I Suspect Gabe Newell May Not Be A Fan Of Windows 8

I, meanwhile, *know* I'm not a fan of Windows 8.

Like the headline says, I have something of a conspiracy theory going here. Let’s review the evidence: 1) Valve has never released an official threequel. This, clearly, is because that would put it one step closer to the number eight. 2) I have never seen Windows 8 and Gabe Newell in the same room together. (This could also mean that Gabe Newell is Windows 8.) 3) Search Steam for “metro.” It turns up a series about a Russian nuclear apocalypse. Coincidence? I don’t have to answer that question. 4) When someone mentions Windows 8, Newell makes this face. 5) He recently said some things. He used the word “catastrophe”.

VentureBeat attended a Casual Connect talk where former Microsoft Game Studios head Ed Fries interviewed Newell, and Valve’s wizened maestro didn’t mince any words:

“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. ”

Valve wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the PC. Id Software, Epic, Zynga, Facebook, and Google wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform. I think there’s a strong temptation to close the platform… That’s not how we got here, and I don’t think that’s a very attractive future. So we’re looking at the platform, and up until now we’ve been a free rider. We’ve been able to benefit from everything that’s gone into the PC and the Internet. Now we have to start finding ways that we can continue to make sure there are open platforms.”

Specifically, he mentioned Linux and “post-touch” hardware (e.g. wearable computing) as potential alternatives. Speaking about Linux, he noted that “I think that a lot of people – in their thinking about platforms – don’t realize how critical games are as a consumer driver of purchases and usage,” further calling it “one of the big problems holding Linux back.”

Valve’s forays into the field of wearable computing, meanwhile, haven’t managed to get quite as far, but – gesture-based complications aside – it’s made strides with “this $70,000 system” that enables all sorts of overlays when someone looks around a room. So it’s a start. Newell acknowledged, however, that he thinks touch tech will continue to rule the roost for another ten years or so.

6) Notice, however, that he didn’t say eight. I rest my case.


  1. Michael Hoss says:

    ” I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.”
    And let me tell you, he isn’t the only one, working in the industry, thinking this way. Actually haven’t met anyone but some App-Devs who thought something else…

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I think it’s commendable that Microsoft is finally trying to innovate. That said, I do agree with most of Mr. Newell’s sentiments here.

      Having tried the consumer preview, two things struck me. First that if I’d never used Windows before, the interface seemed much more intuitive. Secondly, that everyone who has used Windows before will feel completely lost by the new version.

      I really think there should have been more of a transitionary version. i.e. “we’ll give you Metro but you have to explicitly run it”, rather than “we’ll give you Windows explorer, but you’ll have to jump through hoops whilst we shove Metro in your face”

      • Xaromir says:

        MS isn’t trying to “innovate” they are just desperately trying to cut their share of the tablet and console market at once by forcing both onto PC users. HUZZAH!

        • lionheart says:

          Yep, it’s bull to say that this is about innovation.

          Microsoft are willingly compromising the deskstop (installed base of billions) by putting a touch first tablet experience at the heart of windows 8. (installed base of 0 for microsoft)

          Despite what some of the windows 8 devotees say, How can an OS that puts touch ahead of keyboard and mouse and large screens, ever be better than one that doesn’t? (on the desktop, that is)

          Everyone knows how awful it was when microsoft put a desktop OS on tablets, why is doing the opposite any better?

          All that windows 8 is about is “leveraging” desktop users to get people used to Windows 8 in the hope that when they pick up a tablet, they’ll pick up a windows 8 one.

          Hilariously, this strategy is going to crash and burn in a spectacular fashion; adoption on desktop will be low to non-existent (hence MS bribing people with a $40 upgrade price in desperation). App development will be anaemic for the first year (again microsoft knows this and is trying to bribe developers, and tried to force metro only development in Visual Studio, before backtracking) and looking at how badly Windows phone has done, tablet sales, the whole reason for throwing desktop users under the bus, will likely also be pathetic.

          On the other hand consumers could really be as stupid as microsoft thinks they are, in which case they’ll fall for Windows 8 hook, line and sinker, and microsoft will make a vast amount of money.

          • Reapy says:

            I haven’t read much up on it, but my hope was that the MS tablet would be be the somewhat open platform that windows 7 is. I mean its not open like linux, not many things are, but if I want to develop on windows, I can pick any language I want and start writing code.

            I received an IPAD as an xmas gift, which was awesome, but I can’t do anything on it. I was really excited to write a bunch of little weird apps, wanted to write a heroscape army builder for it, thought it would be awesome (note there is an iphone one out there!) , but damn, I needed to have a mac, I needed xcode, I needed to pay 100 to even get it on my ipad. If I want to examine media on samba shares, I have to either use advertisement laden apps or pay, if I want to copy files to it, I have to use itunes and let it put it where it wants to put files.

            The whole thing is just driven to make you pay for everything you want to do, and force you to do it THEIR WAY!!!! or else. Obviously this is very appealing for a companys profit, many consumers just don’t know any better, and MS wants to tap into this.

            I’m excited over the fact that valve wants to do something about linux and gaming. This has held me back from switching to linux for forever. I still would hesitate to switch, XNA / direct X is still pretty awesome for developing games, it will take a lot of effort, but, if it ever got there, awesome. Actually MS locking down windows 8 like an IPAD would probably give the biggest push to just ditch platforms that aren’t open, I hope anyway.

          • DeathRay2K says:

            Actually Reapy, Windows 8 on the tablet is just as locked down as the iPad. You need to use tools provided by Microsoft in a language they choose and control, can only write Metro apps rather than desktop apps (Only Microsoft gets to put apps on the desktop for their tablets), and have to go through the Microsoft app store to get it on tablets (And pay them for the privilege).

      • LionsPhil says:

        I think it’s commendable that Microsoft is finally trying to innovate.

        So, what, everything else since 2000 or so doesn’t count? I must have missed the other non-academic desktop OS with a hybrid kernel.

        • tetracycloide says:

          Why are you ignoring academic (which I assume is a euphemism for low market share) OSes? It’s entirely possible to simply wait to see how innovations play out in that space and copy them wholesale into Windows.

          • Aninhumer says:

            I’m pretty sure by “academic” LionsPhil is referring to the kind of Proof Of Concept research OSes that only exist to test new ideas, and aren’t really intended to be used, not just anything with a low market share.

    • ZeDestructor says:

      I had the joy of using a Surface Pro protoype a friend of mine got a while ago. Its pretty much the perfect replacement laptop for me: thin, light, has a keyboard, runs anything x86, plays diablo 3, LoL, Source games and can get any OS you want installed onto it besides Windows 8 Pro. Oh, and a stylus – PERFECT for maths/engineering and science courses with OneNote or any number f PDF annotation tools.

      Now, Windows 8 itself: after using the Dev Preview and the Customer preview for two 3-month periods, I have to say there has been no change in my workflow compared to Windows 7: the new start menu is no different if you used the start menu search in win7 besides for the presentation which IMO is better); the tiles in the new start menu are pretty great for glancing at info, The Windows Live integration is good and the improved multi-monitor support is fantastic.

      Downsides? No AMD Catalyst for anything pre HD 5xxx (DESPITE THE LOWER END 5xxx CARDS BEING HD 4xxx REBRANDS!), a few games broken (Diablo and Diablo 2 I know of) and no start button (no difference really since I have never targeted the button itself in over 15 years of computing, instead always targeted the lower left corner).

      tl;dr: On a desktop, Win8 only looks different while it works the exact same, if not better if you use Windows Live.

      • Miltrivd says:

        Well I’ll be damned, I don’t use the Start Menu, Windows Live, nor Windows Explorer, and I’m not just saying it to counter what you are saying. I use Total Commander, Taskbar and System Bar only and Windows Live has no use for me.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Windows 8 does not work anywhere near as well for desktop computers.

        Try shutting down from a desktop program (without cheating with short-cut combos).
        1. go to the lower left (same location as win 7’s orb)… have to “nudge” the corner to get back to the start screen
        2. At this point the process diverges.
        2a. Win 7 goes a few cm to the right, and hits the Shutdown button… machine shuts down
        2b. Win 8 must now travel to the top-right corner of the screen (worse if you have a big screen, as that increases the distance).. again this is visually hidden in the UI. This brings up the side-bar
        3. Win 8 must now travel to the bottom-right of the screen (again, worse for larger screens), click the power button.
        4. Win 8 must now select from what type of shutdown they want (shutdown, restart, etc)
        4a. these “optional” types of shutdown are in a sub-button menu on Win7, meaning only 1 additional step to access (assuming you don’t change the default behaviour on the parent button)

        So, Win7 is about 2 steps, both in the same corner of the screen, with a visually clear language.

        Win8 requires you to move your cursor to 3 different corners of the screen, then go into a submenu to shutdown, with about 4 of those steps completely invisible elements on the screen. This ignores concepts like larger screens, multiple-screen setups (though they have apparently improved that with the recent stuff).

        At the same time, Win8’s basic metro apps (like the music player, or video player) have adverts (a la XBox) embedded. Last time I used it, I was confronted by Justin Bieber every time I wanted to listen to my music, and had to actually scroll a screen-width to reach my music.

        Again, this ignores the major changes in MS backroom business model on PC… i.e. the “Marketplace” charging developers to use it, while Metro apps can only install via the marketplace (sideloading is disabled except on expensive business versions of Win8). We haven’t even seen how long or how much “certification” will cost… but looking at XBox again, 40k and many months seems like a good guess. Especially with the “XBox” branding all over Win8/Win8 Phone/etc.

        I will however, happily admit, the new Task manager is very nice, and some of the technical improvements are welcome… but they have no relation to the changes in the front-end which such a huge pain in the arse.

        • jamur says:

          That’s strange. How come in my version of windows 8, if i need to shutdown, I simply throw my mouse cursor to lower right corner in a broad quarter circle motion. As if I’m shooting ryu’s fireball at some invisible opponent to the right. From there i move a few pixels to the settings charm. Move down to the shutdown button. Choose the type of shutdown. One fluid mouse motion and three clicks.
          This is all moot though if you simply dont shutdown and let it sleep.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            Yes, I did slightly forget that the behaviour is slightly inconsistent depending on whether you start from an app, and the metro start screen.

            If I remember correctly, from the start screen, going straight to the bottom-right puts you on the scroll bar end, which the UI picks up instead of giving you the charms sidebar.

            Either way, from your description it’s still at least 1 layer deeper into the UI, and the hot corner is still invisible.

            And yes, it’s all completely bypassed if you just jab the power button… but the issue isn’t entirely about how to shutdown, but more how MS has engineered the whole new “Metro” experience to tablets, and Desktop users are stuck with these extra layers on the UI which still require more “motion” to hit.

            For another one… where is the clock on Windows?
            Win7 has it on the taskbar in the lower-right
            On Win8, it’s on the login/lockscreen (which I like), it shows when you bring up the charm sidebar, and it’s on the Desktop taskbar… but it’s not visible when you just have the Start Screen, or are in a Metro app.

            Even Android and iOS keep a clock fairly visible on the basic start screen (they also utilise a “taskbar” of sorts, rather than hiding it). Android, and Chrome OS, have actually made moves to bring in “windows” UI (small ‘w’).

          • IAmUnaware says:

            Did you just attempt to defend Windows 8 by claiming that “all you have to do to shut it down is pretend to be executing fighting game moves”?

            Apparently, people who don’t like Windows 8 don’t have to criticize it at all; the people defending it are totally willing to do that for you!

          • stimpack says:

            Scroll to the bottom right or top right corner of the screen at any point in time, whether you’re in the start menu or not. This brings up the charms menu, hit the cog button and hit shut down. It takes maybe an extra 5 seconds, possibly. Is this really what you’re all complaining about? Yeah, there are some issues, but this is certainly not one of them. In fact, complaining about this just makes it seem like you’re bi***ing just to bi***, no matter the issue. I think Windows 8 is alright. I think it has its problems, and that those problems will probably be fixed in the future. Honestly, you can probably download some kind of app that automatically shuts down your computer and put that on either the start menu or your desktop, then that’ll shave off those agonizing seconds. Anyway, I’m going to use it. I know people will hate it in the beginning, but after kicking and screaming for a few months (like they ALWAYS do) people will begin to adapt and the complaints will subside. If you don’t like it, just stick with Windows 7?

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          People still click on the Start menu? Why? Nearly every single keyboard out there has a Windows Key.

          To open Chrome I just hit Win Key, press Up Arrow twice and hit Enter. To sleep, I use the sleep hotkey on my cheap-o Dynex keyboard, or to shut down I just click Win Key, press Right Arrow, hit Enter.

          As a primarily desktop user, I don’t see the appeal of Metro at all, but I’m not particularly upset about the Start button being visibly removed.

          • Phantoon says:

            Flicking my mouse cursor to the start button is easier than moving my left hand down, then across to the arrow keys.

            I like the start button. Others may not use it, but it’s been there since Windows 95, and I’m loathe to see it go. Also to see my desktop go, replaced with a bunch of icons. Oh, and the ability to play older games removed as Windows becomes a horrible parody of Apple computers.

            Did you know Macintosh computers once resembled PCs more? That of course changed with their “Emac” line.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I can use shortcuts as well as anyone, but often I like just slouching back in my chair and using the mouse only.

