Digital gaming platform and storefront Steam has announced that it will stop supporting Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on Jan 1, 2024.
This means that Steam will no longer run on computers using these three operating systems (OS) after that date.
According to a Steam Support post, the removal of support for older versions of Windows is due to the gaming client’s reliance on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which will no longer function on these versions of the OS.
The embedded web browser allows users to access both websites and online services.
Affected users who want to continue using Steam and have access to their purchased software will have to update their OS to Windows 10 or 11 to regain support for Google Chrome.
The update to a newer supported version of the OS is also needed because future versions of Steam will need some features and security updates only available on Windows 10 and 11.
While intended to be replaced by Windows 8 back in 2012, Windows 7 has an enduring user base, with 5.4% of all Windows users worldwide still on the OS as of February 2023 according to Statcounter.com.
Something to note while deciding between Windows 10 and 11 for the upgrade, is that Windows 10 has a slated retirement date of Oct 14, 2025, according to Microsoft.
So it remains to be seen how long Steam will continue functioning on Windows 10, meaning the safer bet would be to opt for Windows 11.
An upgrade to Windows 11 will bring about a new design language, native universal dark mode, Bing AI, and a Do Not Disturb mode.