Windows 8 close behind Windows XP in latest Steam hardware survey

Last month, Valve's monthly hardware survey of its Steam users for December 2012 showed that the percentage of its Windows 8 owners was just behind those who used Windows Vista. This week, Valve updated its hardware survey numbers for the month of January 2013, and as expected the results showed Windows 8 overtaking Windows Vista, while also getting closer to Windows XP's numbers.

The stats on the hardware survey page shows that the percentage of Windows 8 owners (combining 32-bit and 64-bit SKUs) is now at 8.76 percent, well above the 6.93 percent of Windows 8 users that Steam recorded in December 2012. Windows Vista users of Steam in January (again combining 32-bit and 64-bit) totaled a mere 6.02 percent. Only 0.72 percent of Steam users are using the 32-bit version of Windows 8, compared to 8.04 percent of Windows 8 64-bit users.

Windows 7 users of Steam represent 69.73 percent of all Steam owners, down from 70.47 percent from the month before. Windows XP is still being used by 10.05 percent of Steam owners. and if the growth of Windows 8 continues on Steam it should be close to, or overtake, Windows XP next month.

The combined number of Mac Steam owners is currently at 3.56 percent. After making its debut on the Steam hardware survey in December, the total number of Ubuntu users on Steam in January stands at just 1.12 percent.

Source: Steam | Image via Valve

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Phone 8S by HTC video review

Next Story

Minecraft ... er, Blockworld released for Windows 8

49 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Well spoken laserfloyd. People are so reactionary, they think something is either a success or a failure. But it's not like that at all, otherwise Linux would be a failure, I don't know a single person that games on Linux. The steam indication of about 1% is about right, because I play with 2 game-clans with 100+ members, and I don't know that a single person games on Linux. But does that make it a failure ? No, because it's an open source OS that some people really like using, and good on them. I wouldn't touch it with a poo-stick, but others like it and I'm glad it's around for the hobbyists and universities.

I can tell you as a programmer, that Windows 8 (and WinRT specifically, but which isn't included in steam) are good technologies, not as popular as some would like, but they are innovative under the hood. It's now easier to write DirectX games in managed code and WinRT provides sand-boxing which is a much more secure environment to live within. The desktop is changing, and should keep changing. Win32 is way too open and unsafe.

Oh, and to those that are saying 8 is 'successful' then why on earth did MS just have a hissy fit about sales, blaming PC makers for the horrible 8 sales?

Lenovo posted good numbers. The rest posted crap because garbage in, garbage out. MS is saying if you want to sell your stuff, make it good. Stop making subpar machines.

And yes, it'll be successful but not at the rate 7 was. 7 was a godsend for those on Vista. But 7 is a great OS so moving to 8 is more optional. Why is everyone so stuck on throwing the word FAIL around. Ever heard of transitional period? Grey area? Yeah, it exists. The OS will evolve and improve and it will be fine. Get over it.

I'm surprised on one mentioned this, but the only reason 8 has even as much at this chart shows is because of the sale. Oh, and fanboys, who are always a small percentage of the market anyway. It passes Vista because it was the worst version of windows out there since Mil. And since the 40 dollar sale is now gone, numbers will go up still, but at a much slower pace. MS was looking for marketshare, that's it. They got it, they're done.

Only some people do not see the potential of Win8. Most people have their brain blocked by the new start screen, so that they try to convince themselves that Win8 is a failure OS. Maybe it's not as best like Win7 as people hope for, but it is still a successful Windows OS.

Probably at the same exact rate. Everyone who wanted to upgrade and knows how already bought it. Everyone else will buy it with a new PC for the same price as before.

Fritzly said,

8.76% on Steam.....

I know,and whats your point? its an indication that a lot of people are migrating to windows 8. 6 months ago Steam announced that they have over 40 million users. Windows 8 has %8.76 of steam users currently. Do the math.

vcfan said,

I know,and whats your point? its an indication that a lot of people are migrating to windows 8. 6 months ago Steam announced that they have over 40 million users. Windows 8 has %8.76 of steam users currently. Do the math.

3.6 million, hardly impressive. I wonder how many people actually took the survey. Is that written anywhere because I haven't taken one in almost 2 years.

