Valve favours open Linux platform to Windows 8 & iTunes

Monday, 5th November 2012 12:12 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve really dislikes Windows 8 doesn’t it? The studio has poured more fuel on the flaming debate surrounding Microsoft’s OS – and now Apple’s iTunes format – stating that it prefers the open nature of Linux. Find out why below.

PCGamesN reports that Valve engineer Drew Bliss gave a talk at the Ubuntu Summit in Copenhagen recently, where he distanced Steam and Windows 8.

“If you look at the way the world is going,” Bliss began, “where you see Apple completely in control of their system, and at least part of Windows 8 entirely controlled by the Microsoft App Store, Steam is going to be a little bit harder to do – both in the store aspect and in the content delivery aspect.”

“We want to continue developing in open platforms,” Bliss added, “and so we’re looking around, and obviously Linux has become a very viable alternate platform. So we are now looking into doing Steam for Linux and supporting as many of our Steam games for Linux as we can.”

Bliss concluded, “We want to remove one roadblock that people have with Linux usage and keep the open platform alive. If Microsoft goes the way Apple has and Windows and Macintosh are, both completely closed ecosystems, Linux really is the best alternative for everybody. So we want to help it be as good a platform as possible.”

What’s your take on ‘closed’ formats? Is Apple’s walled approach something that puts you off, or do open platforms like the Android Jelly Bean-powered Ouya console present a more palatable format? Let us know below.



  1. Dragon246

    MS chasing Apples….
    As said in a gamasutra article, pc gaming was perfect in in win7. Now things are changing for the worst.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Talkar

    These guys really need to chill. Windows 8 isn’t a closed platform by any stretch of the imagination. The only Windows Store apps i have installed are the ones i made myself. Everything else is business as usual.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. roadkill

    @2 It is actually. Any person would choose Linux over Windows if they could play games on it.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. viralshag

    That’s too bad they don’t like the system but really, what can they do? Surely a large portion, if not the majority, of their users will be using Windows in some form or another.

    @3, Got anything to back up the claim that “any person” would choose Linux?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Talkar

    I’m not choosing it.
    There, just disproved your theory.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Freek

    Steam is exactly the same wall garden as the Windows 8 app store or I-Tunes.
    Valve is simply spreading a little FUD to undermine the competition.
    Steam runs exactly the same on Win 8 as it does on Win 7. And the existence of an MS app store does not change that you can install what ever you want on your Win 8 pc. Same goes for your iMac, iTunes is another way to get software, not the only way.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    @6 Pretty much this.
    I don’t know what Valve want to do.Like we are all going to change to linux to play source based game ?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Pytox

    I bet they think MS is going to make it so only them can sell games on Windows store and no one else could.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheBlackHole

    Valve are worried about the competition. They’re worried about being to Microsoft what Zynga are to Facebook.

    Not keen on how often they keep calling MS out over this though. Valve are starting to resemble the kind of company I was always happy they weren’t.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. _LarZen_

    Windows RT is a closed plattform, but that is for tablets etc. PC users have the full version of Windows8 and are just as free as Win7 and back.

    People that say otherwise dont know what they are talking about, and if Valve think that people will drop Windows 8 for Linux they must be crazy or something.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. deathgaze

    The fact of the matter is that Linux nerds have been saying for years that the OS will be able to compete with Windows… and 15 years later, it still hasn’t happened. Is Linux a great server OS? The best! But it’s not good where it counts: It’s still not a consumer-use operating system. Take Ubuntu, for example: Driver support is still abysmal, major releases are still buggy piles of dog shit and the OS is almost completely opaque to anyone who’s never used a command line (which is about 90% of us). Has it gotten better? Absolutely! However, it hasn’t come anywhere close to keeping pace with the likes of Windows and OSX. What’s more, there’s no indication that it will ever be able to keep up.

    Linux nerds like Gabe Newell and Drew Bliss need to take their inbred superiority complex and shove it. Linux sucks for consumers. That’s not to be taken a judgement of open systems as a whole, but Linux demonstrates (just as previous versions of Windows did/still do) the problems that can be caused by having open computer systems: They’re unreliable. They often fail to account for outside use scenarios. They require expert knowledge to fix if something goes wrong (which often does, because it runs ANYTHING!). I dunno about you guys, but I like my computers to WORK.

    If Gabe Newell and Company want to keep kicking up dust over Windows 8′s supposed deficiencies, they should open Source Steam and open THEIR platform up to the masses. Then we’ll see how great “open systems” really are.

    Bottom line is this: Windows Store is not the end of the world. It’s not the end of open Windows operating systems and it’s certainly not going to impact Gabe Newell’s pocketbook. At the end of the day, I’m left scratching my head as to what Linux nerds are actually trying to accomplish. Linux is certainly a great operating system. It’s just not great for the masses and it never will be. The sooner Linux nerds recognize this, the sooner we can worry about Apple crushing both Microsoft and Linux.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Omelette

    I don’t know why you’re bashing on Linux so much. As I see it, Valve is only saying that they are porting Steam and their game on to Linux, WHICH ISN’T EVEN REMOTELY A BAD THING. I still didn’t see anywhere that Valve is going to withdraw their support for their Windows version.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Nelius

    Not keen on using any MS product with a Metro interface, that includes the newly released Metrotiles 8.

