Despite releasing more than 13 years ago, Windows 7 is still remembered more fondly than the operating systems that came both before and after it — that’s probably why one in twenty Windows machines is still running it. But if you’re a PC gamer, it might finally be time to let go. According to a new support page, PC game market juggernaut Steam will stop supporting the operating system on January 1st, 2024. Oh, and the same goes for Windows 8, not that anybody cares.
According to the support page, the culprit is actually Chrome. Steam uses an embedded version of Google’s Chrome browser to serve up store pages and other content, and that specific feature of the browser is no longer actively updated. The page says that upcoming Steam releases will rely on Windows security updates that are only available in Windows 10 and 11. You can hardly blame Valve or Google: Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 more than two years ago, and the last version of Windows 8 followed a few months ago.
Once the deadline hits, you’ll have to upgrade Windows to continue playing your games. Here’s the info verbatim from Valve:
“As of January 1 2024, Steam will officially stop supporting the Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems. After that date, the Steam Client will no longer run on those versions of Windows. In order to continue running Steam and any games or other products purchased through Steam, users will need to update to a more recent version of Windows.”
Fortunately the cloud-based nature of Steam, and its built-in tools for migrating downloaded games, should make it relatively painless to move over to a new operating system or an entirely new Windows PC.