According to the latest Steam Hardware and Software Survey results, Windows 11 experienced a 0.11% decline in its Steam market share, going from 21.23% to 21.12%. This effectively marks the first time that Windows 11 has lost gamers on Steam instead of gaining them.
And judging from that same data set, Windows 10 has increased its Steam market shares by 1.91% in the same month. This would imply that the OS managed to scoop up the ones who jumped ship from Windows 11, because they sure didn't go to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, both of which also lost market share last month as well, with Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) losing an entire percentage point (1.03%, to be exact), with the 64-bit version of the aging OS accounting for a full 0.97% on its own.
Analysis: what does this all mean?
If gamers on Steam were willing to revert back to Windows 10 despite it being an older OS, there’s a good chance it was because they were dissatisfied with the experience of Windows 11. Given how many issues Windows 11 has encountered in the several months since it's release, between the UI design itself and updates that continue to break various functionalities, we can sympathize.
There’s also the fact that looking at the overall market share on Steam, Microsoft has had trouble convincing gamers to switch to Windows 11. The monthly increases in market share have been marginal at best and only 21.12% of gamers are even using it overall, versus a whopping 73.17% using Windows 10.
Considering that in a span of a month we’ve had breaks in Microsoft Outlook, an update that caused an endless reboot loop, and ongoing issues with printing that have yet to be fully fixed, it’s little surprise that gamers would rather stick with the far more stable OS. And as far as we can tell from the July 2022 survey results, there appear to be some who gave Windows 11 a chance and decided to roll back to Windows 10.
Just as interesting, perhaps, is the large number of Windows 7 users who decided to upgrade, but who appear to have upgraded to Windows 10, rather than Windows 11. Windows 10 is putting up a surprisingly stubborn fight despite Microsoft's best efforts to move everyone to its new OS.
In time, that shift will happen, mostly once Windows 11 becomes more stable as it matures. Lest we forget, the suddenly beloved Windows 10 was also a buggy, unstable flustercluck when it launched, so there's no reason to think that Windows 11 won't follow that same trajectory in the future.
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Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.