For the past few years, the Steam PC/Mac game download client has allowed its users to voluntarily allow for the client to take a snapshot of the user's PC hardware specifications. The result has been the Steam hardware survey which has been updated every month and has given the public a chance to see how PC hardware specs have evolved. Because Steam is used by so many PCs around the world it also helps Steam's creator Valve to see if the PC games it is developing will work with its audience.
In 2010 Valve announced that its Steam hardware survey would be joined by a software survey, letting people see what kind of software programs are installed on their hard drives. The software survey launched in August 2010 as it looked back on the July 2010 survey results. While Valve said the software survey would be updated on a monthly basis, that hasn't happened. Indeed the software survey result have not been updated on the Steam web site since last August.