Windows 8 “catastrophe for everyone in PC space”: Newell

Wednesday, 25th July 2012 20:38 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Gabe Newell has said the reason the Valve plans to provide a full Steam client for Linux users is because the lack of games available is holding Linux back.

Speaking during Casual Connect, attended by AllThingsD, Newell said many don’t realize how “critical games are,” when it comes tome for a consumer to choose an operating system.

“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy.”

Newell also doesn’t seem to keen on Windows 8, which he said will cause many of the top-tier equipment manufacturers to exit the market.

“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” he said. “I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

He also went on to discuss innovation, stating that in order for it to happen, platforms need to be more open instead of closed.

“In order for innovation to happen, a bunch of things that aren’t happening on closed platforms need to occur,” said Newell. “Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform.

“There’s a strong tempation to close the platform, because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say ‘That’s really exciting.’

“We are looking at the platform and saying, ‘We’ve been a free rider, and we’ve been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the Internet, and we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms.’”

Through the link, Newell also discusses the future of digital distribution as well as alternative gaming controls.



  1. Erthazus

    So Microsoft is looking at the more closed Windows this time?

    Are they nuts? Or i’m just talking bullshit?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Lord Gremlin

    Windows 8 IS a catastrophe. It’s a closed OS for tablets, like iOS. Imagine that on PC. Yeah.
    Not sure what happens next. Probably Windows 9 and scrapping support for Win 8, unless someone swoops the market from Microsoft. Not impossible.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    I used Linux for about a year, switched back to Windows full time when I started gaming heavily again.

    If Linux became a viable gaming platform I’d seriously consider going back.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    Well Apple is WIndows biggest threat so why wouldn’t they make a closed OS much like Apple.

    I don’t expect anyone to go with linus or other open source OS especially with the fact that 90% of devs use Windows with their software suites. People that use Linux have found a way to play games on their OS hell if they can use that OS there is no stopping them in what they can do.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    I’m just not seeing it. I’ve been using the preview and it’s Windows 7, but faster and with some fancy graphical addons (which you can get past if you prefer the old desktop).

    Have you actually used it LG? 7 is no more open than 8 is… Linux is that way ->

    I’m imagining it’s a catastrophe for Gabe mostly because it’s going to come with a built in app store. That’s direct, and heavy duty competition which will obviously take some dollars away from Steam (especially when Steam moves into movies and music).

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Edo

    Gaben knows stuff.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Mr Tom

    I’m using Win 8 at the moment as well. Just been playing some of the games I bought in the Steam sale last week!

    Not sure why Windows 8 is supposedly such a big catastrophe. It really is just 7 with a start page rather than a start menu…

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    Windows 8 is just a reengineered version of WIndows 7 its not doing anything really new other than faster index which means faster booting.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. roadkill

    Gabe might know his stuff but he is being a hypocrite right now. Windows might be a closed platform but so is Steam..

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Talkar


    #10 2 years ago
  11. Old MacDonald

    Steam isn’t a platform. Steam can not exist unless there is a platform to run it on.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Gadzooks!

    Got to give props to Gabe for what he’s produced, but he does like a moan.

    He is scared of the integrated marketplace. I dont think he needs to be though, plus competition is good, ya?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    Plus if GfWL and the Windows Phone Marketplace is anything to go by its going to be laughably inept.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Da Man

    GZ hits the nail on the head.

    Fatty is a huge hypocrite, said PS3 was a waste of everybody’s time only to take his words back three years later, when he realized there’s money to be made there.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. absolutezero

    oh hay guys fancy seeing the two of you here.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Da Man

    Same here.


    #16 2 years ago
  17. brotherhoodofthewolf

    Makes zero sense IMHO for MS to position themselves closer to Apple, by having a closed system. This mentality could let Linux get more of a foothold.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Ireland Michael

    The problem with Windows 8 has absolutely nothing to do with its prowess, and absolutely everything to do with the interface.

    It’s trying to be everything for everyone and it canabilises both in the process. It’s a disaster especially for novice and beginner computer users, who don’t care about tech, and just want to use it for basic things. It’s a homogonized mess.

    Why the fuck they didn’t just design a tablet specific OS is beyond me.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight


    Its the same system and all reviewers from developers to consumers have said WIndows 8 is far better than previous versions.

    WIndows has always had a closed platform. Nothing has changed from 7 to 8 since it is the same architecture with added tablet support.


    You can turn it back to classical mode. Apple is doing the exact same thing. They are making the OS very similiar from the PCs to the smart phones and Ipad.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Gadzooks!


    I wouldnt say the WP marketplace is inept, in fact its a nice interface, but it is a bit more expensive and sparse than droid/ios, and MS just dont seem that interested. I think maybe they think it will be self-sustaining but that didnt work out to well for GFWL as you mentioned.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    Considering that Newell made his initial fortune over 13 years at Microsoft, I think that’s worth listening to.

    I hope we aren’t heading for another Vista. I wouldn’t trust Microsoft further than I can throw ‘em.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Gadzooks!


    That could end up being a good thing. Windows needs a viable competitor, imo.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. absolutezero

    I agree completely that its nice to navigate but theres just some basic things that are missing, like having to rely on user reviews to know if whatever you are about to purchase is going to run on the model of phone you own.

    I own a useless copy of Dodonpachi because it will not work on my HD7.

