PUBG Effect: Windows 10 market share drops as Win7 goes up on Steam

Windows 10 vs 7 market share - Steam Hardware Survey (September)

The Steam Hardware Survey for the month of September is out, and it shows a slight anomaly when it comes to the usage share of operating systems. According to the survey, the market share of the Windows 7 among Steam users increased by 6% last month, while Windows 10 64-bit dipped 4.66%.

That being said, Windows 10 is still the most dominant OS that is run by 45.37% Steam users, followed by Windows 7 sitting at 41.01%. But the question is: why the gap between the two OSes has narrowed when it is actually expected to widen? Are Windows 10 users abandoning Microsoft’s latest operating system?

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Steam Hardware Survey for September: Windows 10 market share dropped

Before you jump to conclusions, there are a couple of things to take into consideration. First, the Steam Hardware Survey doesn’t represent the overall market trend as the results are solely based on the its userbase. Next, there is a margin of error, depending upon who opts in.

Moving to the drop in Win10 market share on Steam, it’s unlikely that users abandoned the OS in droves when there’s been no major opt-out solution that could have spurred this change.

What’s more plausible is that Steam just saw an exponential increase in the number of users during the past month. The majority of those users are possibly using lower-specced systems with older OSes installed.

Yes, you guessed it right. The reason behind this all is the explosion in popularity of PUBG in China. The proportion of Chinese language users on Steam increased by around 8% in September alone. Based on these estimates, the Chinese speakers are now a third of the Steam user base.

Steam Hardware Survey for September: Language

The shift for Steam shows the dramatic impact PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently having on the PC gaming platform. The game came out in March as an unfinished product, yet more than 12 million people have purchased it for $30. Just last month, PUBG hit 1.35 million concurrent players on Steam, surpassing Dota 2 for the top figure all time.

The number of PUBG players is the largest in China, which is around 3.6 million, according to data from SteamSpy. The milestone is achieved, even though the game has never been released in the country.

There is no server optimized for China mainland, and players have to spend extra money on network optimization services to run the game smoothly. Yet against all these odds, the game still got a big Chinese audience.