Windows 10 finally overtakes Windows 7 – at least for gamers

PC gaming

Windows 10 has finally surpassed Windows 7, at least when it comes to PC gamers on Steam.

Previously, Windows 10 64-bit had become the single most popular strain of OS, but now the total number of Windows 10 users (both 32-bit and 64-bit) has outstripped the total number of Windows 7 gamers (32-bit and 64-bit).

Last month, Windows 7 was still just a smidgen ahead in this regard, but in the month of May, Windows 10 achieved a total of 41.05% market share for Steam gamers (a 1.54% gain), and that meant it was 2% ahead of Windows 7 which found itself dropping back to 39.02%.

As for other operating systems, Windows 8/8.1 totaled 13.02%, with Windows XP still persisting on 1.96% and Vista bringing up the rear on 0.3%.

OS X gamers accounted for 3.6% of Steam users, with those on Linux hitting 0.84%.

Gathering momentum

It's likely that we'll see Windows 10 accelerate further still this month and next, given that at the end of July, Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade from Windows 7/8 expires. Therefore we can expect a lot of fence-sitters to make the jump before they are forced to pay.

Microsoft's latest desktop OS offers a major plus for gamers which helps explain why they are more keen adopters than the general computing population – and that's DirectX 12, the benefits of which are barred for anyone but Windows 10 users. And as the number of games that support DX12 increases, this will only be a driver for further OS upgrades.

It's also a reason we may see a bigger spike in the number of gamers making the leap to Windows 10 in the next two months before the upgrade deadline, for the simple fear of what they might miss out on in the future if they don't take the freebie now.

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).