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Online gaming power Steam disses Windows 8, pushes Linux

Steam, the popular online gaming platform from Valve Software, made its name running and selling games for Windows then Mac(s aapl). and Linux. But now it’s putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Linux over Windows 8(s msft). At least it looks that way.

As pointed out Monday, Steam is promoting a download of Ubuntu Linux right on its web site (see below). System requirements for the Steam platform are Windows XP, Vista or 7. There is no mention of Windows 8 –– which has been broadly available since November. (For the Mac side of the house, the requirements are Intel Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later.)

steam2Valve managing director Gabe Newell has complained about Windows 8 for months, as detailed by Arstechnica. And, The Verge had an in-depth interview with Newell early this month in which he addresses his issues with the Microsoft operating system.

In the piece, Newell said:

“Windows 8 was like this giant sadness. It just hurts everybody in the PC business. Rather than everybody being all excited to go buy a new PC, buying new software to run on it, we’ve had a 20+ percent decline in PC sales … it’s like ‘holy cow that’s not what the new generation of the operating system is supposed to do.’ There’s supposed to be a 40 percent uptake, not a 20 percent decline …”

Of course, if Valve did not support Windows 8 in the quarter it was released, that could have affected sales, I suppose.

Last September, word leaked that Valve was working on gaming hardware of its own and Valve has since confirmed that it’s working on a Linux-based game console, so it makes sense for it to bless Linux as the OS of choice for developers if it’s going to compete with Microsoft Xbox consoles.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Valve Software is definitely diversifying. In August, it said it would open up its Steam online storefront to include productivity applications as well as gaming titles. As GigaOM reported at the time, that move would also put it into competition with Microsoft which fields its own online stores for its cash-cow Office and other productivity applications.

This story was updated at 11:04 a.m. PT to reflect the operating systems supported by the Steam platform over time.

27 Responses to “Online gaming power Steam disses Windows 8, pushes Linux”

  1. Ryus Lalonde

    I’m sure the reason why steam is in decline is because they don’t fully support the new OS its there problem i don’t see any reason why windows 8 would hurt the PC business except for all the cry babies of course but they aren’t worth the trouble.

  2. loretta demaio

    I just bought a game called Steam Railroads, I can’t install it. I doesn’t install for systems past windows 7 and customer service doesn’t even get back to me. They are just ignoring my 7 attempts to get help or find out what I can do to have a running program. It looks like I wasted my money and time. I thought I could trust them.

  3. Most people aren’t saying windows 8 is a “bad” OS, it really isn’t. its the direction applesoft, I mean microsoft is going. it seems MS will soon lock out developers whom don’t use the windows store to market their product. not to mention the UEFI (I think that is what’s it called) that MS wants to enforce to lock out dual booting pcs. If more developers would make software for Linux I would make the switch permanent. I only keep windows 7 for gaming. I tried WINE and POL but many games play horribly if it all. I am exited about Steam for Linux. I use it on my son’s pc, along with Desura and POLed windows Steam, and all the games work good. TF2 looks just as good as well as l4d2. Windows 8 biggest flaw is it’s touch based interface and multi monitor ineffectiveness. people praise it for being innovative and needing change, but change isn’t always a good thing. should people change from breathing oxygen to carbon monoxide because it’s a change? cars still run on tires, should we change it square blocks for the sake od change? I think not.

  4. Windows 8 is freaking amazing. If you can’t acknowledge that it is the way of the future you fail to see how touch displays on mobile pcs are the way the whole industry is heading. I agree about the comment stating had Apple done what MS did with their OS people would have praised it left and right. Who would want full desktop functionality it something the size of a tablet. This would be the ultimate gadget and the best in terms if mobility. Just because Win8 looks different doesn’t mean it can’t do what the systems before it have done. It’s a full Windows environment and any Steam game you buy will work on it. I don’t know why Gabe cares when you can download Steam without going through the MS Marketplace. Oh wait, I do know why. The MS Marketplace is a competing platform to Steam. Plain and simple, this all about competition.

  5. Hackworth

    Brad, my profound disagreement with you does not make me stupid. I know what I like and what works best for me. I despise Windows 8 and I think it was a big mistake. I’ve had it installed on two of my machines (one now) since last March. Being a “hipster” sure as hell has nothing to do with it, and your comment is moronic.