            With browser bookmarks, right-click menus, etc, I can go days without touching a keyboard on my computer despite using it at work and at home.

            On top of that, there is a whole level of discoverability and ease of use in putting UI elements as visible objects with clear function. I know many office workers who don’t know any of the shortcuts (not even ctrl+v, shift+del), nor do they quite get right-click being a context-sensitive menu, etc.

            A Tablet UI like Metro is intuitive in so much as scrolling a page can work roughly like sliding a piece of paper, but already becomes a hidden art in terms of knowing how to zoom (pinch zoom doesn’t work on real binoculars)… probably one of the most publicised “gestures”. Now transport that to the desktop, replace “nearly intuitive” gestures with bizarre ritualised mouse-gestures (grab top of app, and drag off the screen-bottom to close), hidden hot-corners, 100s of specific shortcuts (Win+D, Win+X, Alt+, Ctrl+, Shift+, Ctrl+Shift+, Ctrl+Alt+, etc) and it’s not surprising you’ll run into people who just don’t know, and frankly don’t care.

      • HellHitZ says:

        How is the keyboard on the Surface? From the pictures and videos I can’t be sure how the keys work. Are they touch based or do they somehow “click” giving the user feedback?

        And how have they improved multi-monitor support compared to Windows 7? I found this MS website [1] which seems to highlight a lot of stuff, but amidst all of it, the only new features for desktop users seem to be: 1) better wallpaper customization per-monitor and 2) taskbar on multiple monitors. The first is irrelevant from a productivity point-of-view, the second was already possible with 3rd party software. Have they changed anything else (not Metro related, of course)?

        [1] link to blogs.msdn.com

        • Hoaxfish says:

          for the touch-cover thingy:
          link to techradar.com

          basically, it’s better than tapping glass, but worse than a normal desktop keyboard or laptop keys.

          As to the multi-screen support, I think their main point is that you won’t need 3rd-party stuff to pull it off in a usable way and it’s relatively complete. Unfortunately there seems to be issues with how Metro/Start screen interacts with multiple screens

          • Bloodoflamb says:

            They’re making a keyboard with more traditional keys, i.e. ones that click when you press them.

      • Bonedwarf says:

        You used the phrase “workflow”, which immediately discounts everything you had to say as anyone who uses that phrase is trying to sell you something.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          You need to go post this comment on Reddit so it can be upvoted.

      • Tams80 says:

        I can’t be bothered to go through all the reasons why I don’t like Windows 8 that much because I’ve done so in detail elsewhere and retyping it is rather pointless.

        So, to be brief, Windows 8 just didn’t feel ‘right’ to me. There were some good features (new task manager, quicker start up), but Windows 7 felt ‘right’ to me straight away, whereas even after a month, Windows 8 didn’t.

        Some of the programs I use also don’t work properly so far either.

        There are some things I wish Microsoft had done:
        – Allowed Metro to be disabled
        – Allowed Metro to be run in a window
        – Continued the Aero theme (as an option)
        — Aero style nofications
        — Aero style Start Menu (one resizeable like a window and dynamically sized) – I like being able to see the taskbar at all times unless playing some games or watching a film (basically whenever I’m not multitasking I don’t want to see it, but when I am multitasking I always want to see it)

        I say all this, using a TabletPC. While Metro was fun for casually messing around, I still prefer Windows 7 for more serious work, even in tablet mode.

        • stimpack says:

          I agree that there’s nothing wrong with having options, but I also understand that MS is attempting to set a new standard. I also see the good in that. There are a lot of people out there who will benefit from using the same basic setup across the mobile phone, tablet, and PC space. Instead of having to learn everything all over again, you learn it once and then you’ve mastered it all. I’m not saying it’s not in their best interest to do this, for one reason or another, but I see that there’s good to be had as well.

          The main thing that I agree with is needing a toggle-able windows start button, and a windowed metro menu.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      A company I work for moved from XP to Win 7, they’ve pretty much ruled out 8. So I guess the ‘every second OS’ is pretty much an OEM rule now :)

      • HothMonster says:

        Large companies never move to a new OS early. They have to wait for all their 3rd party software to be compatible and working well. Usually by the time they are ready the next OS is right around the corner.

  2. Text_Fish says:

    I don’t know what everyone’s so worried about. Windows 8 will be just as damp a squib as Vista was and Microsoft will have to release another OS a couple of years down the line, like they did with Win 7. And Win 7 is awesome.

    • Badgercommander says:

      No start menu, that’s what worries me. Can I live without it? I expect so, is there any good reason to? not that I’ve heard.

      • AmateurScience says:

        as long as I can hit the windows key, type the first 3 letters of the program I want, hit enter and have it launch, I can live without the start menu, that’s pretty much all I use it for these days.

        I do worry about how much griping there is about win8 though. At least we can rest easy that they haven’t tied the DX12 to it (have they?). I am marginally (read: very) concerned about the prospect of windows 8 platform exclusivity, even if it has associated benefits (like cross platform multiplayer), the whole concept rather grinds my gears.

        What I’m really hoping is that with a Steam client for Linux, and the insistence of Linux versions for things like the humble bundle, that bigger devs start releasing native Linux version of games. I may be pulling this out of my ass but I got the distinct impression that once Steam launched on OSX and Valve committed to having all of it’s games available for mac, the number of devs porting to/releasing to mac increased significantly: so that may be a good sign for Linux too.

        • Eleven says:

          DirectX 11.1 is tied to Windows 8. It’s a relatively small update, with some changes to speed up anti-aliasing in 2D apps, some interoperability improvements, and a formal standard API for stereo 3D. It’s unlikely that games will target it specifically (except for possibly the Stereo 3D) so it’s not really a motivation to upgrade your operating system.

          There’s also a driver model change in windows 8 (WDDM 1.2) that will improve GPU multitasking and give GPU crash recovery some more finesse.

          • ZeDestructor says:

            Afaik both will be backported to Vista and Win7 (or at least, DX11.1+ will be), probably with a service pack.

          • Eleven says:

            Several of the features of DirectX 11.1 require WDDM 1.2, and WDDM 1.2 is part of Windows 8. Given that WDDM 1.1 from Windows 7 was never retrofitted to Vista, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a service pack to add it.

          • diamondmx says:

            And let’s not forget that MS tried to force gamers to upgrade to Vista, by requesting developers put DX10 only code in their games.
            Eg. Shadowrun, which, while a bit (understatement of the week) shit – I would have definitely bought if it hadn’t meant getting Vista.

            If past experience is much to go by, they can’t force many developers to do this, nor get the biggest titles exclusive. And with their dependance on the 360, they might not really try.

            But it’s still a worrying possibility with some precedent.

        • Tams80 says:

          There is a problem with that, as quite eloquently put on the “Building Windows 8” Blog (the comments to which the developers seem to ignore).

          In Windows 7, the Start Menu displays all categories of search results when you type. With the Start Screen, only one category is shown and it defaults to ‘apps’. It’s particularly annoying when trying to quickly reach system settings such as ‘mouse’ (you can’t just type ‘mouse’ and hit enter). Sure, it’s only one more click, but they seem to have made it worse.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Windows key + X. There’s your improved start menu in win8. The normal start menu has been replaced by the metro interface. But I’ve never really gotten into the hang of using stuff like start menus, searchfields and whatever. Prefering to have shortcuts in a quicklaunchbar or always open the programs i use the most, and never close them down, as well as using a powerful filemanager like Total Commander to do my launching of various other programs. Combined with an extensive memory of hotkeys for everything. Including learning the ones windows implements. Which is why I hate when they remove the windows key on these “gaming” keyboards. Not using the windows key is for noobs.

        I guess it shows that I come from a different age :p

        • utharda says:

          Ballmer, stop pretending. We know its you. No one using a grown up computer can stand that damn UI. Its god awful. It tries to make my computer function like my phone, or one of those damn hipster tablets. How to do I know, because I’m typing this on a test bed environment now. But thanks for the hardware acceleration of 2d text. That was a major concern, its been keeping us all awake at night.

          In short, get off my damn lawn. nice dig about the neck beards using linux btw. especially coming from the lord of the monkey dance.

        • rocketman71 says:

          Whoever invented the windows keys should be executed. Shame on all the keyboard makers for offering their asses to microsoft.

          That’s all.

    • phelix says:

      They better be rollin’ back those horrific UI changes.

    • bill says:

      It’s not the user interface that he’s worried about – it’s the app store that will mean users will be complaining about the price of anything over $0.99

    • sqparadox says:

      Exactly. They did it with Windows ME and with Windows Vista, why is anyone surprised? Every other Windows sucks ass; it’s Microsoft’s thing.

      Seriously though, the one thought that kept repeatedly coming to mind as I tried out Windows 8 was “Windows 9 is gonna be awesome!”

  3. Stevostin says:

    What’s the drill with Win 8 ? Is it closed all of a sudden ?

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      No, it’s not. At all. I have no idea what Newell is even talking about to be honest. Steam will still be exactly what it is today, and I get the feeling the GFWL fiasco will be over with the new Xbox stuff on W8, because I’m guessing they realize they need to get that to work well or they’ll be shit out of luck.

      • veelckoo says:

        You are clueless then.
        Read some on Unfied Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and Win 8.
        I suppose this is the “CLOSED” part of windows that Newell is speaking about.

    • TormDK says:

      No it’s not.

      What Gabe is talking about is the fact that Windows 8 will have a software store included in Windows. In effect Microsoft will have six times the amount of current Steam accounts within one year of Windows 8’s release (Expected sales are in the ballpark of 350 million licenses sold for Windows 8 in the first year), and thats just the first year.

      So of course he is worried. What happens once Microsoft is ready to take the same 30% cut Gabe does now? Microsoft already has an offering across devices, but it’s not yet ready (As I see it anyhow) to be a total digital distribution network for all devices that uses Microsoft software.

      But is that the direction Microsoft is pushing it? You bet! And they have a much larger developing muscle than Valve does, so Gabe is worried for his business, and with good reason.

      He should just be more specific, and more honest that that is his issue, because Windows 8 will be using fewer system resources than XP, Vista or 7 – so in effect it would be better for gamers.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        An inbuilt company store that can promote itself above all competition? That sounds like a terrible thing for competition and thus consumers in general.

        • TormDK says:

          The keywords here being “can”.

          I do not believe that we will be seeing any further issues from the european commision in regards with this app store. In effect it’s simply Microsofts app store for Windows.

          But it does threaten Gabe’s long term business, even if Microsoft will be under scrutiny by the european commision and the like. Gabe being a smart business man tries to drum up an issue that isn’t really there without mentioning that he himself profits greatly on that same situation, as Steam is considered the default distribution platform on the PC currently by the masses.

          In the end the 30% cut will still be had, the question is just who will get it.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            I am unsure why you think MS wont be trying to be anti-competitive again when in the most infamous issue, that of web browsers it took years of litigation and them being legally forced to change for them to stop being anti-competitive.

            Further look at the awfulness that is GFWL and how that was a fairly naked attempt to undermine PC Gaming in order to boost Xbox and its’ very closed system and wholly controlled marketplace. This just strengthens their ability to undermine rival retailers and alternative ecosystems (such as Steam) and channel gamers into their subscription based Live service that also has adverts built in. We need competitors to exist just so we get a palatable gaming experience.

            Further The fundamental issue is that MS in W8 shift from being a platform other businesses can sell from to a platform with a vested interest other vendors fail. There are so many large and small ways MS could act in bad faith to undermine competition.

        • AngoraFish says:

          IE vs Netscape all over again. Will Microsoft never learn?

          • TormDK says:

            They did, years ago. Microsoft is considered one of the most ethical companies in the IT sector currently. Believe it or not.

          • Cinek says:

            “They did, years ago. Microsoft is considered one of the most ethical companies in the IT sector currently. Believe it or not.” – very, very weird, but that’s actually truth. Just look at the Google or Apple behaviour.
            Gabe doesn’t like someone else then he will earn cash. Well… it’s already like that on MacOs and in some of Linux distributions (repositories) so no idea why all the crying about MS introducing well-known feature as one of the last companies on the market.

        • Bloodoflamb says:

          You mean like Steam?

          • Toberoth says:

            Steam isn’t built into anything.

          • Bloodoflamb says:

            You have to choose to install Steam, just as you have to choose to install Windows 8.

          • Bonedwarf says:

            Yes BloodofLamb, but if you don’t install Steam your computer doesn’t magically become obsolete.

          • nearly says:

            exactly like steam, as shown by a few simple tests:

            if a game requires steamworks authentication, can you play it without installing steam?
            without changing anything, will steam show you their store page when you open it?
            without changing anything, will steam show you advertisements when you finish with a game?
            are m-rated valve games behind age-gates on the store?
            will steam promote games that they don’t sell?

            a store is a store. having multiple marketplaces and storefronts means competition, which is good for consumers. it’s asinine to suggest that a marketplace not promoting others is bad for consumers. it’s up to the consumer to know what they want and how and where to find it.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            What about the hundreds of millions of OEM system buyers who won’t have a choice of operating system?

      • PoulWrist says:

        So Microsoft wants its own steam/appstore, who can blame them :p And they ARE ready to take the 30% cut, that’s how it will work. However if you sell for more than 250k, or was it 25k, $ a year, the fee drop to 20%.

