Steam Windows XP support and Windows Vista support has come to an end as of the start of the new year. This change means that one of the world's largest desktop gaming clients will no longer function on these older versions of Microsoft's operating systems.
Valve has announced that Windows XP support has officially ended for their Steam digital distribution client. Support for the newer Windows Vista operating system has ended as well. These changes mean that the oldest functional operating system for the platform is now Windows 7. Customers on any older operating systems will have to upgrade to a newer version in order to continue using Steam.
A news post from Steam gives some details on this change. One of the primary reasons behind the change is the integration of Google Chrome into the Steam client. Google Chrome doesn't function on these older versions of Windows after discontinuing their support in 2016, necessitating the move to newer OSes. Additionally, Steam plans on taking advantage of security features and other functionality that will only be available in Windows 7 and newer Microsoft operating systems.
The cessation of Steam Windows XP support marks the second time that Valve has required users to move on to a new operating system. The digital distribution client made a similar move over a decade ago with XP's predecessors Windows 98 and Windows ME.
According to the most recent Steam Hardware Survey data, only 0.11% of the platform's users were on Windows XP. No data was present for Windows Vista users in the survey. Windows 10 64 bit users make up the majority of gamers on Microsoft operating systems with a share of 63.79%. That group is followed by Windows 7 64 bit users at 26.08% and Windows 8.1 64 bit users at 3.53%. Windows users make up nearly 96% of gamers on the platform.
What do you think of Valve ending Steam Windows XP support and Windows Vista support? What operating system are you currently running? Let us know in the comments below!