    Sure it makes ‘consuming’ the (irrelevant) micro content easier on tablets and phones but for any purpose larger and more complex in scope it is lacking (such as advanced Window, File and Item management) and the new Start screen UI layer is just an added hindrance (for efficient multitasking).

    Metro is also signalling that Microsoft intends to head further into a closed and more regulated environment. Desktop is already being called legacy and Office is already being adapted for Metro. If every product and service ends up being centralized around a MS controlled Metro environment this will seriously affect innovation. Thus far anyone could develop innovative services, software or content and benefit from it by releasing directly to interested users. Whereas in Metro your product will be subject to MS approval and could be easily declined or sidelined if it ‘conflicts’ with their (monetary) interests or if MS does not share your foresight. The latter quality of foresight has spectacularly failed MS over the years and has resulted in behemoth rival companies. Innovative products and services such as Steam, Google, Youtube, Facebook, iOS etc would never have come to fruition in a MS controlled Metro environment without being dismissed as irrelevant or being sidelined by MS branded (less featured) equivalents.

    So why shouldn’t I prefer an OS that operates fully in a desktop environment where there is no compromises and restrictions on the end-user operation and on innovative development. I’d also prefer a more efficient (keyboard & mouse oriented) UI that includes a Start button menu to boot. If that means Windows 7 will be the last MS product I will use before switching to Linux so be it.

    As a PC gamer I could not be happier with Valves decision to push game developer and driver support for the open Linux platform.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. xxJPRACERxx

    All Gabe is saying is MS is slowly but surely making each new version of Windows a closed system. Win 8 is still open but the new app-store is a hint of the direction MS is heading, so Valve is preparing themselves.

    Making Linux a viable game OS should take years so it’s a good idea they (now Valve, maybe later nVidia and AMD) start now, not when it will be too late, probably with the release of Win X.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. GwynbleiddiuM

    @11 as a free platform, I’d say it worked out pretty well. YES, it’s completely free, you download it out of Ubuntu’s website, and install it, the installation is also pretty easy. Linux never had the marketing campaign that Microsoft sat up for Windows, Linux does not have a gigantic development budget, and it serves its purpose just the way intended as a free all around OS that does many things, not everything, it is certainly achievable if it gets the right amount of attention from interested parties. It’s a free platform for all, users, devs, everyone, compared to a $100 USD Windows.

    What all these software devs are worried is that every platform closing up tight, therefore every product distributed through these platform has to be exactly according to the terms and rules that are set for that platform. This will effect the freedom that the developers have in terms of developing a product according to what they envisioned, it has many other cons to. There are are positive aspects to it as well, but the way I see it all that these outspoken devs are saying is the fact that they don’t want to enter an era that each platform is as closed as a smartphone with a little appstore providing what customers need according to the limitations that the platform owner dictates.

    PC always have been an open platform and Microsoft always was the dominant OS provider, now they want to own the PC, and set the bar as they see fit and the way it would work for them.

    Have you guys learned nothing from the wisdom of Old Snake? “The age of deterrence has become the age of control.”

    And he who controls the PC, controls the market.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DSB

    I think the consumer should be the one to worry. It’s not like every company abuses that model, but every company who does use it, can.

    See the difference between a company like EA who feels that a proprietary client should be used to do away with sales and allow you to gouge prices, and Valve who feels that their marketshare is better used to dump prices.

    One is great for me, the other is really only great for the proprietor.

    That being said, it’s not like Valve are calling it just yet, they’re just using the potential of that happening to get on Linux.

    Microsoft does work in mysterious ways, but completely undermining their own platform just so they can be like Apple and tickle a few platforms just strikes me as unusually self-destructive.

    Then again, I’ve tried a Zune. Self-destructive is definitely within their repertoire.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. AmiralPatate

    I agree with #15. Ubuntu is a good, free OS that can do many, many things. It can do basically everything I do on Win7. Except games. The day I have a Linux system capable of running games, I’ll seriously consider leaving Windows forever, especially if it has become a closed system.

    In the meantime, Win7 runs fine so I’m certainly not moving to Win8 (which I only heard bad things about).

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Christopher Jack

    His problem is he can’t have a start menu app without following MS’ strict guidelines. I am running Windows 8 & really dislike Metro apps anyways, might suit a tablet but for my non-touch laptop, desktop is a million times better.

    To be frank, if I were to choose between an Android, Windows RT & iOS tablet, I’d definitely pick up the Android, even if I could get the iPad mini at the same price as the Nexus 7 or the Surface & 4th gen iPad at the same price as the Nexus 10, I’d still grab the Nexus tablets first. Android isn’t by any stretch perfect, but that’s kind of its charm, we all have a different perspective of perfect & Android allows you to adjust quite a lot to try to obtain that yourself.

    There’s also the app selection, afaik the iPad only runs apps optimized for it & that’s a double edged sword, you get better optimization but I think you’d have more to choose from Android (most scale well but variation can also be a double edged sword) while Windows RT is pretty much naked.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. blackjauer

    @5 Fuck you.

    #19 2 years ago

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