An online game store, communications platform, and game management program

  • Vote:
    6.8 (2566)
  • Category:

    Various Utilities

  • Version:

  • Works under:

    Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000

  • Also available for:


  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free

Steam is a service that allows players to buy and update PC games as well as connect with other players in a social environment. Users can purchase and download games from a vast and ever-expanding library that holds an incredible 3,000 games. This number is constantly growing. In addition to offering the major titles released by the industry’s top publishers, Steam also offers lesser-known titles from independent developers. In late 2012, Steam also expanded its service to include non-gaming software.

The widespread popularity of Steam is quite impressive. The service has over 75 million registered accounts, and in December of 2013 the service exceeded 7.1 million concurrent players. It is estimated that more than 75% of game purchases and downloads go through Steam.

A significant contributor to Steam’s rapid expansion and success results from its social connectivity services. Steam offers players the ability to add other users to their friend lists, and chat with them using Steam’s built-in instant messaging service. People playing games through the Steam service are able to invite these friends to join them in games, as well as create scheduled multiplayer events.

While Steam was initially developed solely for use on the Windows operating system, the service has notably expanded its cross-platform viability, releasing additional versions for both the OS X and Linux operating systems. Steam’s software has very low computing requirements, making it accessible for a wide range of personal computers.

The application itself uses very little processing power while running, and the interface is so unobtrusive that users can keep it running in the background without getting in the way of anything else they may be doing. In this way, it is often used as a small and effective standalone chat client.

Steam is hugely popular and widely acclaimed. Its future is bright, and the aggressive development of the service means that there is potential for even more success in Steam’s future. However, Steam has its advantages and disadvantages like any other platform.


  • Omnipresence – Steam is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux, with the Steamworks service available for Playstation 3. It is also the core of the Steam Machine micro-console.
  • Availability of games – There are not many games that you will not find on Steam, and its colossal library is in a constant state of expansion
  • Ease of use – Steam is easy to install and simple to use, and it makes purchasing, downloading, and updating games a simple task.
  • Social Connectivity – The service allows players to chat and play with millions of other users.


  • Security and privacy – Steam is a service that stores the personal information of its users, and its privacy and security measures have been called into question in terms of their ability to protect users against malicious activity.
  • The Steam Subscriber Agreement - This agreement gives the company the right to ban user’s accounts for any activity that the company deems to be an infraction of the agreement, and the company’s use of this ability has been questioned.
  • Digital rights management – Some members of movements relating to the freedom of information and software have criticized Steam’s firm support of digital rights management.
  • Monopoly – Some believe that Steam has acquired an effective monopoly on the purchase and download of games. Indeed, there are titles that are simply not available outside of the Steam service.

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