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Steam to begin selling non-games software

Wednesday, 8th August 2012 19:06 GMT By Jeff Dunn

Valve has confirmed that its Steam service will begin making non-games software available on September 5.

Information is still vague at the moment, as Valve only refers to the new software titles as, well, “Software titles.” The company says this software will “range from creativity to productivity,” and will mostly incorporate pre-existing Steam features like “easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.”

Additional Software titles will be added beyond the September 5 launch, and Valve is encouraging developers submit their own versions of the software through its crowd-sourced Steam Greenlight system.

Breaking news

41 Comments

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  1. Se_7_eN

    I love Steam / Valve, but this… I am not too sure of.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. noherczeg

    Things getting out of hand.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Maximum Payne

    I think its great idea from both Valve’s and developers point of view and for customer.
    Summer ”optimization software ” on sale!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    I don’t think it’s too attractive to start building a platform within a platform.

    They obviously got the idea from Impulse, but with the difference that you could use Stardock software without Impulse as well.

    Fences <3

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Christopher Jack

    Videos & music? Could be the ultimate all-in-one service.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. noherczeg

    I can see a new OS coming out in a not so distant future called Steam. Since they’re going to be able to manage software too not just games, it’s just a medium leap ahead to do a free (‘nix based) OS. Heck, they’re developing for the linux platform already :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    I dont know to much about steam or PC Gaming but it seems that they pulled off a microsoft move here, and i mean like the 360 which games are not longer the main an primary focus, maybe is what is going on here too.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Da Man

    Omg this is an App Store now! It’s not my hardcore PC toy shop anymore, it’s a casual marketplace.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    Don’t see a point to this. Why would I need to go through steam for any of this stuff. I guess people are just so lazy that they can’t update their stuff on their own and need something similar to apple and Windows. Ironic that they are the one claiming that windows 8 is a catastrophe and here they are doing the same thing. Jealous that Windows will do it first?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. fearmonkey

    Steam is going to become an App store, and eventually will have that rumored “Steam Box” to run it’s apps. Interesting…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    I don’t see the problem.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    Yeah, this is a non-issue. This will amount to little more than an extra tab saying “Non-Games” or something like that.

    It is not going to destroy your precious gaming kingdom.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    The implementation is obviously key though. Steam’s offline mode is ass backwards at the moment, and that’s going to be pretty critical if you’re buying programs for any practical purpose.

    They’re going to have to make it a lot more independent than their games interface if they want to succeed.

    Impulse had this feature from day 1, and it worked because the apps worked outside the client.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. GrimRita

    I think with the threat of Microsoft shutting the door in the longer term(so Gabe says), it makes sense to keep options open.

    If Microsoft do follow the route of Apple and keep everything in house and have a tedious process to allow publishers to publish on the PC, the format will die.

    If gaming came to Linux, Microsoft would be in serious trouble and Valve/Steam have the capacity to take up that challenge

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DSB

    It’s hard to imagine Microsoft throwing away everything they built, but the fact that so many high level players are actually considering it is pretty unnerving.

    Chances are they’ll have better intel than any of us.

    The Google OS really can’t come soon enough.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    The assumptions being made against Microsoft are pretty hilarious. Windows 8 is just as open as Windows 7. There is absolutely nothing closed about it.

    It had a store front for Metro apps. That’s it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Pytox

    Well maybe they don’t want any other stores applications on pc’s anymore and they want all that money go directly to them

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    @16 Quite obviously they aren’t worried about an appstore.

    The assumptions would be hilarious if they came from Random Forum Poster guy, rather than an industry that is apparently collectively fearful of where they might go with it.

    Paranoia on the internet is pretty common. In the boardroom, much less so.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight

    WHat MS had previewed of Windows 8 to software developers ealier this year was not enough info for them all they saw was an app store along with UEFI system. Microsoft will be doing another preview of WIndows 8 in September. I have seen more developers for WIndows 8 then I have seen against it. I just think Gabe is scared because Microsoft is doing something similiar to them which gives MS the edge.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DSB

    John Smedley, Dave Pardo, Notch, and Brad Wardell of Stardock, which is a Gold Certified Partner, and apparently the largest provider of desktop customization software for the system, are all concerned about Windows 8.

    Those aren’t small time developers. President of SOE, head of Valve, executive VP of Blizzard.

    Who’s actually excited about Windows 8 in the industry?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    @20 They’re all “concerned”, but absolutely none of them are actually explaining what the problem is.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Phoenixblight

    @20

    As I said MS didn’t exactly go in depth about the in store for developers other than showing what it does and saw it was similiar to Apple so of course everyone says the world is ending. We will see what they will say in September when MS previews it again to developers.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DSB

    @21 Newell, Pardo and Smedley are being diplomatic about it, but it’s quite obviously not about the appstore, but an actual fear that the platform is going to be reigned in and monetized.