        • D3xter says:

          Last time they tried we got Games for Windows Live pushed down our throats and they wanted $50 a year: link to kotaku.com till one year later and a collective “fuck you” from most PC based gamers it went “free”: link to 1up.com and then they put all the “PC Gaming is dead” nonsense out there to get more people to buy their console.

          They’re also responsible for the DLC abomination with their XBox Live implementation and general business regulations, excuse me if I’m not exactly overjoyed that they’re trying again and hoping for another resounding “fuck you”, but this time for the entire system.

          • Ted D. Bear says:

            It’s too bad that gamers have a seriously short memory. Most people forget so easily and fall for the same thing twice.

      • kororas says:

        I would imagine that Gabe is slightly worried – worried about the 1% chance MS could pull it off.

      • HothMonster says:

        Given Microsoft’s track record with gfw and gfwl I doubt Gabe is worried about fair competition. It seems more than a handful of devs that don’t also own a game distribution platform have a lot of shitty things to say about win8 too.

    • Xerophyte says:

      Kind of. The prominent feature of Win8 is the Metro UI, which is touch-oriented and common among all devices: desktops, tablets and phones. Metro includes the Windows Store as the only way to distribute Metro apps. Microsoft must approve all apps sold on it.

      Basically, Microsoft saw the App Store, decided they wanted one and grafted a clone of it plus a touch-oriented interface on the front of the desktop OS. For Valve, who make their money off a really good store, the fact that Microsoft aren’t allowing them to sell games for part of the OS anymore has got to be disconcerting.

      Non-Metro apps will work much the same as they always have and I doubt Win8 in itself will have much effect. You’ll be using the same old desktop environment, running the same old programs. Sometimes you’ll press the windows key and type half of a program name in some strange non-start menu UI and some programs will use an oddball theme, but overall there’s little difference. The unlikely-to-be-realized fear is more that Microsoft might decide that Metro is working out splendidly and five years from now they’ll remove the Traditional Desktop app, or make DirectX14 a Metro only API, or whatever else that actually does make the system closed.

      There’s also UEFI potentially making it impossible to install a different operating system on your PC, but that’s a (tremendously shitty) bios feature and not really OS-specific.

    • bill says:

      An inbuilt app store selling mini-apps at app level prices – it’s going to be hard to get people to pay $30 for your software when they are trained that $0.99 is a reasonable price.

      • Phantoon says:

        My PC is not a phone. I am not going to pay for mini-apps. If I pay for an application, it’d better be something REAL, like Photoshop, or Flash Pro.

        • Starky says:

          Indeed – any “mini-app” you can get on a PC you can be damn sure there is a free open source alternative. Hell most of the big apps (photoshop, office, you name it) have free open source alternatives that are almost as good.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I like libre office far more than MS Office, but Gimp is nowhere near it needs to be to compete with photoshop. It has a glacial update pace, terrible UI, is horrendously slow on windows machines (I know you can/should just use it on linux, but switching OS for one task is a pain), pushes away any contribution that makes it more like photoshop, and the community can’t get behind a decent fork. I really want open software to succeed, but gimp is not a great standard-bearer.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            GIMP is complete shit on every OS, it isn’t any better on Linux.

            Paint.NET does most of what hobbyist photoshop-users are interested in, however, and is also free.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The Metro area of the UI replaces the function of the Start Menu, but also functions as the Tablet UI.

      You can have normal Desktop programs, just as you can on Win7, but that’s essentially a concession to everything that exists before Win8 (i.e. the huge 20+ years of games, design, etc, back-catalogue of software). A shortcut will appear on the “metro” Start screen as it would on the old start menu.

      However, you now have the “Windows Marketplace”, which combines with the Metro half of the system, to create a self-contained iOS style tablet UI.

      1. You can only install “Metro apps” via the Marketplace (these are full screen, tablet apps).
      1b. Sideloading (i.e. running an install file manually, or other methods) are not allowed, unless you’ve bought the expensive win8 version that businesses use. I suspect this will also block programs installed via something like Steam from being Metro Apps.
      2. MS takes a 30% cut off all sales via the Marketplace (much like iOS/XBLA)
      3. Min pricing is $1.49 on the Marketplace

      Now, look at the problems XBox and iOS have with their marketplaces.
      1. Fez recently got a bill for $40K to release a patch… they chose not to patch instead (this happens with many games, as this is pricing is company policy).
      2. Many games which do submit patches have to wait many months to get it released.
      3. A recent update in the front-end, splattered adverts all over the place, along with everything to do with games (you have to go passed netflix, etc, before you reach the games section). Win8 already has adverts (so MS has ad money) in its default music and video metro apps.

      1. Apps beings pulled because of “Morality” (if I remember Nuts got their app pulled, while Playboy got to stay)
      2. Blatant clones being allowed, while the original developers have to fight with iOS management to get it pulled. Though being able to get it pulled is quite good, the amount of effort/bureaucracy to do so is obviously problematic. On the flip-side you have stuff like Tim Langdell getting a legit game (Edge) pulled immediately because of legal bullshitting.
      3. Apps being pulled for “competing with Apple products” (this one does occasionally end up as a conspiracy theory)
      4. Lack of transparency… arguable Steam suffers from this too when games are rejected, or banning, but hopefully Greenlight will put the commmunity in a better position there.

      Now look at Win7… You can release a game at any price, via any digital download service (even your own direct download), and you do not have to pay anyone, let alone be forced to pay a specific company and use their store. You can even burn it to a bunch of CDs and sell it to your friends at school, or whatever.

      Win7 puts the emphasis on the user to determine what, how, and if a program gets on their system at no cost to anyone. Of course, this means sometimes you get a virus (just as Android, iOS, have had malware via official App stores).

      Win8’s metro environment is a walled garden where the final say is up to MS, and you pay them money for it the “privilege”. The Desktop environment is hidden away (it’s not even loaded unless you actively run it, or a program that needs it)… visually funnelling people to the Metro-limited Marketplace.

      Even Firefox and Chrome are calling foul (and the EU is investigating) the fact that IE is the only browser allowed on Metro.

      • Nick says:

        Its funny they pull apps due to morality whilst having factories in china.

      • Smashbox says:

        That is some fucking horseshit right there.

        I was too busy decrying Apple’s new Gatekeeper business to notice this. I guess our only hope is if the platform fails (I have no interest in a touchscreen interface for my mouse, for crissakes) and they backpedal. Or maybe some antitrust browser stuff or class action let-me-run-my-fucking-software suit.

        This is actually worse than Apple’s system, because you can’t disable it.

        And here I was thinking that their new tablet was appealing because it could run x86 apps. In fact it can only run Microsoft approved, Microsoft-gets-a-cut, Microsoft manages updates (which they’ve proven to be absolute ass at) software.

        Boo! Locking shit down is not what made Microsoft successful.

        Xbox interface/store has become an utter disaster. A complete failure in my opinion. I’m excited to see if they can ruin Windows!

        • Mctittles says:

          It won’t fail. They have too many deals with pc sellers to get the OS on all new desktops/laptops people buy. Plus they are doing some deals with hardware makers to put in some “security” bullshit that doesn’t allow you to install any other OS but windows 8 on the motherboard. They win by force and mass marketing everytime. Even if the OS is hated by all, it will still be in most people’s homes.

          Also, why do people keep thinking they made a “new” OS? It’s their old windows with a store program running on top of it, not a new OS. The most inefficiency crap ever.

          • nearly says:

            a number of gamers (myself included) would like to have a word with you about performance.

        • nearly says:

          the irony here being that this is an article about valve’s gabe newell and that most of these complaints can be leveled at valve’s steam service as well. the only difference is that distribution sources other than steam are gaining ground and publishers won’t necessarily feel the need to go to steam for a successful release much longer

          • Hoaxfish says:

            Well, that’s functionally it, right now there isn’t any technical reason to use Steam… it’s more of a marketing thing because Steam can provide such a visible “existence” for your product to many people who have already signed up to Steam (so no issues about people “not wanting” to sign up for an additional account).

            GoG’s DRM-free + extras strategy got me to buy from them too.

            I bought Grimrock, Frozen Synapse, Minecraft, etc straight from the Devs (they got their marketting to me another way).

            Win8 introduces a inescapable distribution method for Metro. There is no longer another option.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        “1. Fez recently got a bill…”

        Awesome, fuck him and fuck his game. He’s a dick, and yet another indie dev who signed an exclusivity agreement with MS despite every scrap of evidence pointing to how they were going to fuck him over badly in the end.

  4. MeestaNob says:

    Valve *are* making their own OS, but not in the traditional sense. They are positioning themselves to be a major contributor to the Linux systems, such that future (home user oriented) Linux distros will be Steam-friendly in that they will have better hardware and peripheral support as well as better performance. In fact, I would not be AT ALL surprised to hear Valve branching off into their own distro within 18-24 months.

    I really like Windows 7, but overall Microsoft’s contempt for the PC gamer is legendary. If in the near future I can run a Linux OS that is able to run 80+% of my Steam library I will no longer have any reason to stick with Windows (as I can do all my web browsing and productivity stuff via free/cloud/open source alternatives).

    Wheee, progress!

    • TheIronSky says:

      The problem is not Steam running in Linux, but the games themselves.

      Try getting Saints Row 3 or Skyrim to run on Linux. I dare you.

      Valve isn’t going to go in and make some drivers just so I can happily play my Morrowind. This requires 3rd-party support, and I don’t see it happening. Linux is just not a popular enough platform, sadly. I miss the days when I ran Arch and Ubuntu. Good times.

      • elderman says:

        Try getting Saints Row 3 or Skyrim to run on Linux. I dare you.

        The internet has accepted your challenge. Would you care to move the goal posts?

        • TheIronSky says:

          Your URL is broken, so I’d say I’m fine. Unless you feel like trying Crysis or some other graphics powerhouse. And don’t say “Ghost Recon Future Soldier,” you can’t even play that on PC.

          • elderman says:

            Do you mean this Crysis?

            (The URL works fine for me.)

          • Imxset21 says:

            I don’t know what you’re talking about, it works fine for me.

            It also works for me in Ubuntu 12.04 under WINE. I’ve gotten 100+ hours of Skyrim in, all in Linux.

          • TheIronSky says:

            Wow, they’re up to 12.04 now?
            Last time I had Linux, I ran Jaunty Jackalope (Which I believe was Ubuntu 9.04).

            Irrespective of that, it seems a lot has changed in terms of quality of ‘things that can be run with WINE.’ I remember not even being able to run Flash applets through WINE. Welp, it’s certainly been a while. Perhaps Linux is actually a decent option now.

          • elderman says:

            To be fair, it’s still hit and miss with WINE, and you often have to be willing to fiddle a bit. Your milage may vary a lot. There are no reports of success on the official WineDB site for Saints Row 3, for example. But yes, things have changed since 2009.

          • TheIronSky says:

            Well, at least I was partially right!

          • Imxset21 says:

            Actually, Binding of Isaac is a flash game in an .exe wrapper, and I play it a lot on my Linux side.

            Linux isn’t really that bad after all. It has some catching up to do in terms of compatibility in terms of gaming, like Apple’s Mac OSX does, but there’s a lot more tools at developers’ disposal if they want to switch to Linux.

            By far the biggest pro for Linux gaming is this: Debugging is made substantially easier when a good part of your userbase consists of other developers. If you want to use a third-party app or library for your game, like OpenAL (as games like The Witcher I/II do), and you find it has a bug that is stopping your development, you can just toss it at either your fans and/or the developers of said tool and they’ll fall all over themselves to get it fixed so your game will run.

          • elderman says:

            Well, at least I was partially right!

            After playing ir/rational last night, I leapt on your logially disjunctive (OR) phrasing. :)

          • Kaira- says:

            Ubuntu follows a 6-months release cycle, and each version is numbered XX.YY where XX is the year (now being 2012, that is 12) and YY being the month (04 or 10).

        • PoulWrist says:

          Sure, a ton of neckbeards are getting meh performance out of stuff on linux. I have no more patience for that kind of messing about just to get basic functionality and seing all my work torn down on the next patch… no, untill linux is a more unified platform with proper support from AMD and nVidia, we won’t see anything going on there except for hacks like WINE to get stuff running, or retextured id software games.

          • Imxset21 says:

            I’m not a neckbeard, but I am not getting “Meh” performance out of games in WINE. 50-60fps is common for the games I play (TF2, LoL, ME 3) without any work on my part other than clicking the “Install” button. Obviously I’m not bumping my stuff up to amazing quality but that’s not the point.

            Furthermore, there’s no real talk to “Linux needs to be more unified.” Nowadays everything is pretty much inter-ported anyways since the development tools and libraries are all the same (OpenGL, OpenAL, etc.) so there’s no real “fragmentation” between the popular distributions (Ubuntu, Redhat, Arch). That is another important thing; Valve is explicitly supporting the currently most popular distribution, Ubuntu, which is itself backed by another corporate entity.

            Focusing development on one distribution officially and letting the “neckbeards” you’re deriding port them to their own choice distributions is a mode that’s worked for indie gamers such as the makers of Braid and Bastion and Gratuitous Space Battles.