  6. Windows 8 aint that bad everyone just likes to feel cool and jump onto the hate it bandwagon. Its pretty much the same as 7 except faster. But for some reason everyone seemded to freak out that the start menu was fullscreen. If this was something apple did it would be praised for its innovation and considered a leap into the future. Just goes to show how the majority of people are hiptsers and will imediatly praise a idea from a small company and trash an idea from a big one. Like face it apple could sell something called the i-krap that predicts when you will next have to take a shit and people will buy it. And buy the way I am on ubuntu right now so not a microsoft fanboy just pointing out peoples stupidity.

  7. Don’t know how much stock I put into Gabe here. I suspect his loathing for Windows 8 has more to do with Microsoft putting the competing Windows Store front and center than the actual functionality of the OS. I run Win8 at home, and I have nearly 200 games on Steam and they all work just fine, it’s not all doom and gloom as Gabe describes. Right now the only games in the Windows Store suck. Angry Birds? No thanks. If MS starts selling actual games in there though? That directly competes with Steam. So a little grain of salt with Gabe’s criticism is in order.

    • newyorkcitymale

      This is totally about jealousy & competition. Windows 8’s app store has the potential to destroy Valve… and so be it. Valve/Steam is a nuissance anyway.

    • The point is that with Windows 8 store (for metro apps anyways, and we most assume that not too far in the future, for all aps, like apple), the user does no longer have the freedom to buy or install softwares as he did before. Microsoft is closing the ecosystem to its own benefit, contrary to what a PC should and must be. By definition, a PC is an open platform to which users must have the freedom to do whatever he wants to do with his computer, such as installing operating systems and softwares. A developer, such as steam/valve will suffer from a systemic disadvantage artificially created by Microsoft. If I create a good software and I want to share it with my friends, I should not have to ask Microsoft’s blessing. That is simply not right. If the Windows store was not mandatory at all, this would have not been an issue as big as it is, since most Linux distro are using a similar system for years. In the 90’s, people complained because Interned explorer was installed by default in Windows. This is nothing compared to what Microsoft (or apple) is doing right now. For myself, I started using Linux 3 years ago when MS created stupid limitations to Windows 7 starter just to sell netbooks a couple of dollars less and then suggest users to upgrade to Windows 7 home or pro.

      • Deadred Fingerhead

        I have Win8, and lo and behold I still have the ability to install whatever I want on my computer. Steam works fine, as does everything else I have installed. The windows store is not the only way to install things, and it never will be. Gabe needs to pull his head out of his substantial ass!

  8. Why don’t Microsoft accept that Windows 8 has been a huge failure, hold their hands up and admit they got it wrong. (And sack that bulldog guy at the top)

    Until Microsoft actually comes off its high chair and starts listening to it customers it will continue to fail.

  9. Wow, this guy is smart! He’s the only one doubling down on the failure of Windows 8, while the rest of the Kool-Aid drinking PC industry continues to mindlessly chug towards the Windows 8 iceburg as if their companies’ throttles are stuck on full steam ahead, or I suppose one could aptly say, stuck on stupid.

    Anybody with half a brain has known for well over six months that Windows 8 was going to be an epic failure, and yet almost the entire PC industry has pretended that everything was going to be OK, nay, even making enormous investments in something already doomed to total failure.

    And yet, here we have a lone CEO willing to take full advantage of what everybody in the world already knows but is fearful to admit or act upon, namely that Windows 8 has no clothes. Gabe Newell and his plans for the future are truely impressive!

  10. Eduard Ruzga

    They did not made their name with Linux, just Windows and Mac.
    As for “who cares for linux”. Honestly in last two years I see a lot of Ubuntu use around. Computers at work for programmers? Ubuntu? Cheap notebook a friend biologist bought? Well she is happy with Ubuntu.
    I had a chance to work with Ubuntu and kind of liked it. Add games trough Steam to the mix and I may actually switch considering where Windows is going…
    Ouh and did you hear that Ubuntu comes to the mobile? With more correct model then Windows too, in mobile mode it has mobile apps and in desktop mode with mouse/keyboard/monitor attached its complete Ubuntu. I hoped that Windows will go this way but it seems that Ubuntu did. Though it too early to tell.