The power of DirectX 12: Nearly half of all Steam users are now on Windows 10

Star Citizen

Windows 10 continues to make good headway with gamers according to the latest statistics from Steam, despite the fact that the freebie offer for the OS isn't in effect any more.

Valve's latest figures on operating system usage across the Steam user base are for August, the first full month when Windows 10 hasn't been available as a free upgrade (the offer expired at the end of July).

And they show that Windows 10 is now within touching distance of the magic 50% mark. For August, 47.44% of Steam denizens were using Windows 10 64-bit, with 1.51% using Windows 10 32-bit, for a total of 48.95% on Microsoft's newest operating system.

That's an increase of 2.7% compared to the previous month, a sizeable leap, and a considerably bigger one than the increase from June to July which was 1.79%.

So the free upgrade offer disappearing down the pan hasn't made a jot of difference to the number of Steam addicts adopting Windows 10, doubtless because there's a major lure for gamers when it comes to the OS: if you want DirectX 12, you can't stick with Windows 7/8.1 as they don't support the technology.

Taking the plunge

So it would seem it's clear that DirectX 12 is definitely pulling its weight for Microsoft in terms of pushing its new operating system, and persuading gamers to take the plunge.

And that's despite all the negative publicity Windows 10 has encountered of late in terms of privacy worries and various problems caused by the Anniversary Update (coupled with the fact that it's not possible to avoid updates any longer – not on the consumer flavors of Windows anyway).

DirectX 12 offers a number of tasty boons, boasting less overheads than DX11 and much improved performance as a result, and also allows for tricks like combining the power of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia together. It'll make many games like the upcoming Star Citizen (pictured) look far more glitzy.

At any rate, next month, then, will almost certainly be the first time that Windows 10 secures a greater than 50% (majority) share of the OS market for Steam users.

As for the other operating systems in August's stats, Windows 7 is now a long way behind the leader, with a total share of 34.66% – that's over 14% less than Windows 10. Windows 8/8.1 has a combined share of 10.26%, with Windows XP on 1.56%, and Windows Vista on 0.24%.

Outside of Windows versions, OS X has 3.34% of the market, and Linux is on 0.83%.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).