            Perhaps Linux may not be for you if typing a few things in the command line is below you, but that’s your choice, and that’s the point of Gaben’s argument; choice of operating system needs to be more varied. It may not be the best for you, but there are a lot of people that I know whose only boundary to Linux is gaming.

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            I don’t even have a moustache.


      • ZeDestructor says:

        “Valve isn’t going to go in and make some drivers just so I can happily play my Morrowind. This requires 3rd-party support, and I don’t see it happening. Linux is just not a popular enough platform, sadly. I miss the days when I ran Arch and Ubuntu. Good times.”

        Valve recently got together with the Intel guys and made a series of patches to their Linux drivers. Besides that, driver teams at both Nvidia and AMD often respond to devs pointing out bugs in various games by fixing them. How else do you think performance improvements happen in games on windows?

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          Valve also contacted the devs of the Nouveau open source Nvidia drivers to ask how they can help.

          • ZeDestructor says:

            As a hardcore Nvidia/Intel fan (AMD has burned me too often and too badly on Linux with Catalyst), this is awesome news for me.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Hurray, the Linux bashing/defending discussion again! Personally, I think that if more companies are willing to pump money into making Ubuntu or whatever Linux distribution more user-friendly, then great. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend anyone who just wants to play games and surf the web use Linux; as Apple have shown, Unix-based systems have great potential, but you need a big company with some clout behind them to really make something user-friendly and avoid sending people to the command line with a list of hieroglyphs to enter (and sure, part of this is brow-beating hardware manufacturers and big software companies into making compatable drivers and software that doesn’t bug out all the time).

        • Kaira- says:

          “As it is, I wouldn’t recommend anyone who just wants to play games and surf the web use Linux; ”

          I would. My ex used Linux exclusively on her netbook for ages, no problems for whatsoever. Hell, I had to do less troubleshooting than when se used Windows.

        • Gap Gen says:

          I *suppose* that copying and pasting crap into the command line isn’t so hard, but setting it up can be a pain if stuff goes wrong. Equally, a clean install with a stable release shouldn’t be so bad – I recently reinstalled and have had no major problems so far. Then again, when I first got it I had issues that took a while to iron out, so who knows.

          • jroger says:

            Setting up stuff on Windows when something goes wrong is equally problematic. Let’s be honest: If everything goes smooth, Windows and popular Linux distributions are equally easy to setup. But if things do not go as planned, a regular user will need the help of someone knowledgeable either way. Just because Windows tries to hide some complexity behind “pretty” dialog boxes doesn’t make things any less complex.

  5. TheIronSky says:

    I shutter to think at what a catastrophe this could be for the PC platform. On the other hand, it might just be a window of opportunity, especially if the interface could be altered to a more natural, familiar state. It would be absolutely paneful to see Apple corner the computer market (even though it looks like it’s getting awfully close to that).

    Windows should be more than just server software, otherwise they’d just shatter their user base.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I lost count of your score due to multipliers but… well played sir

    • phelix says:

      Ding ding! We have a winner.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Apple has pretty much no market share in the PC market :p their market is ipods, ipads, iphones and stuff sold on the appstore for those devices. They showed an increase in the latest market report of only 2% in macbook sales… and desktop sales were down 13%.

      • HothMonster says:

        I think they like were they are as far as the PC market goes. They overprice their laptops and desktops which adds that status symbol appeal. They would never try to compete in the 3-7 hundred dollar market, it would tarnish their brand name. But I agree with their cheapest machine over 1000$ they will never corner the pc market.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Mind: blown.

    • MasterDex says:

      That’s just mean! How’s anyone supposed to continue this as a pun thread when you’ve won it in the opening comment! Well played, good sir. Well played.

    • ZeDestructor says:

      [quote]I shutter to think at what a catastrophe this could be for the PC platform. On the other hand, it might just be a window of opportunity, especially if the interface could be altered to a more natural, familiar state. It would be absolutely paneful to see Apple corner the computer market (even though it looks like it’s getting awfully close to that).[/quote]

      I’d say this is an awesome opportunity, that MS is taking full advantage of. Depending on how well Win8 tablets sell in the consumer space (Enterprise will likely replace laptops with x86 Win8 Pro tablets over time since they’re capable of running all x86 software enterprise needs), MS may just have succeeded in creating their best OS to date.

      [quote]Windows should be more than just server software, otherwise they’d just shatter their user base.[/quote]

      You are sorely mistaken here, good sir, most servers on the internet use Unix-like OSes (Linux, *BSD mostly) due to the superior stability (reportedly, my home server has been just as stable with Linux and WinServer 2008R2), low-level customizability (build custom kernels/libraries/software for your specific deployment a la Google/facebook/twitter/etc) and simpler, more direct configuration files.

      If anything, most Windows servers are domain (account and license management) servers used by larger enterprises who in the same server-room have *nix boxes for more intensive network purposes (fileservers, backups, websites)

      • TheIronSky says:

        I’m glad you noticed the puns. Looks like someone pulled down the blinds on you, my friend.

        Also, my server runs Windows.

        • ZeDestructor says:

          I have an “Oblivious” negative trait…

          I never said servers don’t run Windows, just that most don’t because most neckbeards (including myself) prefer dealing with a *nix.

          Slightly funny story:

          Friend: I’m buying a macbook pro…
          Me: why?
          Friend: less reboots to use my work tools
          Me: you just want Photoshop an a Unix system without WINE, don’t you?
          Friend: (shamefully) yes….

          NB: said friend already had a Sager/Clevo laptop with a Sandy Bridge quadcore, 8GiB of RAM, a GTX485M and a 1080p matte display with 98% Adobe RGB gamut at the time

      • Joe Duck says:

        “…Enterprise will likely replace laptops with x86 Win8 Pro tablets over time since they’re capable of running all x86 software enterprise needs…”
        Yes, I bet Excel on a touchscreen is awesome. Or Word. Or Visual Studio…
        I know you are going to say that those apps will use the old keyboard/mouse and the desktop. But my question is: In that case, why change?

        • TormDK says:

          The answer can be given in one word : Choice.

          The future is highly mobile, and touch friendly and Microsoft is in the process of making sure all their software is ready for this. We’re going to see alot of cool Windows 8 devices the next 6-8 months, with alot of different form factors and price points.

          This is a good thing, even though I have a 2000$+ Desktop PC at home. Us enthusiasts are a minority, and have been for some time, everyone else are buying laptops.

          • Phantoon says:

            Ignoring how massive Steam is, sure.
            But let’s go with PC gaming being a “minority”.

          • Llewyn says:

            link to techcrunch.com

            Yes, a minority.

          • Emeraude says:

            I wonder how many of those 450 million copies came from people not being tech savvy, not caring what OS they use, and being forced to get Win7 when upgrading their machine…

            I can see the number of those buyers taking a hit if OEMs stop supporting Win8.

          • ZeDestructor says:

            OEMs will not ignore Windows 8. If anything they will build better PCs that allow them to showcase Windows 8’s new features. Hell, rumour has it there will be 20+ Windows 8 tablets from various manufacturers at launch. Yes, you read that correctly. 20 different tablets. At launch. Likely 1-4 per manufacturer (ARM/x86 and different sizes, resolutions and features), with major manufacturers being HP (likely 2-3), Dell (likely 2-3), Acer (likely 4+), Samsung (likely 4+), HTC (likely 1-3 despite not being very happy about the Surface).

            For example, Dell AIOs and the older XPS laptops could be fitted with a touchscreen, even in the Windows 7. This will likely become a standard included base option rather than a paid-for add-on option.

        • ZeDestructor says:

          I said over time. Don’t expect an overnight shift. People will get win8 pro tablets as old laptops are placed and workers begin insisting on having a neat touchscreen device (much like they insisted they get windows 7 because XP was old, ugly and less “friendly”, whetever the hell that means for common workers). The fact that a tablet is also half the weight of a laptop also factors in with people who travel a lot. Finally, just because you can use it doesn’t men you should. Excel on pure touch will likely be used to gloss over figures before a meeting or similar, not actual data processing.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I guess it wouldn’t be such an issue if their business was more transparent. But sure, I understand that it’s incredibly annoying to have a problem with steam on windows and having to wipe the entire thing.

  6. Flukie says:

    Theres tonnes of improvements in Windows 8 that are worthwhile really, I know I’m getting it just purely based on performance improvements alone.

    If you spend more than 5 minutes you can get past the different start menu and start to enjoy some of the major improvements from Windows 7.

    • shakeit says:

      I think most technically-minded people know of the many improvements in Windows 8 over 7. They all detest not only the start menu, but also the more enforced DRM stuff.

      I am a long-term windows user and don’t like GNOME and KDE on the linux desktop but guess I’ll have to bite the bullet when Windows 7 wont be supported any more..

      • PoulWrist says:

        Here’s something fun link to media.ch9.ms

        But then, maybe you’re just talking about stuff sold through the appstore. You’re free not to use that you know :p not like they’re going to change the way it works with regular day to day stuff.

        And maybe if one is “technically minded” enough to say stuff like KDE and Gnome, you should know of the neat new features to Windows 8’s GUI, such as more of the power user shortcuts featuring the windows key and easier, faster access to power user features through such shortcuts. But nevermind, go back to whining.

        • shakeit says:

          Really, you did misunderstand me, perhaps I should elaborate more if you think I’m whining.

          I am a happy Windows camper since 3.x and happy Linux camper since about 1996 (SUSE Linux 5, tried out RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, but soon after SUSE Slackware got (and is today) my distribution of choice). In addition I was using a PPC G4 iBook with OSX 10.4 from 2005 to 2010 (display broke).

          I loathe KDE and GNOME due its bloat, klunky UI, picking its ideas from a bunch of other UIs (mostly Windows, Classic Mac OS, OSX) and mixing-matching them as the developers like. The latest UI craze is tablet where the developers jumped on the bandwagon. On linux I still prefer for my desktop the combination of ROX and WindowMaker which roots in the venerable NeXtStep UI. Ironically, many features are present in modern UI, especially the dock.

          So, coming to Windows. I do merit and appreciate the new features of Windows 8, especially the storage pool, the new printing subsystem (based on XPS), the improved networking, better mobility and energy saving support and lastly more advanced virtualization features which is very important nowadays.

          BUT: The new metro ui is a dealbreaker for me, alongside the fact that Microsoft wants you to use their Hotmail (aka Live ID now called “Microsoft ID”) account for logging into windows. This is not enforced but at least strongly suggested during install of the OS. You can still make a normal user, but this option is kinda small in the signup screen. So, imagine your Microsoft ID is hacked, banned or something similar and you not only lose access to your local computer but also all your shiny new bought apps in the Microsoft Store which are also tied to this account.

          Imaginable fun, aint’ya?

          As a support technician dealing with lots of Microsoft stuff I am currently learning all the stuff under the Metro hood and the future is bright from this perspective. There are many companies using Windows but most are currently upgrading to Windows 7 / 2008 and will likely skip Windows 8.

          I personally also will not use Windows 8 at home and this is also my suggestion to all my friends to ignore Windows 8.

          • TormDK says:

            The recovery process for a hacked Live ID that has the correct level of PII on the account (Which you will have if you have tied your creditcard to your live ID) is all but 15 seconds at most.

            The stories you hear on the net are from people that made accounts with fake names/info or didn’t update their info as to include things like cell phone number or similar.

            This information was not enforced during Live ID creation till about a year or two ago, and Microsoft has taken further steps to make sure Live ID owners can recover ownership in the event that they get hacked.

            So it’s not an issue if you are using it like it’s intended.

    • max pain says:

      Does that mean I should move on from XP?

      • ZephyrSB says:

        Wondering the same…

        Although if I do, I’m considering keeping XP around on a backup dual-boot, just in case I need a bit of legacy suppot.

        That’s possible in all these walled gardens, right?

    • Phantoon says:

      RE: Windows 8 is not that bad!

      Rebuttal: Go to hell. I hate touch screens.

      Sincerely, someone that likes his haptic interface to be as simple as a keyboard.

  7. Yosharian says:

    Still no information on what is so bad about Windows 8, could anyone provide any actual information?

    • WindPower says:

      Try googling “UEFI secure boot”.

      Go on, I’ll wait.

      They require all OEMs to enable secure boot and have their (Microsoft’s) key preloaded. Ho to change it is a mystery, and may not even be possible, depending on how the vendor implements UEFI. Also, it’s enabled by default. At first you also couldn’t turn it off. This means that you could never install anything that’s not Windows on your computer. While they lifted on x86 hardware due to the huge outcry from the open-source world, the restriction remains on ARM platforms.

      Windows is therefore shaping up to be just as bad as iOS, except not made by Apple. You can imagine why Gabe wants to get away from it as fast as possible. That’s why in the interview, he acclaims platform openness as a key factor in Valve’s success. That’s why they are moving over their games to Linux: To not depend on Microsoft’s and Apple’s increasingly locked-down environment.

      • Yosharian says:

        Holy shit… can they get away with that?

        • WindPower says:

          Somehow yes, because no one outside of the Linux world talks about it since it doesn’t really affect them much.

          It’s not really even possible to sue them for forcing down a monopoly anymore because Apple computers make up for a pretty significant amount of computers on the market now, so they’re aiming for a duopoly and never letting the market expand beyond that.

          • codename_bloodfist says:

            Pretty sure the EU has been doing just that for the past ten or so years.

