Valve's Steam PC game download service have had the option to allow the Steam client to peer into the hardware specs of each users PC rig and send that info to Valve. The hardware survey results have been released to the public since then and have been a resource to see how PC gamers have upgraded and changed their hardware specs on their rigs.
This week Valve announced that the hardware survey will start adding software stats to the mix. At the end of this month Valve will display what software programs will be on PC users' Windows' Programs and Features control panel alongside the hardware survey results (the Mac program stats will apparently be displayed at a later date. As Valve states, "The new software component of our survey helps us understand what else our customers are using their PCs to do, and as a result, what features we can deliver or leverage to make Steam and our games better." As with the hardware survey Valve users can opt not to participate in this new software survey.