Windows 8 Catastrophe Pushed Valve To Linux

I am not the only one who thinks Windows 8 is the next Vista. Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder and Managing Director, doesn’t hold very high opinion of Microsoft’s Windows 8. He calls it “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space” during a videogame conference Casual Connect in Seattle.

Newell expressed concerns about Microsoft’s immitation of Apple and introducing their own built-in Windows Store. One of the reasons behind the popularity of Windows was it was an ‘open’ platform and any developer can write application for it and sell it from different venues. With built-in store Microsoft will not only exert extreme control (it’s already blocking out competitors like Firefox and banned GPLed apps) but also reduce the margin for developers.

At the same time Microsoft has its own vested interest in its own gaming platform Xbox and the tight integration of Xbox Live with Windows 8 and it’s Store will make it “a more appealing platform for gamers and developers alike than Steam,” writes Peter Bright at arstechnica.

Windows 8 is the reason Valve has increased focus on other platforms such as Linux. The company recently confirmed that they are working on brining Steam to Linux with leading games such as Left 4 Dead 2. Valve’s embrace of Linux may encourage other players such as EA to bring their titles to Linux as well.

Linux distribution Ubuntu’s popularity and young user base may actually help these companies in finding the right audience they are looking for. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is also working on enhancing the user experience by introducing technologies like HUD and Web Apps.

Do you think Windows 8 will be a failure and encourage adoption of Linux?

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