        • marach says:

          No cause thats a bunch of FUD.

          Secureboot works by verifying a bootloader signature against the public key stored in the UEFI key bank. ATM those keys are put in place by the OEM’s and MS has set up a key provider (keys cost ~$100 none of which goes to MS) Redhat has keys from MS where as Canonical has set up their own Keyprovider.

          So no MS won’t block off other OS’s since they just handed RH a key that works with their master key!
          They have said Secureboot must be set to on for ARM devices but so does every other provider of ARM tablets (even Googles tablets have it on by default).

          The amount of FUD flying around about SB is rather sickening tbh.

          • WindPower says:

            Indeed, there are some cop-out solutions to this, like asking users to disable Secure Boot altogether. But how long will this be possible? How long will they keep offering to sign kernels?

            And is it right that anyone has to PAY another company (even that price is low right now) just so that their operating system is still relevant?

          • marach says:

            *sigh* First, you don’t sign the kernel you sign the bootloader. Second you have to ask Verisign how long they’ll offer keys as they are the root authority not MS.

          • jrodman says:

            The problems are:

            – It is unclear what terms key signing services will be available under in the future. Thus the default Microsoft key may not be available without strings in the future. Historically restraint has not been shown around such issues by corporate entities, so relying on this not changing without a legal guarantee is folly.

            – It is currently not clear that signing only the bootloader is sufficient. Since the words of the requirements of the agreement for acquiring key signing services seem to suggest that a bootloader which does not contrain the os booted would be nonclimpliant, it would be plausible for the keys to sign a generic grub to be revoked.

            – While BIOS vendors are encouraged to allow users to install their own keys, the history of bios images as they actually ship on system mainboards has been very ‘colorful’. For a feature which will only be used by a small minority of users, we cannot presume that these features will be tested, operational, or remediable in the general case.

            So yeah, there are some real problems looming, even if they’re a bit overblown in the introductory description in this tread.

            If you want to be better informed about the unfortunate state of UEFI and Linux (or any other platform), I recommend you start by following link to mjg59.dreamwidth.org

          • iniudan says:

            Agree with you there is lot of nay-saying around the secure booting, even Linus Torvalds said in an interview that secure boot was a good thing has long has it remain in the hand of the user to control it, for it does indeed increase system security and it useful even for a Linux installation.

            Here Linus interview about secure boot: link to youtube.com

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        But it’s the wave of the future! You know, like always-on DRM!
        The consumers need to be protected from themselves! Computers are scary!

      • Milky1985 says:

        “They require all OEMs to enable secure boot and have their (Microsoft’s) key preloaded. Ho to change it is a mystery, and may not even be possible, depending on how the vendor implements UEFI. Also, it’s enabled by default. At first you also couldn’t turn it off. This means that you could never install anything that’s not Windows on your computer. While they lifted on x86 hardware due to the huge outcry from the open-source world, the restriction remains on ARM platforms.”

        Stop going all daily mail on people, this is not what it was. You were always able to install other OS’s but you would have to wipe out your windows install. What it stop was duel booting because you would have to overwrite the secure boot info rather than be able to edit it (and windows wouldn’t boot unless loaded from it).

        The idea of a protected boot in practice is actually a good one as it stops a lot of exploits, but they do need to handle the other options thing a bit better.

        • WindPower says:

          What makes you think you can overwrite the secure boot info? It’s part of EFI (which you can think of it as a BIOS), not part of the master boot record on your hard drive. So no, you cannot overwrite it unless your vendor leaves you a possibility to do so, which they are not forced to.

          • marach says:

            Just pay the cash and get an MS signed key there you go one key to sign your bootloader that will work on OEM systems with an MS key.

          • diamondmx says:

            Oh, so there’s now a $100 fee to dual boot. That’s not bollocks at all, is it now?

          • marach says:

            no theres a $100 fee to get a key for your bootloader IF you want it to be SB compatible (if not just turn off SB) but thats not at the consumer end it’s at the distro end. So no you won’t be paying a freaking penny to dualboot. Stop spreading the damn FUD already.

      • ZeDestructor says:

        The reason they can get away with it on ARM is because that’s the status quo on ARM regardless of OS used. Yes, even the friendly open-source Android. In Android’s case many manufacturers allow unlocking the bootloader (basically disabling secure boot), but often at the cost of losing any manufacturer support and potentially your warranty (with Google Nexus devices being the exception).

      • PoulWrist says:

        Yea, OEMs. Doesn’t really affect the enthusiast market, just laptop users, and laptop users are clueless in general anyway, or require something silly for no reason. It’s still possible to buy non-OS installed laptops, and it probably still will be in the future.

        • Godwhacker says:

          I don’t think the “enthusiast” market makes up a particularly big percentage of people who own PCs.

        • codename_bloodfist says:

          That is true, but you won’t be able to install Linux on the laptops of your less tech-savvy friends, who only need a web browser anyway and would be better off with a platform that is less likely to get infected.

      • codename_bloodfist says:

        Seriously, if this goes through, it will so screw over most of my friends. Right now, if someone tells me that they’re having problems with malware and only use their web-browser+office, I just install the newest Ubuntu LTS and call it a day. One of my friends is still running 8.04 and has never been happier. If I suddenly can’t install it because some idiot manufacturer locked the system into Secure Boot… well, I don’t really know what I’ll do. Probably keep fixing their computer every 6 months. =/

      • codename_bloodfist says:

        Perhaps worth mentioning: link to fsf.org

    • TheIronSky says:

      Take a look here, too: link to technewsworld.com

    • zeekthegeek says:

      The user interface is frankly put unusable with a mouse. Like, it doesn’t respond to clicks well at all. It’s dreadful. And fills the fullscreen with ugly tiles instead of desktop icons/start menu lists.

      • Yosharian says:

        Unusable with a mouse? They think everyone is using touchscreens or something?

        • TheIronSky says:

          Pretty much. Seen those Windows for Mobile commercials? They’re essentially porting that to PC-sizes.

          Also, I hear you can’t permanently delete anything. Ever. Which is a pain in the arse. (How am I to hide all that porn and shady internet history?)

          This will neither be a good gaming nor developing platform. It seems their target demographic is uninformed and technologically challenged senior citizens, whose only use for a computer would be to check emails and look at pictures of their grandkids, and yuppies who like to browse facebook and who would prefer the colorful UI of Windows 8 to the chrome-colored UI of Apple SomeCat 11.987.

          Needless to say, I miss Bill G. He could get in here and fix this.

          • ZeDestructor says:

            “Pretty much. Seen those Windows for Mobile commercials? They’re essentially porting that to PC-sizes.”

            They actually did some proper scientific studies before they changed the start menu. They believe that in the long run, it will work out to provide a more comfortable experience. They have, however, styled it to match the Windows Phone 7 styling since that got a pretty good reception (even in the touchscreen Zune incarnation).

            “Also, I hear you can’t permanently delete anything. Ever. Which is a pain in the arse. (How am I to hide all that porn and shady internet history?)”

            You should really use windows 8 instead of just reading about it. You can delete anything on your local storage just like in any other version of windows. Skydrive may have such a limit and Windows Phone may have limited direct access to mass storage, but the desktop version is the same as ever.

          • Phantoon says:

            You know this OS is fucked when the major idea floating around about it is “I hear you can’t permanently delete things!”

          • Mctittles says:

            Proper scientific studies…ha! You’ve been keeping up on the Windows 8 blog huh?

            Yea I read those articles with all the cherry picked heat maps and graphs and stuff and the awkward explanation on why more clicks and mouse movement is “easier” to use. I’ve never seen such an embarrassing attempt at trying to sell a turd hiding behind flowcharts, graphs, and nonsense in my life.

          • Brun says:

            No, they removed the Start menu to force people to use Metro, even on the desktop. They want to phase out all of the old Windows 7 mainstays – but they know they can’t do that right away, so eliminating the Start button was their way of forcing people to start getting used to the Metro interface. That way it’s less of a shock when they do finally scrap the entire Windows 7 backend.

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        It works fine for me duder, all clicks register, all scrolls scroll. Is it the perfect mouse experience? Nah. But it’s not even simply fine, it’s pretty decent. Not broken at all, and some of the corner of screen stuff is pretty easy to use and handy in a pinch.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Funny how it responds just perfectly to mouseinput to me, and I’m running it in a virtual machine :p

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Change is scary, basically. Which is fucking hilarious. I’m using it right now, and it’s pretty much W7. The metro stuff is a change made to things you ungrateful fucks never use ANYWAY and now it’s being put to good use for the “iOS” crowd. The OS is fine, the changes to the kernel you all know and lvoe are great and fantastic, and the metro stuff is actually pretty cool. Notifications, data being shared between apps and syncing really well with other MS platforms like Windows Phone and Live, and a secondary app market that is focused on bringing a different experience to windows, rather than the Apple version which was trying to push all software through an even more close gated platform.
      Windows 8 is great you guys, and Metro isn’t even that bad. The ONE thing you ever used the start menu for? It still does it, but it does it better. Seriously, the new Windows Key + Type your search phrase is actually kinda slick, because it’s not just your Program Files (x86) any more. Now it’s everything.
      Also, nothing about W8 is closed. I dunno what he’s talking about. Even the app store isn’t closed. It’s going to be crazy easy to make apps for it because of the nature of the metro shell, and they’ve not said a thing about cracking down hardcore like Apple kinda does on their App Store.

      • Badgercommander says:

        You make a lot of assumptions about people using Windows the way you do.

        • Ovno says:

          I have to agree, for instance I use the start menu all the bloody time, in fact the one thing I don’t do is use the search box to find anything but things they’ve now hidden (like folder options grumble grumble)

      • Harlander says:


      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “you ungrateful fucks”

        Do you work for Microsoft by any chance?

      • Phantoon says:

        Ah, well if that’s going to be the language, I shall engage.

        Dear sir,
        Go to hell.

        I use the start menu all the time, and have since Windows 95.

      • Tams80 says:

        You insult us (get the worse out of the way first eh?) and the go on to tell us how we use our computers.

        Bravo, bravo.

    • D3xter says:

      Look at the title screen for this article, read its caption. That’s quite enough for every normally thinking person using a PC to develop a strong dislike for anything Windows 8, and that’s not even all among the “Windows App Store”, “Xbox Live Integrated”, “Microsoft Account required” chicanery and “closed off platform” implications that strangely remind me and trigger yearnings for more of this:
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      I also don’t see proper businesses ever moving to something like this, which is a huge and important portion of their client-base…
      Gabe is an interesting person to talk about this btw. since he worked for Microsoft for 13 years, became a millionaire doing it and worked as a program manager/producer for Windows 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 and helped develop their Multimedia and Web strategy before leaving the company to found Valve.

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        That screen isn’t even something people who genuinely dislike it will ever need to use though. It’s the start menu, another thing that people never really used or liked. This time though it actually does appeal to a particular audience. It’s pretty neat, in fact, to be able to see how many emails I have, the weather, the news, my IMs, etc, all on one easy to access page. Live Tiles are pretty sweet.
        Annd seriously, I’ve been using the release preview for AGES. The ONLY time I use metro is to get into some of their apps or see if I have emails or look at my calender or what have you, or for the second it takes my crummy computer to start showing search results because I keep forgetting to put Blender on my taskbar. I almost never see the Metro screen, so bitching about it is pretty fuckin silly unless you spend a huge amount of your time in the Start Menu as it is.

        • Phantoon says:

          I use it, and like it. Always have, since MS started having a desktop. Always thought bottom left that expanded up and to the right was better than the Apple top down to the right system.

          But why would anyone listen to a commenter that calls other people “ungrateful fucks” for not liking a MAJOR change in the OS, from the interface, to the thinking behind it.

          I’m guessing you defended Mass Effect 3’s ending ravenously, and called people “entitled” for expecting an ending that made sense? (Disclaimer: I’m with you on thinking people were entitled for thinking they’d enjoy that steaming turd. You get what you pay for.)

    • abandonhope says:

      The Secure Boot and Software Compatibility sections are worth a quick read:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Setting aside those issues, I think it’s fairly clear that Microsoft is using its giant OS leverage to provide users with a lot of what they use on the Internet before they even launch a browser. Except for Windows, I use little to no MS products at home, and none of its internet products ever. It seems that MS wants to use this hold over one’s desktop to be the default gateway to an internet experience, and it feels like a dirty insertion to me.

    • sophof says:

      You will see a lot of people talking about the interface, but this is besides the point (although I agree it is silly to focus on touch based only). Taking an apple-like walled garden approach as has been explained in another reply to you, microsoft is basically copying the worst of apple and thinking this is where the succes lies.

      I’m not entirely sure it would be apple and not Linux that would step in the gap, but it is undoubtedly a horrible decision. I suspect some manager somewhere got blinded by overly optimistic sales projections if they could just force everyone on a paid windows platform.

      • Yosharian says:

        But surely people will just not install Win 8 and stick to Win 7? What I’m saying is, I don’t see how they’re going to force people to install Win 8.

        • Joe Duck says:

          The way they always force you, with driver updates, DX12 being “Win8 only” and new versions of software not working under W7 because they are not ready for the old interface.
          Do not worry, EVERYBODY is going to change, whether they want it or not.

