Hardcore PC gamers may already be using Windows 7 more than Windows Vista, according to data gathered through digital gaming platform Steam.
Windows Vista always had a bit of trouble getting started. The subject of multiple delays back when it was still Windows Longhorn, Vista suffered from poor driver support and stringent system requirements at its 2006 release. While most of those problems were eventually fixed - I've been using Vista on my PC for going on two years and have had nary a problem - it still had stigma against it, and many gamers (and PC users) stuck with the tried-and-true Windows XP.
With word-of-mouth firmly on its side, though, Windows 7 has been garnering a decidedly different reception from its elder brother, with PC users flocking to it in droves. In fact, data pulled from Steam in January 2010 showed that more Steam users were using Windows 7 than were using Windows Vista (by a slim margin, but a margin nonetheless): 28.53% are on 7, with 27.91% on Vista. XP is still leading the pack with 42.78% of users, but that number is a far cry from the dominance it once had.
It's true that this is just data from Steam and not all PC gamers everywhere, but seeing as how Steam is the overwhelmingly dominant digital distribution platform - and many new PC games are requiring Steam in some form or another - it seems reasonable to look at the service as a fairly representative cross-section of the hardcore PC gaming community.
Given that Windows 7 only launched officially last July, the fact that it's achieved such market penetration in a relatively short period of time seems to be proof that the new OS is doing something right. Also of interest is the fact that with Windows 7, more users are using the 64-bit version than the 32-bit version - which appears to be a first for the Windows family.
I've thought about upgrading for a while, but I'm hesitant to do so because reinstalling everything would be a real bitch. What about you? Have you upgraded yet?