Steam coming to Linux is a big thing, whether you like it or not, and the reason for this is with Gabe Newell. He is not happy with Windows 8, calling it ”a catastrophe” with a touch interface, which he thinks will not be around for as long as the mouse and keyboard has been.
One of the biggest obstacles for a large Linux in retail is in many ways the lack of games and that Steam is coming to LInux is therefore a big step for the platform. The reason for this may be many, but one of the bigger seems to be Microsoft’s coming operating system Windows 8, with the both praised and hated Metro interface.
”I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, it’s going to be a good idea to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality. But when you start thinking about a platform, you have to address it. You have to address mobile. You have to look at what’s going to happen post-tablet. If you look at the mouse and keyboard, it was stable for about 25 years. I think touch will be stable for about 10 years. I think post-touch, and we’ll be stable for a really long time — for another 25 years. I think touch will be this intermediate….,” Gabe Newell, found of Valve Corporation
Besides supporting an open platform, he is not keen on what will come from Microsoft. He thinks we will lose several OEMs, as they decide to leave the market due to nonexistent margins. Supporting Linux is playing it safe and making sure there is an alternative for them to lean back on. He doesn’t think touch screen will be as long-lived as mouse and keyboard, but it is a bridge in the industry waiting for future input technologies.
Besides what sounds like a gloomy outlook on Microsoft’s coming operating system, Newell mentions that the company will support developers that wants to sell games for Linux via Steam. It is also possible that Newell sees Windows Store as a threat, since Microsoft in theory could be competing with Steam.