Windows 10 proves most popular with PC gamers – at least on Steam

PC gaming Windows 10
PC gaming Windows 10

During Microsoft's Build 2016 conference, the firm came out with an updated Windows 10 installs figure of 270 million since launch, its fastest operating system (OS) adoption rate ever. But, there's one group of people with which the OS is already on top: PC gamers.

Valve, the company behind PC gaming service Steam, released its latest monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey, revealing that 36.97% of its users are logging in via the 64-bit version of Windows 10. That's nearly a 3% increase since Valve's February Steam Survey.

Windows 10 has been chipping at the dominance of Windows 7 in PC gaming circles for months, all of which has been captured in Valve's monthly surveys. The older OS has experienced a gradual decline in its user base in almost direct correlation with the boosts that the new hotness has enjoyed.

Why are PC gamers flocking to Windows 10?

Despite one of the veritable leaders of PC gamers decrying Windows 10 as Microsoft's trojan horse into a takeover of the scene, folks continue to be drawn toward its light. Well, two lights.

For one, Windows 10 is 100% free until July 29 of this year, so that has to be a major driver to upgrade, especially considering it will be supported for free for years to come. In fact, as folks run out of time to upgrade for free over the next few months, I wouldn't be surprised to see this number get bigger – fast.

Secondly, Windows 10 – as of this writing – is the only OS that currently supports DirectX 12. Microsoft's new graphics programming interface is said to improve games' speed, reliability and power consumption.

While there isn't a ton of DirectX 12-supported games around just yet, that number is bound to only increase, and so it makes sense for gamers to want to get in on the ground level. That's especially with new PC games like Just Cause 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Hitman already out and making use of the new standard.

Something tells me that Microsoft doesn't feel all too inspired to bring DirectX 12 to, say, Windows 7 anytime soon.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.