Valve’s Gabe Newell called Windows 8 a catastrophe and threatened to move to Linux completely with it’s Steam gaming portal.
Valve Threatens To Move Steam Completely To Linux In Wake Of Windows 8
Valve’s Co-Founder and ex-Microsoft employee Gabe Newell has just called Windows 8 “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” and has said that Valve would be working harder to make all of Steams 2,500+ games available on Linux. He calls it a ‘hedging’ strategy in a world where Microsoft is seen to be tightening its controls on the OS.
Newell is of the opinion that we will lose a lot of the top tier players in the PC/OEM markets because they will be exiting and that a lot of people will be losing their margins because of Windows 8. And that is why his company needs to have a fall back strategy, in the event of Windows 8 flopping majorly.
The true motivation behind Newell’s comments (which has the Linux community in raptures) might be hidden in the modern software distribution system that most companies are adopting. Ever since Apple started the iTunes App Store, a walled garden of apps that is controlled by its owner has become commonplace in the market. Apple’s move was followed by Google for its Android app market (now Google Play). Then came Apple’s own App Store for Macs, which was the first store of its kind on a mainstream OS (Linux flavors like Ubuntu has had such a thing since very early on). Amazon also has its own store now for its Kindle devices. Microsoft has followed suite and formed the Windows Store for its unified Windows 8 platform that will sell app kinds of apps for desktops, tablets and mobiles.
Valve’s Steam is essentially also a store for digital distribution, focusing only on games and related add-ons. But given the current scenario, Steam will have to sit behind another store controlled by the platform owner such as Microsoft in this case. The only place where that will is guaranteed to not happen is Linux. So it makes sense for the company to react so violently to Windows 8 and put its remaining eggs in the Linux basket.