          • gwathdring says:

            Well … that didn’t make everyone change to Vista/7. All the gamers, maybe, but hardly EVERYONE.

            And if even the gamers are hesitant about Windows 8 … who could they possibly compel? We’re the easiest targets for carrot and stick upgrade tactics because we need our games to run properly and we want them to be pretty. New computer users, will end up with 8. But how many people upgrade will be interesting to watch.

        • gwathdring says:

          By discontinuing full support and thus making the OS less secure and impossible to buy for new machines.

          They supported XP for a while, though, so I doubt they’ll cut the cord on 7 prematurely just to secure more Windows 8 buyers.

          • TormDK says:

            Give me one example of where a Microsoft product’s support phase was ended prematurely on a classic product like Windows or Office.

            Thats a dare btw. If anything Microsoft has done the opposite.

          • gwathdring says:

            I refer you to my second sentence.

            Someone asked how they could force users to switch. I provided a hypothetical response.

          • iniudan says:

            The official from number for support by Microsoft are 5 years of full support after the initial release, then 5 years of extended support once those are ended for their main product like Windows and Office.

            They gave these number at the start of the century if I remember right, since business where getting tired of no knowing when support will end.

          • Joe Duck says:

            Do we dare to give you one example?
            Sure, that’s easy: Windows XP never got DirectX 10.
            That is one and not a small one, btw.

  8. scorcher24 says:

    As soon as Steam for Linux is out and my Backlog is played, I am gonna switch over to Linux thats for sure.

  9. Milky1985 says:

    Been a windows man for the home PCs for a while, but even i don’t like the look of 8, i will need to use a RTM or something (the last one i could get my hands on refused to install on my laptop :( ) to try it out properly but from all i ahve seena dn heard it looks like an awful travesty.

    Does it still have the only run x ammount of things at once limitation, was sure i read somethign about that :/

  10. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    You can all come over to the dark side and get a Mac instead.
    (I predict no issues with this idea)

    • TheIronSky says:

      How dare you.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Why would an even more closed OS be attractive in this scenario?

      • John Connor says:

        At least OSX doesn’t have that Metro bullshit.

        • Hobz says:

          What’s bothering you so much in an UI you don’t even have to use once ? If you had at least tried Windows 8 before bitching you would have known that.

          I get it, you want to be part of the Windows 8 hate bandwagon, but you could try using one of the valid concerns to do so ?

      • Narbotic says:

        mayhaps you’re confusing X with it’s kid brother ” i ”
        I’m quite giddy dual booting Win7/OSX on an imac

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        What about OS X is closed? Notably Gatekeeper, just introduced can be disabled entirely. The only argument that can be made for it being a “closed” platform right now is that you can only run it on Apple hardware.

        You have more access to the system components “i.e. /System/Library” than even Microsoft give you in Windows.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          The only argument that can be made for it being a “closed” platform right now is that you can only run it on Apple hardware.

          Even that doesn’t strictly apply as there are plenty of people who build “Hackintosh” machines which are non-Apple hardware booting OSX (for about 1/3-1/2 of the price of a comparable Apple machine usually).

    • Xaromir says:

      There is about a 1000$ issue with that, and the fact that the OS i would be using then would be a sorry excuse for a Unix that deserves to burn in the deepest pit of hell.

    • beekay says:

      How are Macs any sort of improvement?

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      “I predict no issues with this idea”

      Oh you.

  11. Screamer says:

    I think Game should rather focus on HL3, other than moaning that his new OS won’t be able to dual boot with windows 8….

  12. AmateurScience says:

    I’ve only ever used Linux for number crunching at work, can anyone comment as to what it’s like for general use/gaming?

    • Imxset21 says:


      I use it for gaming all the time, thanks to an awesome project called WINE. It stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. It’s a compatibility layer, much like an API or library, that allows Windows commands to work in Linux by parsing them into their Linux-y equivalents.

      A lot of work has gone into WINE development, and it’s paid off. I can play games like TF2, L4D1/2, The Witcher I/II, Mass Effect 1/2/3, Dragon Age:Origins, and many others in Linux through use of WINE. You simply run any EXE file using the Wine program loader application, and it “runs” it like if it was in Windows.

      Steam already works really well in WINE. I use it almost every day.

      The only downsides are that there is a slight performance hit (depending on the application) and there are bugs and tricks you have to do sometimes to get a certain program working, but there is an open-source wiki that people contribute to and maintain so you can play everything from Path of Exile to Bioshock with a few lines of extra code.

      Ubuntu 12.04 is what I use both at work and at home. The user interface takes a little bit getting used to, and you /have/ to use the commandline for installing things that aren’t in the Software center, but I’ve learned to deal with that reality.

    • gwathdring says:

      My primary OS is Xubuntu 12.04 (Ubuntu 12.04 with the XFCE GUI instead of the default GNOME). I use Windows for gaming because it’s hard to get a lot of games I play running on WINE (steam itself works fine, though).

      There’s a lot of great software out there, and Linux can be as light weight and fast as you want it to be. Pick the right distribution and you can do everything you need right off a flash drive.

      You’ll want to get used to using a command prompt–not because the GUIs are less robust than Windows and MAC, but because there is so much more you can do with the command line interface in Linux. There are only a handful of commands you’ll need to know for installing software manually, for example. But mostly it’s just faster and more robust once you learn some more advanced commands. Command line work is much more a part of the OS in Linux–in a good way.

      If you’re a programmer? Linux is basically a C/C++ IDE. Do a lot of word processing? LibreOffice/OpenOffice have almost the same functionality as MS Office (better in some ways, worse in others, modeled after the same interface and whatnot for compatability and capable of reading/writing Microsoft formats). If you have any interest in software development, it’s the place to be–open source means you can easily crack open anything, play with it, and contribute to the development process if you discover something genuinely useful while mucking about.

      I can access all of my Windows partition from Linux easily–though not the other way around (Linux uses a file system that Windows can’t recognize, though there are software tools that can allow you to read the Linux drive from windows).

      I can also browse all kinds of useful software through the Synaptic Package Manager. It installs and downloads anything you select at the click of a button once you’ve confirmed you’re ok with the amount of space it takes up, and even auto-installs and dependencies for you. You can allow it to access unsupported repositories for even more software (untested by Ubuntu developers for security or compatibility) and even link unofficial repositories if I come across some software online and I don’t want to bother installing it normally and/or want to have it auto-update.

      I have my GUI set up with OSX style Workspaces, a Windows style program bar at the bottom of the screen and the standard linux system bar at the top. You can pretty much contort XFCE to be any combination of the standard Linux, Windows, and Mac interfaces.

      I don’t know what else you’d like to know about it–that was all pretty rambling. Any specific questions?

      • NightShift says:

        So if I want to say make flash games(At least I’m trying to, every time I quit because I get lazy and I can’t find a tutorial or a guide), Ubnutu would work fine for me?

        • gwathdring says:

          I don’t know much about Flash. What do you currently develop with?

          If you work with Java, you can use Netbeans or Eclipse with Linux. Both are free and also available on Windows. If you work with C/C++, you can still use an IDE like Eclipse/Netbeans or you can use the built in command line C/C++ compiler and debugger; the command line compiler and debugger are fully featured and quite powerful; for learning purposes, I’d recommend the command line tools over Eclipse for C/C++ development, because you don’t need to bother with an interface or get distracted by the complex features before you need them. Two lines of code, and your program is compiled and running. That’s what I’m using to learn and I know a professional developer who still prefers the command line tool chain for C/C++ software development.

          If you want more info on Flash specifically, wait for a more knowledgeable responder and/or google “linux flash development.” I found this:

          link to osflash.org

          and this:

          link to netpatia.blogspot.com

          through google. Hope that helps. :)

  13. caddyB says:

    On the other hand, if it’s as closed as 360 then we might see more support for Windows ports of games because of the deals.

    Yay for unwarranted and uneducated optimism?

    • TheIronSky says:

      Developed on Win 7, ported to xbox, then re-ported with Win 7 back to Windows 8, adding in all of the Microsoft compatibility crap and DRM-like bloatware, just for shits ‘n’ giggles?

      Doubtful. I say we just don’t upgrade.

      • caddyB says:

        I didn’t upgrade to Vista and I know that I won’t upgrade to this abomination. Even if they don’t do what they did with 7 and make a proper OS quicky after it, there’s still Linux.

        I care more about having a good OS than I care about which games I can play on it.

        Or I might even go Apple.

        • TheIronSky says:

          I’d go Windows 8 before I went Apple. I can’t deal with their crap. It’s so… counter-intuitive.

          I just want to get things done, I don’t want to have to deal with all their bloated effects and annoying menus.

          But that’s just me. I’d go back to Ubuntu if I could.

          • Imxset21 says:

            What’s stopping you from going back to Ubuntu?

          • TheIronSky says:

            The time and effort required, also having to backup 500GB of important stuff. Also having to mess around with games in order to get them to run. And having to set up Adobe stuff and getting it to run. And flashing a new version of BIOS. And all that fun stuff.

            Just not worth it right now. I paid $100 for this copy of Win7, and I want to get my money’s worth, dammit!

          • gwathdring says:

            Yeah … I made the mistake of dual booting without my backup drive handy (I wasn’t worried about losing anything as I’d backed it all up recently enough). I’d also done it several times before, so I was comfortable installing Linux on a machine that already have Windows on it. I was in New Mexico doing research and I wasn’t used to the heat … my computer overheated and shut down in the middle of a partitioning process. I turned it back on, and tried again. Ubuntu installed fine. Success!

            Windows wouldn’t boot. I’d managed to screw over my MBR so badly that no trick in the book would allow Windows to boot properly. I still had access to all my stuff by mounting my otherwise operational Windows partition to Ubuntu … but if anything had happened to my Ubuntu installation I would have been screwed. For a while, while I was trying to fix the MBR I uninstalled Ubuntu and my flash drive was the only functioning operating system I had access to with a term paper and a lot of important data at stake.

            I won’t make that mistake again.

      • TormDK says:

        Once the next generation consoles are out we’ll be seeing a shift in better PC ports because the next gen consoles will be using the current version of DirectX, rather than a 9.0 variant.

        This makes it easier for the developer to port. At the same time the next gen consoles will have the house power to play high res textures at decent framerates, so I would remain positive because like it or not, the consoles set the standards for many of the AAA titles.

  14. MasterDex says:

    I predict everyone sticking to Windows 7 and Microsoft doing another U-turn when they realise that no one wants to buy Windows 8. If Windows does close itself too much, something else will fill its place. One of the major reason Microsoft have gotten as far as they have is because of how open of a platform it is. Closed systems are all fine and dandy for the “dumb” user but both experienced PC users and the professional world needs an open system.

    Will Linux fill that hole? I don’t know, I can’t see it filling the hole completely. As much as an open source platform is needed, I think we also need someone definitive developing for one, setting priorities, driving progress and getting things done. The fractured nature of Linux development, I believe, will stop it rising to the top as the user’s choice for open-source. Will we see a new OS manufacturer rise up in a few years to address this?

    • Imxset21 says:

      That’s the whole point of Valve siding with Canonical, the for-profit company that makes the Ubuntu operating system. It’s a single point of entry that is both unified and extremely popular compared to the other Linux distributions insofar as desktops go. Hell, even Dell and Asus are shipping Ubuntu desktops and laptops now.

      Also, Linux isn’t “splintered”. It’s a single kernel with a single release. What is “splintered” are the Distributions, like Ubuntu or Red Hat. And the “splintering” isn’t all that big because since most of the applications are open-sourced people do a lot of porting themselves.

      It won’t fill the entire gap that’s left behind, that’s for sure, but it’ll make a dent. Just look at, for instance, the success of the Humble Indie Bundle, were nearly a quarter of all purchases were from Linux users and Linux users on average paid more for the same product.

      • Ovno says:

        “Also, Linux isn’t “splintered”. It’s a single kernel with a single release. What is “splintered” are the Distributions, like Ubuntu or Red Hat.”

        I think you’re forgetting no one cares whether it’s linux or the distributions that are splintered to most of us there is no difference between a distribution and linux and linux they are just that operating system we don’t use.

        “And the “splintering” isn’t all that big because since most of the applications are open-sourced people do a lot of porting themselves.”

        So to use a program we have to port it ourselves, great I can really see that catching on.

        “It won’t fill the entire gap that’s left behind, that’s for sure, but it’ll make a dent. Just look at, for instance, the success of the Humble Indie Bundle, were nearly a quarter of all purchases were from Linux users and Linux users on average paid more for the same product.”

        And if we go linux we’ll be so glad of being able to get a game we’ll happily pay more for it, where do I sign up?

        • gwathdring says:

          From a user standpoint, it rarely matters. It’s the developers that end up having problems as a result of the splintering. A lot of software can be jury-rigged to run pretty easily across at least a handful of distributions. Most of the available software is already ported into the major distributions, and most distributions are in turn based on enough features of the major distributions that someone in the community has provided a port for any really popular software.

          Otherwise, there’s TONS of open source software. You want a program that does X? Someone has probably made one for your distribution even if you can’t run that other program as it’s made for a distribution you don’t like as much. Odds are it works just as well, too. You’ll get used to software that isn’t necessarily the shiniest of most intuitive or the most professional looking–but that works really, really well for specific tasks. You’ll get used to smaller, lighter software that’s more specialized–you might have a handful of itty bitty text editors for a variety of purposes as opposed to one large one that does everything.