    Much like the Android MP the WP on is filled with bizarre Chinese app knock offs. Only they cost more. Not that im fussed about paying a couple of pounds more for a port of something from iOS. Its just a bit of a confused mess which I found is pretty much the same across all phone platforms.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    @19 You shouldn’t have to. An OS should make the process simpler, not more cumbersome and difficult.

    The ommission of the Start Button especially is ten degrees of stupidity on Microsoft parts. You are forced into using a cluttered interfaced, optimized for touch screens, on a format not designed for it.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Phoenixblight


    My wife has vista on her computer and having installed the preview I can say its no where near as bad as Vista infact its a vast improvement. My wife’s computer that is 5 years old runs so much faster and loads almost 60% faster.

    Wit Windows offering windows 8 for owners of previous versions for 40$ I will be definitely getting it for her and possibly for myself.


    You can easily change it to desktop where its very much like WIndows 7 minus the start button which for me it is easy to navigate. Most reviewers are giving it a great review and saying its an improvement upon WIndows 7. I have seen little to no difference but for my wife computer its a vast improvement and she doesn’t seem bothered by the interface. She is a lot less tech savy than myself.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Gadzooks!


    I wasn’t aware of the compatibility issue. I have the Lumia 900 so probably wouldnt have encountered it anyway.

    I’ve also only downloaded a few games so far. Need more strategy games!

    #26 2 years ago
  27. MidlifeAxe

    @14 I can’t take you seriously when you refer to Gabe as ‘fatty’. It’s just juvenile.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Telepathic.Geometry

    “…when it comes tIIIme for a consumer…”

    “Newell also doesn’t seem toOOO keen on…”

    Sorry for being a miserable pedant.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OwningXylophone

    @ Absolute

    Really? Dodonpachi runs perfectly fine on my HD7.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. absolutezero


    For me I just get a black screen then it “crashes to desktop”. I googled around a bit to see if theres a work around or if it was universal or whatever and I found out that alot of people had the same problem, no one really knows why though. Depressing.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OwningXylophone

    It occasionally dumps me back to the ‘desktop’ when I first try and load it, but it usually works fine if I just try again… I feel for you, as it is one of the best games I have played on WP7.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Ge0force

    Forcing Xbox Live into Windows 8 will certainly be a catastrophe for pc-gaming. It will only bring redicolous rules for devs, loads of payed DLC and further monetizing instead of creativity and free community content.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. CPC_RedDawn

    Gabe is onbviously going to bad mouth W8, I have used it and its a pile a crap, however it is still in Beta and is not final just yet but its not far off.

    People also have to realise that the new UI of W8 can be turned off and you can downscale it to look like W7, Vista, XP or even 2000 and W98.

    Gabe is VERY scared about the integrated marketplace that Microsoft want to implement into the OS. Thus taking away a potentially massive marketshare from Valve, GOG, Origin, etc, etc. If the average joe boots up his or her PC and the games or apps they want are right there in a little icon for sale then why would they go to the trouble of downloading STEAM or Origin and searching for it themselves.

    Even with STEAMS ridiculous sale periods it is still going to be hard to compete with Microsoft, as they have buckets of cash and can throw money at devs for exclusive deals.

    STEAM has grown a lot since its release and I have been there right from the start, its gone from 100,000 users to around 5+ million at peak times.

    Microsoft want to close out other sources, which is going to backfire BIG TIME!! Pushing other companies like Valve to the side and making the platform closed is the biggest mistake since releasing Vista. The other people (STEAM, GOG, Origin) will all just jump ship and move on to other OS’s. I would not be at all surprised if Google takes Android and does the exact same thing as Microsoft is doing with W8.

    I actually would not mind an Android based OS for my PC… at least it would be more open than W8.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. DSB

    @34 It’s 15 million users on Steam :P

    I don’t think he’s scared of Microsofts marketplace. Microsoft couldn’t sell popsicles in the Sahara right now. Why would they suddenly be smart enough to compete?

    I think he’s more concerned about what it signifies. Microsoft starting to close the platform down, instead of going the other way, which is obviously what all third parties on the PC would want them to do.

    Considering that Newell was a part of Microsoft for 13 years, I’m sure he has some insight in what that means.

    Other than that I totally agree.

    It’s been one of my wettest dreams ever since Android to see Google enter the PC OS space. I think that would completely revolutionize the platform, but at the same time it would probably be the biggest gamble in the company’s history.

    Certainly, Microsoft starting to pull back and close it down could be seen as a move to make Google back off. Microsoft are shitting themselves looking at that company. Google adapts where Microsoft always tries to dictate. It’s a huge disadvantage, and it’s only going to get larger.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Badger

    Just noticed this story is currently the top most read news item on the BBC website. I wonder if Gabe is regretting being quite so blunt in his quotes now that it’s got a fair bit of coverage. I only hope Microsoft doesn’t now make it harder for Steam to exist effectively on Windows 8. Steam wouldn’t be the Steam we know if it were not for Windows.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. FabioPal

    I’m wondering about the use of the word “closed OS” in his sentence.

    Did Microsoft forbid Steam to be ran on Windows 8? No.
    Did Microsoft change anything in terms of source code availability in Windows 8? No.

    So I seriously cannot understand this sentence. It’s just another competitor in the “app store” market, is Steam SO scared about a competitor?

    I don’t think they should.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Da Man

    Incidentally, I ‘m pretty sure most people (customers) don’t even know the meaning of that word, while constantly using it.

    #37 2 years ago

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