We have Steam on a WIndows XP installation and it displays a notice with the number of days remaining before it stops working. Chrome also nags in Windows XP over not being supported.
Steam is known to use Google Chrome in their client and Google is also dropping XP and Vista Support. Older games sometimes used coding techniques or packages that do not work with newer versions of Windows.
Some old games like Starcraft came out in 1998 and it used DX5 but Windows 10 has backwards compatibility. Running the DX5 installer exits stating it is already installed. Microsoft has included compete backwards compatibility so that game developers can clean up their code and remove problems.
DRM protection methods like C-Dilla and the various CD-checks etc are the main problem. Some games sold on Steam retained the old copy protection and they do not work with more recent versions of Windows. Steam technically will be obliged to remove the DRM on such games as Steam will not be available.
We own a few games that do not work with Vista or above. This is why we still use XP even though it has long lapsed for support. We have many articles on DRM headaches and those games that are incompatible with Vista etc are all posted.
- Games Incompatible with Windows XP
- Games incompatible with Windows Vista
- Games incompatible with Windows 7
- Games incompatible with Windows 8
- Games incompatible with Windows 10
There are even some DOS games that do not work with Windows 95 and Windows 98, most due to the way DOS allocated memory. These are few in number as EMM386 was delivered starting with the popular MS-DOS version 5. games and other packages already were pressured by the limit of 640K memory..
The few DOS games that do not work tend to be designed for 640K with no memory manager and no LAN drivers etc. EMM386 was very popular to free up lower memory as some of the MS-DOS components could be loaded into upper memory blocks.
We have large number of DOS games archived on a 32GB USB stick. We have a Hyper-V VM for MS-DOS but the disk limits means many 2GB volumes will be needed.
DOSBOX & STEAM
Stream publishers have turned to DOSBOX to run classic MS-DOS games with Windows 7 and above. This works but Steam may want to integrate DOSBOX more generally in the client API so that more classic games can be released.