Valve’s Gabe Newell Talks Windows 8, Linux Steam Support
Gabe Newell (Co-Founder of Valve) made an appearance at Casual Concert (annual video game conference in Seattle) to give his insight and thoughts about Windows 8, Linux and technology in general.
Newell has always been very outspoken, so his comments about Windows 8 being a ‘catastrophe’ might not be so surprising. He spent 13 years of his life at Microsoft, working on various Windows releases, so a lot of what he has to say has some merit to it.
While talking about open platforms versus closed platforms, Newell had some interesting words.
In order for innovation to happen, a bunch of things that aren’t happening on closed platforms need to occur. 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.’
The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior.
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. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. 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.
It’s all very interesting to see where technology is going to take us in the future.