Have you upgraded yet? Windows 11 usage is creeping up

Windows 11 adoption is growing slowly and steadily, but one figure suggests its growth is coming from existing Windows 10 PCs.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: gilaxia/Getty Images

Windows 11 now accounts for over 30% of PCs worldwide that connect to Valve's Steam gaming platform. 

Steam is one good indicator of how many PCs are using different versions of Windows. It is skewed towards gamers and higher-end hardware, but is a decent barometer for gauging trends on Windows since 96% of machines that use the service are running some version of Windows. 

Also: Microsoft: We are tracking these 100 active ransomware gangs using 50 types of malware

Windows 11 adoption among Steam users now stands at 30.33% after reaching 25% in September 2022, which was up from 20% in May, when 71% were on Windows 10, and 2.4% were on Windows 7. 

Today, Windows 10 has declined to 63% -- 1.96 percentage points less than a month ago -- while Windows 11 has grown almost identically -- 1.91 percentage points -- to reach 30.33% of all Windows PCs. 

Various versions of macOS make up 2.61% of computers connecting to Steam, while Ubuntu is the top Linux distribution, which collectively account for 1.38% of machines. 

The survey is opt-in and it impacts Steam's decisions about what technology it invests in. 

GlobalStats estimates that Windows 10 has a 68.75% share of all Windows PCs worldwide, followed by Windows 11 at 18.13%, and unsupported Windows 7 at 9.62%.

Also: How to use Microsoft Remote Desktop on a Windows 11 PC 

Some Windows 10 computers, and likely many more PCs running Windows 7, can't upgrade to Windows 11 because of this version's minimum hardware requirements

As Microsoft noted recently when it ended extended security updates for Windows 7: "Most Windows 7 devices will not meet the hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11."

The tech giant recommended that users who want to keep their old hardware purchase a Windows 10 license, but the company stopped selling Windows 10 downloads on January 31 even though Windows 10 remains supported until October 14, 2025.

Some of the new Windows 11 PCs on Steam will be fresh hardware, although PC and smartphone shipments have been tanking for the last year due to economic uncertainty -- even for Apple.

Also: Is it finally happening? Apple is apparently working on a touchscreen MacBook

Intel processors remain the most populous on Steam at 67.13 %, but they declined 0.68 percentage points over the month, while AMD chips rose 0.68 percentage points to 32.84%. Most machines on Steam had 16GB of RAM, CPU speeds of between 2.3 to 2.69 GHz, and six CPUs. The most popular video card was Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650.

Editorial standards