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Steam user Windows 10 market share closes in on 50 per cent

by Mark Tyson on 2 September 2016, 10:00

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), AMD (NYSE:AMD), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac6hh

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Steam survey shows Windows 10 nudging 50 per cent mark

At the beginning of September Steam rolled out its monthly Hardware & Software Survey, looking back over the statistics for August. Probably the most impressive change observed in the stats is in the rate of adoption of Windows 10 among Steam gamers. Windows 10 64-bit showed good gains in August, up by 2.77 per cent to 47.44 per cent. Add this to the 1.51 per cent of users with Windows 10 32-bit installed and you get 48.95 per cent in total. Please note that the free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 from other recent Windows OSes expired before August started.

Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Zen only fully supported by Windows 10, and Linux

Back in January we learnt that Microsoft won't support next gen CPUs in older Windows versions. In a blog post Microsoft spelled out that "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon". However Microsoft abandoned a simultaneous policy change which would have meant a shortened life cycle for Skylake systems running Windows 7 and 8.1.

So, earlier this week PCWorld got in touch with Microsoft, to check if the Windows 10 Kaby Lake / Zen policy is still in effect. A Microsoft spokesperson replied that "As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support." In an explanation of the policy Microsoft said this narrower development focus allows "deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon".

Further investigations by PCWorld revealed that both Intel and AMD will align themselves with Microsoft's software strategy. It isn't known what the result would be of a person making a new Kaby Lake or Zen based PC system, next year, then attempting to install and run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Sub optimal performance, glitches, or even crashes are all possibilities – and that would also depend upon the games/applications used in Windows.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update freezing issue fixed

In another bit of Windows 10 news this week, Microsoft has issued a fix for the widely reported Anniversary Update freezing issue. Though my system matched that of the commonly reported affected machine configurations I was unaffected by this bug. However it's good to see it fixed and the update was installed on my system last night. You can read about the issue and fix on Microsoft's Answers page, linked earlier in this paragraph.



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Good bit of FUD - not supporting new CPUs on old OSes. Intel aren't about to release a processor that isn't as x86 compliant as the last goodness knows how many generations. They add new instructions but it's going to be a long time before a new architecture drops a feature that is critical for Windows to run.

They're effectively suggesting you must run Windows 10 if you want a new CPU, rubbish.

Although DirectX 12 is only available on 10, which is a good enough reason to (plan to) upgrade if you're a gamer.
Dashers
Although DirectX 12 is only available on 10, which is a good enough reason to (plan to) upgrade if you're a gamer.

More a case of level of support. Before long every peripheral and software package will be targeting W10 primarily and vague attempts to support anything older if they even bother at all. Windows is a herd ecosystem, lord help the stragglers.

Really, Windows is a lot of grief for a game launcher. Actually it isn't even that is it, it is a Steam/Battle.net/gog host so more of a game launcher launcher.
It is more likely to be related to the supporting motherboard/chipset, or graphics core. For example, try installing Win7 on a Skylake board and you'll have trouble with USB because everything runs through XHCI (typically associated with USB3), even the USB2!

Whilst there are workarounds, I believe Intel have stopped (or are stopping) supplying graphics drivers for older OSs too, so Kaby Lake may only have GPU drivers for Win10 WDDM 2.0. They did this before with XP/Vista etc.

Note - I think this attitude is really poor (it should be customer choice, not dictated by MS/Intel/AMD) but there's really little that anyone can do. For what it is worth, it's been a huge inconvenience to me personally because I still run a Windows Media Centre box for TV. With no WMC in Win10, that effectively blocks any upgrade path. For proper HEVC support/HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 on iGPU, you'll want Kaby Lake, which creates a catch-22. I figure I'll just add a graphics card for that, but still, it creates a real problem.
Dashers
Good bit of FUD - not supporting new CPUs on old OSes. Intel aren't about to release a processor that isn't as x86 compliant as the last goodness knows how many generations. They add new instructions but it's going to be a long time before a new architecture drops a feature that is critical for Windows to run.

I'm going to take a guess that you missed the word “full” as no one is saying new processor won't run x86 instructions, however there's certainly unanswered questions over what other features in the new CPU's may not work on previous versions of Windows, and with both major CPU manufactures saying they're not going to release drivers for anything other than Windows 10 it's a wait and see moment, i wouldn't call that FUD, I'd call it prudence.
That's a lot of 1070 cards Nvidia have sold!