          But if that doesn’t sound appealing to you … pick one of the major distributions. One of the handful of relatively popular ones. You’ll find everything you need for that distribution. All the major software and all of the minor software. Maybe there’s one program you really love that runs on some obscure Linux distro … but you can use a virtual machine or a flash drive or a really tiny new partition to run that one program and one of the major distributions for everything else.

          From the outside looking in, it sounds fragmented and confusing. But for a consumer on the inside? It’s just fine. I feel for Linux developers though … it’s a real problem for developers. We get to reap the rewards of open source, though, as someone eventually comes along and takes care of the specific results of that problem.

  15. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I think I’m going to hole up with Windows 7 and hope for the best.

  16. TheApologist says:

    So, my operating system choices seem to be:
    – 8 which is worryingly closed and ugly,
    – iOS which is totally closed,
    – Linux which I am not confident about with respect its compatibility with the software I work with, and about my ability to get it to work

    I’ll stick with 7 for now, but the future looks pretty grim

    • Hobz says:

      You’re mixing up OSX and iOS. I don’t use OSX but I think its far more open than it’s mobile counterpart.

    • gwathdring says:

      What sorts of software do you work with? You could always check out the WINE HQ, if you haven’t yet, to see if anyone has it working that way. Otherwise, check periodically to see what open source alternatives are available if you don’t already. If you do manage to find an open source alternative that competes well enough for your purposes, you could save a lot of money.

  17. CaspianRoach says:

    I myself am happy to change to W8. It has a ton of cool new features in the Explorer department and I’m just going to ignore or turn Metro off somehow and enjoy a cool new DX11 OS. Yes, I’m still using WXP. Yes, I want the new stuff. No, I don’t want W7.

  18. asshibbitty says:

    MS is gonna fuck everyone with W8. Maybe later Google can whip out a linux tahtd run their office apps and there’ll finally be a workable free alternative OS… oh wait.

  19. Joe Duck says:

    To all those that do not see the threat of Win8 to Steam… Netscape says hi.
    What do you think, that Gabe is just going to sit down and let MS do to him what they did to Netscape?
    MS WILL use it’s control over the OS to compete with Steam and eventually, throw it out of the market. It WILL threaten and bribe third parties, it WILL spend huge amounts of money in marketing and it WILL do it with an inferior product.
    How do I know this?
    Because they have done it already, many times. Netscape is just an example.
    Live will not be a better product than Steam because it just does not need to.
    It will crush all online distributors (Origin, GOG, Steam, Amazon…) by the simple fact of existing there, embedded in the OS.
    An example: say you want to open a file with an unknown extension. For sure, Win8 is per default going to suggest you an app to download to manipulate this file. From which online store will this app come? You are nuts if you think it’s going to come from anywhere else than MS. The best part is that a new OS install will need a lot of new small apps, yay!
    The same thing with games, big new releases WILL be announced in the Metro interface, ready to be downloaded from Live.
    Gabe is moving away because he has no choice. If he manages to bring the games with him, he’ll win. Otherwise, very, very dark times await for us.

    • Alexandros says:

      Yup. All our hopes lie on Gabe now, he’s the only one who can stop Microsoft’s plan.

    • Toberoth says:

      This might just be me being grouchy, but I stop reading whenever someone uses that fatuous “such-and-such says hi” bit of rhetoric.

      • Joe Duck says:

        Sorry you do not like it, Should I copy/paste the text of the post into a new one and erase the first line? Would you read it then?

        • Toberoth says:

          Probably, yeah!

          • Joe Duck says:

            Sure, glad to help! (sorry, everyone, I know it is annoying but I just had to follow to the end)

            “What do you think, that Gabe is just going to sit down and let MS do to him what they did to Netscape?
            MS WILL use it’s control over the OS to compete with Steam and eventually, throw it out of the market. It WILL threaten and bribe third parties, it WILL spend huge amounts of money in marketing and it WILL do it with an inferior product.
            How do I know this?
            Because they have done it already, many times. Netscape is just an example.
            Live will not be a better product than Steam because it just does not need to.
            It will crush all online distributors (Origin, GOG, Steam, Amazon…) by the simple fact of existing there, embedded in the OS.
            An example: say you want to open a file with an unknown extension. For sure, Win8 is per default going to suggest you an app to download to manipulate this file. From which online store will this app come? You are nuts if you think it’s going to come from anywhere else than MS. The best part is that a new OS install will need a lot of new small apps, yay!
            The same thing with games, big new releases WILL be announced in the Metro interface, ready to be downloaded from Live.
            Gabe is moving away because he has no choice. If he manages to bring the games with him, he’ll win. Otherwise, very, very dark times await for us.”

          • Phantoon says:

            I didn’t really notice a difference.

            And the Netscape example is a good point.

      • marach says:

        I stop when I see people say “Netscape” the world has changed since that whole thing happened many of them stopping it happening again.

        • Joe Duck says:

          “…many of them stopping it happening again…”
          I am sorry, I do not follow.
          Are you saying that there have been many situations where this thing has not repeated? Which ones?
          Or are you saying that there are things that have changed that prevent this from happening? What exactly has changed?
          Other than the naiveté of the MS competitor, of course.

        • theleif says:

          I also would like to know what has really changed to prevent something like this to happen. Sure, in the EU there has been a push to prevent abuses of a monopoly-like status (trials against intel, google and microsoft), but in the USA the push right now is in the opposite direction (at least from the republican side). The software patent system is still a complete mess, and there is constant pressure to deregulate the market even more. And as most software and games are made to cater to the american market (it is the biggest) there is where the change need to take place. And right now, the chances for that to happen i pretty low.
          The situation might not be the same, but it’s not really better.

  20. Zanchito says:

    I just wanted to say I really enjoy Nathan Grayson’s (and Nathan Graydad’s) writing style.

  21. NightShift says:

    Can someone explain to me why this “Metro” thing sucks?
    Also if steam makes it’s own Linux based OS(or just supports linux) I’m switching to unbnutu immediately.

  22. shakeit says:

    I’ll the first in line for a companion cube – styled PC with Steam on it.

  23. Roshin says:

    Steam OS, Gaben. Make it happen! :D

    I’m not too happy with the Linux alternative. I give the Ubuntu builds a try every now and then. It’s nice when it works, but a bit too fiddly for the average user (ie my mum). That said, Ubuntu 12.04 flat out refused to recognize any of the USB ports on my high end PC, leaving me with no keyboard and mouse or 360 pad or anything else.

    Support shrugged and said “Meh”.

  24. rustybroomhandle says:

    Microsoft hates PC gaming because they make very little money off it. Sticking to Windows to play PC games is like being at a party where you are not welcome and refusing to leave. For now they have more crisps and beer than the other party, but this looks like it is changing.

  25. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Win8 is MS latest attempt to control PC gaming. Now they are bribing devs to go Win 8 only or W7 + GFWL. The signs are all here:

    1: Gamertag is your logon credential. This is obviously Stealth DRM & always online only most likely. You break the rules they hold you hostage as your games/apps are tied to the gamertag forever. Pro tip do not use Paypal to pay either!!!

    2: MS App Store. Going to be full of indie titles & XBLA games on PC all using Xbox LIVE For Windows 8 (not getting back ported to Windows 7 either). You have to buy 3 licences in all because of the licensing model. PC/MS Surface Tablets/WP7 all require a seperate licence 1 licence does not cover all your devices so if you own a 360 as well its 4 licences.

    3: Xbox LIVE For Windows 8 is identical to the 360 version so no more extra work for publishers/developers to put in a PC only framework for online services (if they use it as its Win 8 only. Some will & if Win 8 sells a lot more will cross over as piracy will be very low)

    MS want a big slice of the 30% Valve make off each Steam sale but the ONLY way they are going to achieve that is to buy 100% of Valve. I doubt Gabe would sell to them anyway he is close to being a billionaire & obviously nowadays Valve spends most of their time on running the Steam store instead of making games. Next 2-3 years PC gaming will just plod along as it does now the PC game changer is what the nextgen consoles do if they make it hard to back port those games onto PC it will be a major problem for Valve.

    • zeroskill says:

      “the 30% Valve make off each Steam sale”

      You don’t know that. You are assuming, nobody knows how much Valve takes exactely. The only thing that is know, as far as I am informed, is that Valve doesn’t take the same cut off of everyone. It’s on a game to game/company to company basis.

      And no Valve will never sell Steam as long as Gabe Newell is alive. Others already tried that.

      • John Walker says:

        Everyone knows it’s 30%. Notch said it yesterday when talking about why he’s not on Steam. Tons of people have leaked it.

        However, the mistake in PC-GAMER-4LIFE’s comment was the suggestion that most of Valve works on Steam. I can assure you that this is complete nonsense.

  26. zeroskill says:

    Gabe, give us Steam OS please. Pretty please? Anyway, will stick to Windows 7 for the time being.

  27. MadTinkerer says:

    Hey RPS, great news!

    You know how certain writers here have been complaining about the lack of a service to rival Steam? In spite of the fact that GFWL, Gamer’s Gate, Desura, Impulse (rebranded but still functional), GetGamesGo, Origin, Gamefly, and innumerable sites where you can buy games from the devs directly, are all things that compete with Steam in some way? Not to mention newcomers GoG.com and Amazon.com?

    Well congratu-fucking-lations, now you’re getting your wish. I do hope you’re happy. I also hope the people who keep complaining about Steam’s “DRM” are happy, because now you have something worse to complain about and you clearly can’t be happy unless you are complaining. So everyone is happy. Hooray.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      What on earth did you just say? I confoos.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      You’re not making a lot of sense there.

      Who is complaining about a lack of alternative to Steam?

      “In spite of the fact that GFWL, Gamer’s Gate, Desura, Impulse (rebranded but still functional), GetGamesGo, Origin, Gamefly, and innumerable sites where you can buy games from the devs directly, are all things that compete with Steam in some way? Not to mention newcomers GoG.com and Amazon.com?”

      No one is denying that these things compete with Steam.

    • zeroskill says:

      A bit overdramatic but essentially, I agree with you. There has been, not necessarily on or by RPS, but around the web, including some self-proclaimed journalists who keep on whining about how Steam assumingly has a monopoly on the pc distribution market, which of course is total non-sense.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        I think you are misunderstanding what their concerns about monopoly entail.

        It’s not that there is no opportunity to buy elsewhere, it’s that Steam’s user numbers (and loyalty rate) are so high that it dominates the market.

        No one is complaining that there is a lack of other places to buy or sell, they’re complaining that there’s a lack of customers at those outlets.

        • zeroskill says:

          To be perfectly honest, I don’t believe Amazon or Origin, even GoG can really complain about a lack of customers. I am assuming though. Given that those services are quite new to the digital distribution market. Of course, they may not have as much customers or customer good will as Valve might have at this point in time, but you can hardly blame Valve for being successful and they earned that kind of customer trust by supporting the PC platform for the last 10 years, while others, namely main competition EA have been delivering half-arsed console ports and shutting down PC favorite development studios like Bullfrog or Origin Systems.
          Amazon might be on a good track to become a healthy competitor to Steam though. However, as it is that most Steam comeptition isn’t doing quite as well as Valve should be a indicator that they need to step up their game just a little bit. Excuse my bad english, I am not a native english speaker.

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            “However, as it is that most Steam competition isn’t doing quite as well as Valve should be an indicator that they need to step up their game just a little bit.”

            Pretty much this.

            I actively refuse to support EA (no interest in their games and utter revulsion for their business practises), sometimes buy from Amazon (but prefer the speed and convenience of Steam), use GOG for any old titles I can’t find on Steam and never really see anything of much interest on Desura. As for the others, they don’t seem to stand out particularly/differentiate themselves enough from Steam to catch my attention.

        • Calabi says:

          Its the myth of competition, when the consumers do not act as the rational buyers, they are supposed to in the text books, then what are you going to do?

          This is what annoys me. This is what government and regulations are for. But because they believe these idiots whom pretend they know things, they dont interfere. You end up with blatant market manipulations and monopilizations. A market that is worse for everyone.

        • Kageru says:

          Steam as a monopoly is meaningless as they have no ability to ensure exclusivity or stop competition, they’re just a retail channel. Microsoft, since it owns the platform, is a lot more threatening.

          I could imagine them effectively linking PC and Xbox gaming such that games must be written to the xbox but could be run on windows 8. Effectively all PC titles become Xbox titles and need to work through their storefront. They can always limit flow the other way through licensing.

          But more likely PC people are going to just ignore windows 8. Windows 7 works fine on the PC and there’s no real advantages of windows 8 to drive adoption.

          Steam on linux, great, more alternatives are generally good even if you don’t need them yourself.

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      MadTinkerer says:

      “Hey RPS, great news!

      You know how certain writers here have been complaining about the lack of a service to rival Steam? In spite of the fact that GFWL, Gamer’s Gate, Desura, Impulse (rebranded but still functional), GetGamesGo, Origin, Gamefly, and innumerable sites where you can buy games from the devs directly, are all things that compete with Steam in some way? Not to mention newcomers GoG.com and Amazon.com?