Luc2k said,

3.6 million, hardly impressive. I wonder how many people actually took the survey. Is that written anywhere because I haven't taken one in almost 2 years.


For an OS thats just a few months old its at 8%,
Lets wait the same time and see how big Ubuntu will be?
According to Gabe its their success of the year already.

Keep in mind the percentage of people more aware and more knowledgeable with computers among Steam users is higher then webstatistics (and those are more precious to everyone)

Shadowzz said,

For an OS thats just a few months old its at 8%,
Lets wait the same time and see how big Ubuntu will be?
According to Gabe its their success of the year already.

Keep in mind the percentage of people more aware and more knowledgeable with computers among Steam users is higher then webstatistics (and those are more precious to everyone)

Still meh, W7 was over 14% on steam after it's first 3 months and it hadn't gone through the holiday season yet.

W7 surpassed 4% global market share in the first month while W8 is not even at 3% in 3 months (both stats taken from Net Applications). Again W7 didn't go through holiday sales yet.

Did I mention Ubuntu or Gabe? Or do you just like to beat straw men for the hell of it?

Luc2k said,
Still meh, W7 was over 14% on steam after it's first 3 months and it hadn't gone through the holiday season yet.

W7 was released on Oct 22, 2009. W8 was released Oct 26, 2012. They both went through a holiday season after 3 months.

ModernMech said,

W7 was released on Oct 22, 2009. W8 was released Oct 26, 2012. They both went through a holiday season after 3 months.

You're right, I was confusing RTM date with GA for W7. That makes it even worse for W8 since W7 had better figures much earlier.

Luc2k said,
That makes it even worse for W8 since W7 had better figures much earlier.

People had a much bigger reason to update to 7 back then. With 7 you were either coming from XP (horribly outdated and on its death bed) and Vista (fairly clunky and bloated, buggy drivers at release, bad rep from people who were scared of changes). With 8 the incentive to upgrade isn't anywhere near as high considering how solid 7 is, and that's not counting the various "baww Metro" people. Not a big surprise it's slower to go up.

Max Norris said,

People had a much bigger reason to update to 7 back then. With 7 you were either coming from XP (horribly outdated and on its death bed) and Vista (fairly clunky and bloated, buggy drivers at release, bad rep from people who were scared of changes). With 8 the incentive to upgrade isn't anywhere near as high considering how solid 7 is, and that's not counting the various "baww Metro" people. Not a big surprise it's slower to go up.

I agree with your points (less with the wording), it's just that Neowin has a couple of people that make W8 as the second coming and that everything before it is crap. In reality W8 has several under the hood improvements, a new interface on top of the old one and an store for simple apps. The jump might be huge from previous windows based touch devices, but not on normal desktops where customisation and choice play a bigger role.

Max Norris said,

People had a much bigger reason to update to 7 back then. With 7 you were either coming from XP (horribly outdated and on its death bed) and Vista (fairly clunky and bloated, buggy drivers at release, bad rep from people who were scared of changes). With 8 the incentive to upgrade isn't anywhere near as high considering how solid 7 is, and that's not counting the various "baww Metro" people. Not a big surprise it's slower to go up.
For people like us XP could be on a death bed but it seems to me that it still has a substantial market share.
As for incentives to upgrade, you mention good arguments but forgot an important one about W8: its extremely cheap price till the end of January.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
but...but.....but I thought people weren't buying windows 8 computers that they were stuck on store shelves..

these guys will flip it to whatever suits their point. high number of copies sold = sitting on shelves, high statistics from software = people forced to buy it. LOL. In the end its great because they know its selling but theres nothing they can say or do that will change that.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
but...but.....but I thought people weren't buying windows 8 computers that they were stuck on store shelves..

They are all stuck on shelves and apparently they are being turned on and steam and IE is being run from them.

Windows XP is almost dead. Although platform was good, but to sell 7 and now 8, MS killed Windows XP.

I feel as a platform for conventional PC, if support was there, Windows XP could have still be running.

Last of all, the upgrade offer for Windows 8 did a lot of trick for MS in claiming back market share for this new OS compare to slow start of Windows 7

TsarNikky said,
XP is hardly dead. Just look around at a lot of banking and medical office settings--hello XP Professional.

