The advantage of having millions of active users is that it tends to be a bit easier to collect useful information. And Steam’s regular hardware surveys do just that, with their publication giving everyone a better understanding of precisely what PC an “average” Steam user might have.
But I don’t want to focus on the average user today. Let’s focus on the people running Windows Vista instead.
There’s always some interesting figures in Steam’s surveys. For one, the amount of Steam users running the 64-bit version of Windows 10 has nearly overtaken those running Windows 7 64-bit. The latter was still the OS of choice for 34.21% of respondents, while Windows 10 64-bit is being used by 34.01% of users.
If you combine the figures for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, Windows 10 still has a fair way to go. But what’s more intriguing to me is the 0.37% percent of users relying on what gamers usually consider hot garbage: Windows Vista.
What’s surprising is that the same amount of people using Windows Vista overall is identical to those running the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1. I’ve never quite understood users who took the plunge on Windows 8 — or 8.1 — but haven’t bitten on Windows 10. Windows 10 to me is just the speed and functionality of 8/8.1 without some of the compatibility issues and quirks, but maybe I’m venturing off the ranch with that view.
We can’t tell precisely how many users were surveyed, because Steam users can always refuse to participate in the monthly surveys. It’s interesting that the Windows 8 32-bit crowd hasn’t shrunk from last month, while those using the 32-bit version of Windows XP saw a very marginal increase of 0.03%. I’d bet that change was more to users choosing to respond than gamers flocking to XP. Alternatively, more people could just be installing Steam on their work computers.
On the resolution front, 1080p is still the standard resolution for most gamers although those using 1440p as default rose by 0.05% to 1.39%. The second most popular resolution appears to be those playing on laptops, with 26.26% of respondents using the slightly off-ratio resolution of 1366×768.
So the question I want to put to those still playing on Vista: does it have anything to do with gaming whatsoever? My experience is that a lot of users who hold onto legacy OS’s do so because they rely on older programs that simply don’t play nicely with Windows 10 or even Windows 7.