Still playing Steam games using Windows 7 and 8? Valve just announced that it’s dropping support for both operating systems next year. The move means you’ll have to switch over to Windows 11 or 10, but it could be an opportunity for PC players to try out Linux and SteamOS.
The Valve Steam news serves as a reminder that even the best gaming PC can’t keep legacy software alive forever. Windows 7 and 8 are already with Internet Explorer on the big hard drive in the sky, and there’s reason to believe Windows 10 will bite the dust soon. Nevertheless, the event means you’ll either need to install Windows 11 or find another OS, and you’ve only got the rest of the year to figure it out.
When will Windows 7 and 8 Steam support end?
In a statement, Valve says that Windows 7 and 8 Steam support will end on January 1, 2024. The storefront giant actually partially blames Google Chrome, as it claims new features require an embedded version of the browser that “longer functions on older versions of Windows.” Of course, the underlying effect is caused by a lack of feature and security updates that are now only present in Windows 10 and above.
Naturally, most longstanding Microsoft OS users will likely jump ship to either Windows 11 or 10, but the latter is arguably on borrowed time too. That said, 62.33% of Steam users are still gaming on the 2015 operating system, so all of you update naysayers are probably safe for now.
If you’re looking for a fresh start, you could transform your desktop rig into something that’ll outpace the eventual Steam Deck 2 by installing SteamOS. Linux fans will argue that it has better driver support and VRAM utilisation, but Microsoft counters that with Windows 11 features like autoHDR and its speedy DirectStorage API.
Of course, a lack of Windows 7 and 8 support means that all Steam games will technically require a newer operating system to run. This could have big implications in terms of recommended PC specs for older releases, as the likes of CSGO system requirements include the older OS.
So, if you’ve got a rickety rig that you use to play a specific old game, you’ll want to swap out its OS sooner than later. You could even pop in the best SSD for gaming while you’re at it and give it a new lease of life, but we get why you’d perhaps want to preserve your ageing time capsule PC.