Well I hope the banks and medical offices are not running steam.

probably due to all the new computers people got with 8 on them, and they are stuck with 8, lol, the average joe doesn't have a clue how to downgrade

MrWhistler said,
probably due to all the new computers people got with 8 on them, and they are stuck with 8, lol, the average joe doesn't have a clue how to downgrade

Yeah I think your excellent hypothesis explains the high usage of Windows 7 users, must be because it came preinstalled on all those darn new computer over the last couple of years...

Steam client works just the same on Windows 8 like it is on Windows 7 so there really is no reason the percentage won't go up. The overall performance and optimization that 8 has over 7 and even more over XP should attract hardcore pc gamers who want all the frames they can get from their hardware.

GP007 said,
Steam client works just the same on Windows 8 like it is on Windows 7 so there really is no reason the percentage won't go up. The overall performance and optimization that 8 has over 7 and even more over XP should attract hardcore pc gamers who want all the frames they can get from their hardware.

Except there's hardly any difference between 7 and 8 when it comes to game performance, just minor variations going either way depending on the game.

Luc2k said,

Except there's hardly any difference between 7 and 8 when it comes to game performance, just minor variations going either way depending on the game.

Win 8 is still overall faster with the majority of games, even if it's just by 1 - 4%. It's also good for people with only 4GB RAM or less, as 8 uses considerably less memory than Win 7, freeing up more RAM for games.

I've also found it's more user friendly and will often notify you if a game requires something in order to work. For instance if a game (or software) needs an older version of .NET then 8 will notify you and automatically download it. On Win 7 and older, the game will simply not work or crash, and the user will have no idea why this is happening.

Luc2k said,

Except there's hardly any difference between 7 and 8 when it comes to game performance, just minor variations going either way depending on the game.

I'm sorry but there is a significant performance increase in games when using Windows 8 however this significance decrease as the specs of the hardware increase so you may be under the impression there is no difference because you may have a beast of PC. Windows 8 has better memory management, graphics decoding (hardware and software level depending on drivers etc) among many many other things. Check out some of the "building window 8 blogs" or some of the real world comparisons on the internet.

1Pixel said,

Win 8 is still overall faster with the majority of games, even if it's just by 1 - 4%. It's also good for people with only 4GB RAM or less, as 8 uses considerably less memory than Win 7, freeing up more RAM for games. Maybe with 1GB, but memory is so cheap now.

I've also found it's more user friendly and will often notify you if a game requires something in order to work. For instance if a game (or software) needs an older version of .NET then 8 will notify you and automatically download it. On Win 7 and older, the game will simply not work or crash, and the user will have no idea why this is happening.

It's not "overall faster with the majority of games, even if it's just by 1 - 4%". TechPowerUp which usually tests the largest amount of games has 8 1% slower overall. I never had ram issues with games with 2GB or 4GB under 7.

Second point is odd, because if a game requires additional software it comes with the installer. Some even reinstall even if you have it (DirectX 9 most often).

ingramator said,

I'm sorry but there is a significant performance increase in games when using Windows 8 however this significance decrease as the specs of the hardware increase so you may be under the impression there is no difference because you may have a beast of PC. Windows 8 has better memory management, graphics decoding (hardware and software level depending on drivers etc) among many many other things. Check out some of the "building window 8 blogs" or some of the real world comparisons on the internet.

Paper sounds real good, it shouldn't be hard to show me some comprehensive real world proof.

I'm using TechPowerUp and Tom's Hardware.

http://www.techpowerup.com/rev...raphics_Performance/22.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/re...ng-performance,3331-13.html

Edited by Luc2k, Feb 2 2013, 1:36pm :

I noticed no performance advantage for gaming in Windows 8, it was about the same as it is in Windows 7. And on Windows 7 my USB devices actually work

Luc2k said,
It's not "overall faster with the majority of games, even if it's just by 1 - 4%". TechPowerUp which usually tests the largest amount of games has 8 1% slower overall. I never had ram issues with games with 2GB or 4GB under 7.

TechPowerUp tested 8 before it's proper release. I'm not even sure if they tested the RTM. But all the graphics drivers were in BETA. If you look at things now, 8 is faster overall.