      Well congratu-fucking-lations, now you’re getting your wish. I do hope you’re happy. I also hope the people who keep complaining about Steam’s “DRM” are happy, because now you have something worse to complain about and you clearly can’t be happy unless you are complaining. So everyone is happy. Hooray.”

      What? What? WHAT?

      So someone complains about Steam’s “DRM” (as you put it) they should automatically be happier with an equally/far more restrictive platform?

      I don’t understand at all. Maybe the heat has fried my brain. :(

      • Phantoon says:

        He made the classic mistake of demonizing people to their faces.

        Which you can’t do, when generalizing. You can only get away with that if it’s one specific person.

  28. paddymaxson says:

    I actually couldn’t care any less about Windows 8’s interface, if say DirectX12 came out and was a Win8 exclusive, I’d move to Win8 (I’m a hardcore gamer and I put a lot of money into playing the latest games on the highest everything).

    The concern I have actually stems from the same one Gabe has, Win8 is the first steps in making Windows into a “walled garden” the same as iOS (ie, the platform owner is in charge of vetting everything that’s releaed for it, and it’s on their terms), this is really fucking stupid as the major strength of Windows is that developers can make anything they like for Windows, and they will because it’s the largest platform.

    Walled gardens lack flexibility and are often draconian in making modifications (see iOS Versus Android, whichever platform you prefer, you can’t deny Android is more flexible). If Microsoft can succeed in locking down Windows in such a way, they stand to make a lot of money from digital app sales, and can stem piracy and functionality additions through third party applications (Why get Win 8 Ultimate when the additional features are provided by third party software?). The flipside is that this kind of behaviour will alienate some customers, MS are probably betting on it not alienating too many people.

    I don’t think Windows is finished (and anyone who thinks it is is probably a Mac or *nix fanboy who wants it to be finished enough to believe anything), Microsoft has enough business acumen that if Windows 8 does poorly then they’ll be smart enough to fix the problems in it. As gamers though, we MUST refuse the walled garden as it’s a step towards Microsoft being able to dictate what we do with our PCs.

  29. Joe Duck says:

    I think that most people will agree apart from everything else, Steam on Linux is a good thing. And that is because the customer would have more choice.
    I would also suggest that other online distributors of software should take a very long, hard look at why Valve is doing this and make numbers on where they want to be after Win8 gets here. They need to understand that once MS gets the app store/Live duo in place in every new OS, they will abuse their position and impose a monopoly. There is a 100% certainty of that because MS share holders will force them to. This is how public owned companies work and MS is no different.
    Win8 is not only a threat to Valve, it is also a threat to other companies that I like, for example Desura or GOG. But they are small, they’ll probably be able to fly under the radar so long as they stay small.
    Now, to the GOOd part of the post: let’s talk about Origin in Win8.
    Will EA sell games in Live? Really? Are you really sure about that answer, whatever that answer is? Personally, I have no idea what is going to happen to Origin but I am sure that they are not happy with Win8 either.

  30. BubbaNZ says:

    My bad for not getting this, but is Mr Valve saying that Windows 8 won’t allow Steam to run on it, so I won’t be able to play all my nice Steamy games if I get a Win8 machine or upgrade?

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Read the full transcript over at Venturebeat, he makes the point quite effectively.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      My guess is that you will be able to access the Steam software via the desktop bit, but it will not be available in the Metro bit, nor will it be able to install Metro apps (i.e. Steam won’t be able to sell Metro games)

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Another of Newell’s concerns are about software developers having to pay Microsoft ‘rent’ to be on Win8.

      • TormDK says:

        Pretty much as you note Kaira.

        On Windows RT (The ARM/Tablet version) it’s locked down per design.

        But for your laptop/desktop it’ll be business as usual for Steam. The trick here is that tablets are expected to sell more than ever before. So down the line it will mean less business for platforms like Steam if they don’t want to provide Microsoft with a cut as to use their infrastructure.

  31. Unaco says:

    Could this be the start of a… PowerPlay* by Mr Newell?

    *This is actually why I have very little confidence in Gabe for things like this. That whole PowerPlay nonsense (talk about a catastrophe… if that had actually been taken up). Making games, selling games, marketing and promoting games, playing games even. But I’m not too sure about his views on the things that go above and beyond that.

  32. MarloBrandon says:

    So what I’m taking away from this story, is that the author is theorizing that Gabe Newell is conspiring to not be a fan of Windows 8. Is that about right?

  33. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    A catastrophe for PC Gaming or a catastrophe for Valve?

    Two different things perhaps.

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed. Lets say that MS sell you access to a game which means you can play it on your PC or 360. So it’s tied to your Xbox account, not your hardware. Good for you as the consumer, being able to play a game as and when utilizing cloud saves so that you’ve seamless integration between console and PC, not so good for a company like Valve which are platform specific.

      • HothMonster says:

        When has cross-platform play ever worked well? Also you really think Microsoft will start letting you have games on two systems if you only pay the price they sell it to you on one system for? I’m also really excited about them charging devs to patch my pc games.

  34. Xuebei says:

    There is always the possibility that Microsoft want PC gaming to disappear. It would be completely beneficial to Microsoft if everyone used Windows for their work and the Xbox for their play. If all that PC gaming money went into their console. I hope I am just paranoid.

    • Tasloi says:

      I don’t think that’s paranoid although I think they’ve changed strategy somewhat. If PC gamers won’t go to Xbox we’ll bring Xbox Live for Windows to PC gamers. For now it’s still avoidable & without a sub fee as far as I know but you don’t have to have an MBA to figure out where this is going in the future if things go their way.

    • Kadayi says:

      Never going to happen. Only certain games are suitable for consoles, which others are only suitable for PCs and there’s still plenty of money to be made in those.

  35. MythArcana says:

    Let’s start a full investigation and get a panel to discover what Gabe had for lunch next! Or better yet…see if there’s a spare room over at Valve to move the RPS offices into for this cutting edge information. Geeeez.

    Anyway, Win8 looks like crap…and it DOES resemble technology Valve would produce ironically enough. Did they give the UI design to a group of blind chimps or something?? It’s the old dreaded copycat design forced down our throats to market to us while we are trying to do important things. We don’t need more Steams out there – one is plenty bad enough as it is.

    • Phantoon says:

      Your comments always make me think you’ve never had to deal with anything worse than Steam, such as GFWL. As such, you are a lucky man.

      • Emeraude says:

        Worse how though ? Overall, I find they’re one and the same.

        • Brun says:

          If you think they’re one and the same, you haven’t used both.

          Or you’re just biased. I think it’s the second one.

          • Emeraude says:

            You’re right I haven’t used either.

            See, that’s the whole point: I don’t care that one may be a better implementation of what I consider to be unacceptable in the first place. So to me they’re one and the same: if a product uses either, I don’t support it.

  36. Emeraude says:

    I get a really mixed signal from Gabe praising open platforms, yet being the provider of one of the most successful walled garden architecture in modern gaming to other publishers.

  37. Bughunter says:

    I find it incredible that not a single person here has mentioned Oculus or the RIFT!? PRS really needs to get ahead of this story because it ties directly into Valves hardware future. The short version is that the RIFT (created by Luckey Palmer) is a $500 head mounted display with an insane 90degree field of view. Valve is courting the hardware maker to produce a consumer ready version for their next platform. I believe they are doing a panel at Quakecon about it with Jon Carmack and Luckey Palmer.

    This isn’t like the shitty (TV at a distance) VR of the past either. At 90degree FOV the image is 3D and covers your entire peripheral vision. This is the most immersive headset we’ve ever had access to as consumers (usually this stuff is in the $50,000 range and used exclusively by military or research).

    People really have no idea how big of a fundamental shift this will make in gaming. They’re about to make the old VR dream a very tangible reality. Valve, GOD BLESS THEM, have seen the future!

    • Brun says:

      No one is going to pay $500 for a fancy controller/monitor, so it is not the future of gaming.

      • Emeraude says:

        On that I think we can agree, for once.

      • Bughunter says:

        Not to be contrary but the mere fact that you’re framing the device as a “controller/monitor” tells me that you don’t really understand what the product actually does. The difference is very simple; currently you sit at your desk and you see a window into your game world experience. It’s a detached, somewhat passive experience. You don’t feel a part of that world or at least it takes some inner role-play (and a very dark room) to give you hint of feeling like you’re really there.

        In contrast a high FOV (across your entire peripheral vision), 3D headset with head tracking, makes you feel like you are literally standing inside the game world. This won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves (which you can’t really blame anyone for because it was previously insanely expensive tech). Imagine stepping into Skyrim, looking down while crossing a bridge and getting vertigo because it feels like you are really there. That’s what’s coming.

        Mark my words; a year or two from now (perhaps sooner now that Valve and Carmack have taken serious interest) people are going to be falling over themselves to experience this and laughing at just how “old-school” the old desk monitor is.

      • D3xter says:

        I just might, especially if that translates well to Euros, after all I spent like 100DM for an ELSA Revelator in like 1999 or so and I’m known for spending 550€ on a single graphics card at times.

        I never thought about “VR displays” because so far they have mostly been crap, same with motion controllers, but it looks like this might change with Carmack putting a lot of development time into it and some hardware manufacturers producing it as well as the Rater HYDRA (for the second).

  38. Emeraude says:

    In contrast a high FOV (across your entire peripheral vision), 3D headset with head tracking, makes you feel like you are literally standing inside the game world.

    Given what we know from cognitive psychology on the subject matter, I can’t but see this as at worst gimmicky, and at best a useful but very specialized tool. The layer of removal produced by the screen is not a bad thing in itself.

    Immersion is just one possible trait one might want. It’s not an end in itself. With some games it’s counter productive to strive for it.

    • Bughunter says:

      What you understand of cognitive psychology doesn’t align with what next-gen VR is about to bring to the table (whether we think its a gimmick or whether we like the idea or not). The knee-jerk is to assume “gimmick” because up until this point HMD’s have over-promised and under-delivered with archaic technology & software. Lawnmower Man it was not.

      Fast forward to 2012 and a number of technologies have finally aligned to give us that full-spectrum immersion promised in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Perceptual latency and tracking issues resolved, immersive high FOV optics, combined with current gen visuals change the game completely. Every major technology corporation is now pursuing both augmented and virtual reality hardware at a fever pitch because the first kid on the block to crack the code reaps the rewards. It will be bigger than the iPhone, more profound than anything we’ve done technologically yet.

      Games WILL change, how we experience them and quite possibly the world at large WILL change. Oh sure, you’ll still have a monitor, you’ll still have a spectrum of old game experiences but the next wave is going to completely bowl over everything that came before it once viable VR or AR technology is accessible.

      Just do some digging online about the Oculus RIFT and John Carmack. Its real, its coming and if Valve has anything to say about the commercial version in 2013, it will be absolutely astounding. The next evolution in gaming is immersion and I for one am VERY excited about that.

      “Cognitive psychology” be damned!

      • Emeraude says:

        I have, and I am not convinced. No knee-jerk reaction here, I personally love the technology, and will probably be using it (that is if I’m OK with the software side of things).

        I’m thinking about it the same way I thought the control scheme introduced by the DS would either become pure gimmick at worse or become a specialized control scheme that does well in some cases, is overall less efficient, but keep getting used by a percentage of users, creating a new sub-profile of users -which happened, and which is good I would argue.

        But I don’t see it becoming revolutionary – or the main market. At least not in itself.

        • Bughunter says:

          Only a very small segment of the public has actually used research based high-FOV HMD’s with accurate head tracking. They aren’t commercially available (talking $50k minimum). So the knee-jerk comes from using “over the counter” consumer grade HMD’s with a tiny field of view (looking at a screen from “X” number of feet) and in most cases bad tracking.

          Comparing a fully immersive HMD to a “control scheme” is a gross underestimation of what the technology actually does when implemented properly. When the hardware does what its suppose to do, the user very quickly forgets that he/she is wearing the device at all. Instead, the brain adopts the input of the device in a way that feels natural and the world is replaced with a surrogate reality.

          That’s far more profound than some gimmicky “control scheme”.

          Anyway, to each his own. The one unwavering truth here is that the technology is coming whether the public understands it or wants it or not. There’s a very big revolution coming in the AR & VR markets over the course of the next 3 years. This isn’t as far off as people might assume and everyone is racing to get us there: link to kotaku.com

  39. fish99 says:

    Looks like Microsoft are heading for quite a fall with W8, there’s very little it does better for a desktop user to make them want it, and TBH I doubt there’s much market for windows tablets either, especially given the likely price of the x86 version (and the ARM version is useless precisely because it’s not x86).

    The only area it’ll shine is for those everything-built-into-the-screen touchscreen PCs that the likes of PC World sell to people who can’t use a PC, and maybe some niche laptops, but for gamers, power users and for business, I think it’s a mis-step and it’ll therefore have limited take-up vista style.

  40. Hoaxfish says:

    Blizzard apparently agrees on some level: link to gamesindustry.biz

  41. SmittyBit says:

    Man, what the hell are you even trying to talk about?

    Somewhere in the middle of that block of text I get the feeling this is mostly about Windows 8, but what exactly are you even trying to say? You’re all over the map here. This reads like one of those forum posts written at 4:23am that are manic and incomprehensible.

    This is the first sloppy (very) article on RPS that really had me annoyed.