    If you can charge people licensing fees to be on consoles, why wouldn’t you be able to make money selling developer licenses for the world’s most prolific operating system?

    Obviously there’s no conclusion to be made yet, none of us have any idea what Microsoft are doing behind the scenes, but personally I’m surprised that these guys are openly voicing concerns, and apparently doing so in unison.

    That makes it a far cry from someone like Kotick going out on a limb and threatening to pull off the PS3, unless they accomodate his develoeprs better. He was alone in that, and obviously bluffing. Valve are actually going to spend money trying to hedge their bet with Linux.

    There are ultimately few things the industry can agree on as a whole (just look at SOPA) and like I said above, I’m pretty sure they have better leads on this than any of us.

    At the very least, that’s cause to pay attention, you know?

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Phoenixblight

    @23

    They are jumping to conclusions. Nothing of the sort was released for info those people are just like anyone else when they don’t have info. THey are scared of the unknown. September a new preview for them and we will see if they are saying PC is dying.

    Developers are much like we are there are people that are optimistic and others that are anti-MS.

    But I like how Chris Hecker said it “I don’t actually know much about Windows 8, to be honest. I tend to treat those kinds of things as ‘the weather’; as a developer I can’t control it. The variable I have direct control over is game quality, and so if I turn that up as high as I can, I have to assume there will be some place to sell my game when I’m done.”

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-08-06-pc-developers-on-microsofts-wrongheaded-strategy-for-windows-8

    Also there could be legal backlash if they go for a completely closed market. I just think people are getting scared with the lack of info. In september we will see what will happen.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DSB

    Again, there’s a big difference between a one-man indie developer, and people running some of the biggest businesses in the industry.

    If it was just guys like Chris Hecker or Notch that were concerned, then yeah, you might suspect some kind of panic based on woefully incomplete information.

    Guys like Pardo, Newell and Smedley are well connected enough to know a lot more about what Microsoft are actually planning. I think you’re completely underestimating the level of intel they’re privy to.

    Valve has no interest in spending millions of dollars on R&D just because they’re scared of the dark. At the very least it shows they want to be cautious.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Phoenixblight

    @25

    They all have vested interest especially Gabe when he is trying to do the same thing. Its all heresay. When I see Engine developers like Unity and Take two for Windows 8 than I see that there is nothing that is really saying that WIndows 8 is a ‘catastrophe’. There would be more people against it than it being split down the middle. I could care less about Blizz or Steam’s or Stardock they all have a reason to be anti WIndows having a store, it may affect them having as much of a market as they have now.

    ALso windows 8 is being released to developers starting the 15th so we may see sooner what they are saying.

    http://www.webpronews.com/windows-8-has-gone-gold-developers-get-it-on-august-15-2012-08

    #26 2 years ago
  27. DSB

    I fail to see how they’re split down the middle? Who is for it? Could you name any top level executives who are saying that Windows 8 is going to be great for their business?

    I still haven’t seen anyone talking about the appstore. That doesn’t make any sense. Apple has an appstore, and Valve obviously has no problem dealing with those guys. Microsoft already have a storefront on Windows, and they suck at selling their stuff on it, why on earth would they worry about something like that?

    If it was just Gabe Newell, then you might suspect that he’d gotten his panties in a twist and wanted to throw a bit of shit their way, like Kotick did with the PS3, but it’s obviously not.

    Fair enough if Chris Hecker, the developer of Spy Party hasn’t given it much thought, but obviously three top level executives, and countless developers see a reason to worry.

    Ultimately there’s no way of knowing. I just know that John Smedley, Rob Pardo and Gabe Newell know a lot more about what’s going on at Microsoft than any of us.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    @27

    Or they don’t because they saw the exact same preview as the other developers at February preview. I don’t listen to people that are invested in competitive software. Its biased and of course they will be anti WIndows. ANd what they are worried about is not the store but the fact that just like Apple OS that you have to go through the store in order to patch software at least thats what it was like on the preview that could easily have changed once it goes to release 8 months later.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DSB

    Considering how many games have failed (and continue to fail) thanks to Games for Windows Live, I’m not surprised that people might feel a bit uncomfortable with the notion of paying Microsoft to delay their software updates for 30 days, just so they can rub their cocks all over it and call it a dayjob.

    That’s essentially the state of Microsofts certification today. Rumor has it that they don’t even have a dedicated GFWL team, they just move a bunch of guys in when there’s a patch to be done.

    Considering that Valve are already dealing with Apple, and obviously felt that that was a worthwhile thing to do, I don’t see how Microsoft doing the same thing would suddenly be bad business. It simply doesn’t make any sense.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Phoenixblight

    @29

    “Considering that Valve are already dealing with Apple, and obviously felt that that was a worthwhile thing to do, I don’t see how Microsoft doing the same thing would suddenly be bad business. It simply doesn’t make any sense.”