And maybe you're playing some old games because many modern games will take up over 2GB, even more so when using graphics mods (Skyrim is a good example). Some games will take up almost 2GB on the graphics card when using higher resolutions with AA + another 2GB+ of system RAM.

Another thing to remember is once the next gen consoles come out this year they will finally have a decent amount of RAM in them, so we'll suddenly start getting PC games that use 4GB+. Win 8 will be a much better option for people who don't have much RAM.

Luc2k said,
Second point is odd, because if a game requires additional software it comes with the installer. Some even reinstall even if you have it (DirectX 9 most often).

Thats not true. Some games require an older .NET framework and SOMETIMES don't include an installer. While it's more common for games to include this stuff, tons of other software types don't, so it's very useful that Win 8 will detect this, then download and install automatically.

Edited by 1Pixel, Feb 2 2013, 4:07pm :

1Pixel said,

TechPowerUp tested 8 before it's proper release. I'm not even sure if they tested the RTM. But all the graphics drivers were in BETA. If you look at things now, 8 is faster overall.

Both reviews use RTM. TPU uses final AMD drivers and beta for NV, while Toms uses final for NV and newer beta for AMD. You can check all this out on the test setup pages. It ain't faster overall in games. I've looked at AMD's changelogs since release, no performance increases just for 8. You can check NV's if you want.

1Pixel said,

And maybe you're playing some old games because many modern games will take up over 2GB, even more so when using graphics mods (Skyrim is a good example). Some games will take up almost 2GB on the graphics card when using higher resolutions with AA + another 2GB+ of system RAM.

I had 2GB until the beginning of 2011 and I played new games at the time. I doubt there are that many people with systems capable to run modern games with high graphical settings and mods while neglecting RAM which is very cheap.

1Pixel said,

Another thing to remember is once the next gen consoles come out this year they will finally have a decent amount of RAM in them, so we'll suddenly start getting PC games that use 4GB+. Win 8 will be a much better option for people who don't have much RAM.

We'll see how consoles will affect game development, let's not jump to conclusions just yet.

1Pixel said,

Thats not true. Some games require an older .NET framework and SOMETIMES don't include an installer. While it's more common for games to include this stuff, tons of other software types don't, so it's very useful that Win 8 will detect this, then download and install automatically.

Guess we have a different experience. I've had situations where games reinstalled .NET 4 and I don't recall needing 1 or 2. There was one case where I needed XNA, I'll give you that. Anyway, I keep all my software up to date so for me it's rarely an issue.

Luc2k said,

It's not "overall faster with the majority of games, even if it's just by 1 - 4%". TechPowerUp which usually tests the largest amount of games has 8 1% slower overall. I never had ram issues with games with 2GB or 4GB under 7.

Second point is odd, because if a game requires additional software it comes with the installer. Some even reinstall even if you have it (DirectX 9 most often).


Paper sounds real good, it shouldn't be hard to show me some comprehensive real world proof.

I'm using TechPowerUp and Tom's Hardware.

http://www.techpowerup.com/rev...raphics_Performance/22.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/re...ng-performance,3331-13.html


No problems with 2gb? Go play sins of solar empire
Or how about Supreme Commander? Less then 2GB ram, undoable on Windows 7. I havent tested it on Win8 with 2GB yet though.
I do notice my aging card can handle more recent games better under Win8 vs Win7.
However I've not seen an FPS increase on Q3engine games (hovered around 250 on Win7, hovers around 250 on Win8).

Shadowzz said,

No problems with 2gb? Go play sins of solar empire
Or how about Supreme Commander? Less then 2GB ram, undoable on Windows 7. I havent tested it on Win8 with 2GB yet though.
I do notice my aging card can handle more recent games better under Win8 vs Win7.
However I've not seen an FPS increase on Q3engine games (hovered around 250 on Win7, hovers around 250 on Win8).

Haven't played that game, so I can't comment on it. Let's stop beating around the bush, I had a look at anandtech's W8 CP review and the memory difference is less than 150MB whoop-de-doo.

I bet you card can handle games better in 8, it's called placebo or moving the goal posts (if you changed hardware).

Edited by Luc2k, Feb 3 2013, 3:43am :