Gamers Start Embracing Windows 11, According to Steam Data

The new Steam Hardware Survey (opens in new tab) data is out, covering the month of June 2022. This month, probably the most notable change is that Windows 11 has made its first foray above 20% market share – up 1.64% to 21.23% in June. Windows 10 still looks unassailable at 71.26%. However, the drop of 2.63% is quite a significant one.

Windows 11 launched in October last year, so it has only been available to mainstream users for nine months. As with any new Windows OS, there were some unwelcome issues with the fledgling release. Finally, things are looking up for Windows 11, with recent updates and patches smoothing out rough edges and adding finesse. Moreover, Windows 11’s first big update is on the horizon with many optimizations and features. Windows 11 22H2 is due this Fall (but you can grab it now if you don’t mind using the Insider version).

Before its release, Microsoft talked up Windows 11 as a significant advance for gaming. We tested the claims last December with a powerful and relatively modern system. We found that in terms of gaming performance, there was no difference on offer compared to Windows 10. However, at that time, our lab’s test machine didn’t leverage Intel’s 12th Generation Alder Lake chips, with its mix of Performance- and Efficiency-cores (depending on the SKU).

According to the latest survey, steam users have been warming up to Windows 11. Whether most of these are willing upgrades by Win 10 (or older) users or new machines with Windows 11 pre-installed, we don’t know. Elsewhere in the OS charts, OSX is continuing to make small gains (making up 2.35% of Steam users in June), as is Linux (1.18%), but nothing seismic is happening in these minor areas of the Steam user base.

The monthly Steam Hardware Survey’s hardware side doesn’t have much high-octane action this month. Looking at graphics cards first, the old GeForce GTX 1060 is holding steadily to its top place, with the only likely challenger in the coming months probably the GeForce GTX 1650. On a more upbeat note, the top three gainers in graphics cards this month were a trio of Ampere GPUs.

In processors, AMD had been chipping away at Intel’s lead in the CPU stakes for several months, but Intel pulled some share back last month quite a bit. In a two-horse race, Intel retains over two-thirds of the market share, and it will take something extraordinary from AMD to break out and move from being the favorite choice of about a third of Steam users to anything like half. What impacts will Raptor Lake and Ryzen 7000 have? Stay tuned.