Steam ends support for Windows 7 and 8.1

Steam has rung in the new year by dropping support for Windows platforms older than Windows 10 effective January 1, 2024. This includes Windows 7 and 8.1. To be clear, what this means is that users on the operating systems will no longer receive software updates, though they will still be able to access their Steam games.

It appears that not too many Steam users will be affected by the change however. Last month’s Steam Hardware Survey results indicated that less than 1% were using these Windows versions. Still, for those relative few who are using Windows 7 or 8.1 (both of which have reached end-of-support from Microsoft) Steam advises they upgrade to a newer Windows edition. The change was implemented for security purposes as explained in the Steam support page:

This change is required as core features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows. In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 10 and above.

While Valve says it expects continued Steam functionality for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, it will be on a tenuous basis: “We expect the Steam client and games on these older operating systems to continue running for some time without updates after January 1st, 2024, but we are unable to guarantee continued functionality after that date.”

In the meantime, those using older Windows versions run a serious risk connecting to the internet without the latest security updates.

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