    10% of the market is a nonthreat. WHere WIndows is a vastly bigger portion of the PC space. Windows will be doing the same exact thing Steam is trying to do here. As I said its in the preview version of WIndows 8 that can easily have change once it is released to the public not to mention that if they go that route they will have loads of legal issues.

    http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/windows-8-continues-to-raise-game-developer-concerns-1091592

    #30 2 years ago
  31. DSB

    @30 This sheds a bit more light on it.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/24/technology/windows-app-store/index.htm

    It seems Google and Mozilla are also firmly against it.

    I can’t really imagine a world where every program we use is determined by Microsoft. That’s ultimately what makes Apple so creepy. They get to force their own values and representations of right and wrong, bad or good, on anyone buying their product.

    In this case you’re talking about 98% of the world’s PC users.

    It seems your fears will become reality, at least unless people decide to finally object to that sort of thing.

    Like I said before, the Google OS can’t come soon enough.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Phoenixblight

    @33

    We’ll see in the next coming weeks what developers do but what WIndows does with their Tablets and smartphones is their buisness. ANd Google is far from actually putting OS out so it will be a while not only if and when its released but who actually gets on it. Their Chrome book is the most expensive bloatware that I have ever seen so if thats the example of google OS, I rather have MS.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. DSB

    Yeah. Microsoft never made a bad operating system.

    Apart from those 3 or 4 turkeys they’ve done over the last 19 years :P

    I don’t think Google are committed to it at all at the moment. That would be kinda hard to keep secret, but short of Linux putting on the big boy pants, they’re one of very few companies with 40 billion dollars laying around, and nothing to spend it on.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Phoenixblight

    @33

    Well WIth MS I have an array of OS to pick from and stick with where Google has a way to go to catch up where windows is and that goes for Linux too.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. battery

    Additional Software titles will be added beyond the September 5 launch, and Valve is encouraging developers submit their own versions of the software through its crowd-sourced Steam Greenlight system. http://www.google.com/

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Da Man

    Mac OS is just as open as Windows XP, there’re plenty of useless programs made by passionate enthusiasts you can freely download from the last resort which is internet.

    Everyone can have a toast now, noone is taking your toys from you.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Ireland Michael

    So basically, it still boils down to the fact that people with their own vested interests are pissed off because Microsoft is adding their own app store to the OS. Exactly what I said in the beginning.

    Again, what is the problem? The actual GUI itself has no been “walled off” in any fashion. You’re sending me a tonne of links, but it still boils down to “Microsoft has an app store.” You’re a smart guy DSB. Come on…

    #37 2 years ago
  38. DSB

    @37 Again, Michael. The appstore is not the problem as it appears in the conventional Windows 8. The appstore is the problem as it appears in RT, which analysts (and apparently everyone from Google to Valve) are seeing as Microsofts real focus.

    It’s not the appstore itself, it’s fact that it could be the only way of delivering software in the next windows.

    No one is scared by just-another-storefront, and in Windows 8, at least for now, it’s optional.

    Obviously though, a lot of professionals, even at the highest level, are concerned that that won’t be the case with the next OS, in which case I don’t see why people would keep making games for it.

    Microsoft charges something like 40.000 dollars for a patch, then proceeds to hold it back for 30 days doing nothing, and that’s time that people will spend writing about a broken game, and a passive developer, in the most profitable period of a games commercial lifespan – like they did with Gotham City Impostors, or like they’re doing with Fez right now.

    Today you can accomplish anything you want on the platform, and people will get to decide whether your stuff is good or not for themselves. If RT becomes the standard, Microsoft is going to be the one to decide whether something is good or not. Whether it’s a Google browser, an Apple client, or an indie game. It’s a huge leap backwards.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Ireland Michael

    @38 So basically you’re worried about a slippery slope that doesn’t even exist yet?

    #39 2 years ago
  40. DSB

    @39 Like I said, I personally have no idea what Microsoft are planning.

    The fact that everyone from Google to Valve are publicly expressing concern, is reason to listen.

    To me at least, that goes double when you consider Microsofts general way of doing things. They make Kinect, which is not a very good system for gaming unless you’re between the ages of 4 and 13, with a lot of dead space in your living room, and then they decide to change the entire layout of the dashboard to accomodate it, which makes it a pain in the ass for the majority who are still using a gamepad to navigate it.

    When Microsoft makes a mistake, they stick with it. They simply don’t care what anyone says, or wants. That makes me pretty wary of them in general.

    Ultimately we’ll all have to wait and see. I’m cautiously pessimistic in this case.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. GwynbleiddiuM

    Now all I need is a +75% off Adobe Creative suite, preferably CS6. Although I’m not overally happy with Steam shifting focus off the gaming industry and venture trough uncharted waters here.

    #41 2 years ago