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Hardware Survey 7: “Installed Packages”

Valve probing Firefox install base :: November 15th, 2007 :: Steam updates :: 24 Responses
Steam Hardware Survey
Valve want to find out how many Steam users have Firefox installed.

The Valve Hardware survey was reset for the seventh time yesterday. This time archives of all the previous surveys have also been made available, going right the way back to March 2004!

I’ll leave any comparisons to statisticians. What drew my eye more was the “Installed Packages” result that is now tagged onto the end of Survey seven’s results. It reports that Firefox is installed on my system — why I don’t know but, having recently started browsing the Steam Community with Firefox instead of solely with Steam’s embedded IE control, can take a hopeful guess at. Pretty please…

Has anyone seen any other packages appear in their results?

24 Responses to this post:


  1. ally Says:

    my one says i have firefox and open office

  2. fitzroy_doll Says:

    Same here: Firefox and Open Office. Why do they want to know about Open Office?

  3. ATimson Says:

    Firefox, OpenOffice, and Windows Firewall for me. The firewall makes sense, but I’m also curious about Open Office. Maybe they’re considering offering manuals in that format?

  4. Tom Edwards Says:

    Windows Firewall? Compatibility research comes to mind, but it doesn’t make sense to do it with an optional submission.

    You know, we might be over-analysing this. Perhaps they’re just curious? 😛

  5. Andy Simpson Says:

    Searching for “Firefox” in SteamUI.dll leads to a stuff that indicates that they’re detecting if stuff is installed and that they’re looking for:

    Open Office
    Windows Firewall
    Zone Alarm

    Firewall does make sense, maybe they’re considering adding support for auto-detecting firewalls and adding exceptions automatically to support P2P features.

    Firefox and Open Office – no idea.

  6. Kapitein Iglo Says:

    Did you guys notice that the Episode two stats are available aswell?

    Pretty detailed info 😀

  7. Tom Edwards Says:

    Nice! Shame that only half of the players finished it. I wouldn’t mind knowing who’s doing all the dying during the portal storm sequence in map 1 either. 🙂

  8. Deckart Says:

    Who didn’t jump off that edge to see if they could get down in that area? I know I did.

    The Open Office thing is pretty strange though.

  9. ToBo Says:

    It makes sense to detect whether Firefox is installed so Steam knows with which application to open external links.

  10. Tom Edwards Says:

    That’s handled by Windows already.

  11. swarfega Says:

    OOo is a strange one to list considering it has nothing to do with gaming or browsing. Would be nice to choose which browser to use for internal browsing.

  12. Naurgul Says:

    I too jumped off the edge to for the same reason Deckart did. I think they’re detecting packages to associate them with known software conflicts so that they can prioritise their fixes.

  13. Marcus Says:

    I jumped over the edge too and looked for a way down (so three times dead I guess *g* )

  14. ToBo Says:

    [OT:] Why did category Steam3 diasappear? I’m the main author of main author of the german Wikipedia article on Steam and used and used to link to that category… Please bring it back!

  15. Tom Edwards Says:
  16. ToBo Says:


  17. Zeh Says:

    Sure enough, it detected this for me:

    Open Office
    Zone Alarm

    What’s funny is that I don’t have ZoneAlarm anymore.

    Anyhow, I think it’s a good idea. Too bad it’s not shown on the stats page (yet?).

  18. Zeh Says:

    PS. Yay, I can post comments! Previously the comment system would consider me a spammer and block me automatically after submitting. I’m sure what changed, but I’m glad it did. 🙂

  19. Tom Edwards Says:

    You should have e-mailed me, I can whitelist IPs and e-mails. 🙂

  20. Dwarden Says:

    OpenOffice is maybe checkede becaue of documents/readmes w/e

    in that case i wonder why applications related PDF/DjVu aren’t there nor MS office

  21. Tom Edwards Says:

    Gabe mentioned in this RPS interview that they get third-party requests for new survey questions. Perhaps the various development groups for the programs got in touch?

  22. WILDCORE Says:

    Installed Packages: Firefox,OpenOffice,Windows Firewall

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