'd be curious to know if you have any sources for this? The amount of misinformation on this topic is astounding.


yep a deliberate misinformation alright,
otherwise we should recieve reports about how much activation occurs during christmas & newyears holiday, just like how Android and iPad release their numbers.

It can be suspected that MS doesn't release the number of Windows 8 Activations during that intervals, because the factual numbers were 'embarassing'. *hohoho*

I always laugh at this comment, because you just have to look at the Ubuntu %, and realise that he (Gabe) is shooting him self in the foot.

ModernMech said,

I'd be curious to know if you have any sources for this? The amount of misinformation on this topic is astounding.

Go ask any OEM, even small town builders.

I can also confirm this is accurate.

@billyea, please note, that Steam on Linux *OPEN* beta was released only two weeks ago. Before that, there was closed beta, with only 1000-5000 participants.
Also, Steam on Linux targets 32 bit .deb releases, which is far from ideal on Linux.
However, numbers should increase in upcoming months, specially after Valve extends support from Ubuntu only to other .deb and .rpm distros.

It will increase, but even 2 years from now, Linux will not reach the 6.9% that Win 8 has reached in roughly 2 months.

It might seem like 0.8% is quite impressive for Linux in 2 weeks of release. But most potential Linux gamers are going to be on Ubuntu anyway, i doubt it will increase much further when Steam support other distros. Most of them would also have known about Steam coming to Linux (it's hard not to know), so they would have downloaded it within the first week or so.

Edited by 1Pixel, Jan 5 2013, 1:08pm :

Well that's certainly an impressive growth trend, but then again, gamers are usually early adopters. Still, if this monthly +2 trend keeps going, win8x64 will soon show pretty significant present in the market.

Really wish Microsoft had made Windows 8 64bit only.. but I guess there's still too many legacy apps and so forth for that to happen.

Chicane-UK said,
Really wish Microsoft had made Windows 8 64bit only.. but I guess there's still too many legacy apps and so forth for that to happen.

Theres still some people around with seriously old PC's that don't even have 64-Bit CPU's. Theres also more recent Intel Atom CPU's that are not 64-bit. But i wish MS didn't make 32-bit anyway, it needs to die.

Chicane-UK said,
Really wish Microsoft had made Windows 8 64bit only.. but I guess there's still too many legacy apps and so forth for that to happen.

Consider Intel was and is producing 32bit CPUs, why would Microsoft screw over an entire base of customers?

Maintaining the two versions is not a lot of 'work' for Microsoft. NT is not Linux or OS X and doesn't require much more than a recompile to DIRECTLY support the x86 and x64 platforms.

BTW: ARM is also 32bit, which Windows 8 also supports.

How are there more XP x64 users than Ubuntu? I didn't even know XP x64 was good for anything.
I'm hoping it's just a misidentification of Windows Server 2003.

Theres more Ubuntu users, you didn't combine each of the Ubuntu versions.

But XP 64 was most popular with gamers because there was one of two games that were 64-bit shortly after release (like FarCry 64-Bit).

If you bought a workstation in the pre-Vista days with 4 GB or more of RAM, it would ship with Windows XP 64-bit.

It's true that XP 64-bit was a niche product, targeted at graphics and CAD users. But it's not too surprising that gamers would've bought really top-of-the-line machines.