Still using Windows XP? Steam support is the next big thing on its way out
Online gaming marketplace Steam’s owner Valve, has announced that its platform will officially end support for Microsoft Windows XP by January 2019.
Steam will not only be officially unsupported by the company on Windows XP: it will effectively and actively cease to function, for what appears to be 0.22 percent of Steam’s 125 million users, leaving roughly 275 thousand unable to access the service on their Windows XP machines, unless they upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft, as tech news blog Motherboard puts it, has been very much a victim of its own success, with Windows XP users clinging on the 18-year-old operating system, which was officially discontinued in 2014. Government and business customers have also been reluctant to upgrade, amidst concerns of compatibility with their existing hardware and specialized software, but that too is a percentage of users that has consistently dwindled into insignificant numbers, as issues with security and privacy have taken precedence over the “comforts” of backward compatibility.
Steam’s new platform features several important security components, as well as a new “Discord-style” chat system, using an integrated version of Google Chrome.
Google has also discontinued support of Google Chrome on Windows XP, which means that several important Steam components relying on Google’s web platform, will not work on Windows XP.
In an official post on Steam Support, the company released the following announcement:
“...Starting on January 1 2019, Steam will officially stop supporting the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. This means that 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.
The newest features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows. In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 7 and above.
For the remainder of 2018 Steam will continue to run and to launch games on Windows XP and Windows Vista, but other functionality in Steam will be somewhat limited. For example, new features such as the new Steam Chat will not be available. We encourage all users on these operating systems to upgrade to newer versions of Windows in order to have ongoing access to the latest features of Steam, and to ensure future access to all games and other Steam content....”
Steam is just the latest of a long list of apps officially leaving Windows XP behind, in favor of Windows 10.