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The head of Valve Software, the game studio that developed titles like Counter Strike, Half-Life and Portal and operates Steam video game distribution system, believes that Windows 8 creates a closed ecosystem on the place of what has always been an open ecosystem, which is a catastrophe. Gabe Newell believes that many PC makers will be forced out of the market due to Windows 8. He now believes that Linux could now pose a real alternative to MS Windows and Apple Mac OS.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It is a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we will lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that is true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality," said Gabe Newell dinner sponsored by Covert & Co., Google Ventures and Perkins Coie. 

Microsoft Windows 8 introduces the Windows Store, the store for applications similar to Apple's Mac App Store and iOS AppStore, which promises to significantly impact sales of software for Windows. Although it will still be possible for third-party services like Steam to operate in Windows 8 and end-users will be able to install applications from discs, it is clear that the vast majority of consumers will buy programs from the official Windows Store. As a result, games that people nowadays buy from Valve's Steam, the main source of revenue for the company, will tomorrow be acquired from the Windows Store that will be installed on all Windows 8 PCs by default.

From certain points of view, it may seem that Microsoft is moving Windows into direction of Apple Mac OS (which supports both Steam and allows users to install programs itself) or even Apple iOS (which does not support third-party stores and does not allow end-users to install their own apps). As a result, some consider that Microsoft is shrinking freedom of choice with the introduction of Windows Store, besides, thwarts (or reduces) abilities of PC makers to sell software with their PCs and differentiate.

Linux operating system naturally does not have an official app store, which ensures that Valve's Steam will actually be used. On the other hand, considering that designers of graphics processors do not put as much attention on Linux as they do on Windows, performance of Linux-based PCs in games will likely be lower than that of Windows 8-powered systems.

What is curious is whether Valve Software will actually manage to make Linux a proper gaming platform, something that the OS has never been. In case of Apple, availability of Steam video game distribution system software and optimized Source engine did not make Macs good for gamers or gaming, but only provided an addition revenue stream for Valve.

Tags: Valve Software, Windows, Windows 8, Valve, Microsoft, Linux, Apple, Mac OS


Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 07/27/12 06:49:34 AM
Latest comment: 07/29/12 04:44:02 AM


"I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we will lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs".

think like him, I do. code like him, sadly I don't!

Windows 8 comes at the right time. There is an army of (literally) starving developers who want to sell apps for a living. The promised incoming tsunami of customers shall provide them with superb fishing opportunities.

Yet not so much create metro Apps. In a year we will hear of windows Aero (windows 9), and Metro 2 for touch devices and the xbox 3, which might be dx12 *only* (I'm sure a MS genius thought about it already).

Metro might succeed if big names Adobe and other pro tools makers port their suites. It's unlikely, they will do companion apps, but not port the complete stuff in a while. The MS commission isn't a great incentive.

Some pro apps still need ie6, and companies aren't looking for another upgrade. Webapps like gmail is a major front which makes windows redundant. And there is the touch/tablet/phone front too. New computers have no issue with linux (or even android!).

So only games and OEM still "support" windows.

Like for phones (except for nokia, and well, apple, and erf, motorola now) (btw question: what are the odds that goog bought moto just so that msft didn't?), OEM builders do not want to depend on a single OS vendor. Dell and HP already sells linux servers, and frankly the linux mint experience is actually better than the windows 8 one (and overall way less stressful).

10 years ago people had access to a computer at home, and one at work. Now they have plenty. (My gf got 4 tablets! plus a iphone (an ipad2 in her lounge and to show of her work (she is an architect), an ipad1 which seems to navigate in the house, A 7" droid tablet in the toilets. Plus she reads her books on her kindle. I'have none, but of course I'm the geek... (go figure)

Getting the full windows experience could be nice, like the full apple experience. But they, and we, are not there. People have a variety of consumable "computers", and the link between them is the web.

Being present on all market sectors is mandatory, only MS is doing so by compromising the main line of business. The market is not what it was, and the time when they could bundle ie (netscape), or hide the api (wordperfect) to hinder competition is past. However MS didn't change their bully tactic.

The market is very inelastic, so they are quite right to take advantage of it. But going against their customers, which are now looking elsewhere, comes with a cost. When you push too hard, something can break.
0 0 [Posted by: roselan  | Date: 07/27/12 06:49:34 AM]

"On the other hand, considering that designers of graphics processors do not put as much attention on Linux as they do on Windows, performance of Linux-based PCs in games will likely be lower than that of Windows 8-powered systems."

Windows games installed on Linux and running with Wine or PlayOnLinux have 10% higher framerate than the same games running on the same hardware on Windows. So second half of the quoted statement is false.
Also all major GPU makers (AMD, Nvidia and Intel) release their drivers for Linux (some open, some closed source), which makes first half of the statement false.
Only one question remains - if you are writing an article and are unsure about something and at the same time too lazy to even check that, why do you write something that is untrue?
0 0 [Posted by: knedle  | Date: 07/27/12 07:19:52 AM]

I think Valve is just upset that Microsoft caught on to their cash cow. Is Valve crying that Apple, Google, and basically everyone else already do this? No.

I don't think too many people are going to jump to Linux just so Steam can continue to sell them games without any competition.
0 0 [Posted by: Astral Abyss  | Date: 07/27/12 08:04:18 AM]

Many software developers are going to avoid Metro simply because M$ wants a 30% cut and won't let you sell the apps outside of their store.
0 0 [Posted by: user99  | Date: 07/27/12 12:06:31 PM]

Windows 8 might end up to be a failure (it sure doesn't appeal to me at least), but I don't see Microsoft losing a whole lot of market because of it. Just like with Vista and XP, I think most people will just stick with Windows 7 if they already have that.

Besides that, I doubt Steam, Valve or any games for that matter will determine what OS will be the most popular. The games will come to the most popular OS, which ever OS that is. Or even worse, we'll just see far less PC games because developers can also develop for consoles instead of on a "unreliable OS market" on PCs. Which is exactly what we've seen in the past years anyway (developers moving away from PC in favour of consoles), with the exception of a few genre's.
0 0 [Posted by: whythisname  | Date: 07/28/12 03:03:06 AM]

This article is rubbish, Xbox live is a steam killer(Valve Software).That's all there is to say.
0 0 [Posted by: rocmi1  | Date: 07/29/12 04:44:02 AM]


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