IF WINDOWS XP were human, at 17 it would just be old enough to legally take its driving test and blag its way to getting served in bars. As it's not, it's easier to think of it in dog years, where the venerable operating system is very much at the end of its natural life and on borrowed time living with sentimental owners clinging on to the good times.
It's surprisingly stubborn. Netmarketshare reckons that just over four per cent of desktop computer users worldwide are battling away with Windows XP to this day. But it's about to lose a bit more support: the people at Valve have clearly been binge reading those 'new year, new you' pieces and have decided that 2019 is the year when Windows XP and Windows Vista (a relative spring chicken at 11) are officially unsupported for the Steam gaming platform.
Frankly, Valve doesn't really need much justification to pull the plug on an OS with the minimum system requirements of a 233Mhz CPU and 64MB RAM, but it gamely does so anyway: "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."
According to the most recent Steam survey, this news will frustrate around 0.12 per cent of Steam's user base, which is probably a gamble worth taking. Those XP refuseniks will have to upgrade to a more modern system, like the nine-year-old Windows 7. Although given mainstream support ended here three years ago, any XP user who takes this upgrade path doesn't seem to have learned any lessons from the whole forced upgrade thing. µ
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