Valve Corp., the developer of legendary Counter-Strike and Half-Life video games and the owner of Steam online store, has announced that it would add general purpose applications to the Steam system that is commonly known as a leading destination for PC and Mac video games. As a result, Valve will attempt to compete directly against Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Store system integrated into Windows 8.
The software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save work to personal Steam Cloud space so to make files accessible from everywhere where is Internet available.
"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games. They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests," said Mark Richardson at Valve.
Last month Gabe Newell, the head of Valve Software, said that Windows 8's Windows Store creates a closed ecosystem on the place of what has always been an open ecosystem. Windows Store poses strong competition to third-party platforms like Steam as the vast majority of consumers will likely 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, may tomorrow be acquired from the Windows Store that will be installed on all Windows 8 PCs by default. By adding general-purpose apps into Steam, Valve starts to directly compete against Windows Store.
The Steam store with general-purpose applications will launch on September 5, 2012. Developers will be able to submit software titles via Steam Greenlight.