Windows 8 Is a ‘Catastrophe’ Says Valve Software MD

Gabe Newell
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Gabe Newell says operating system will force some out of the market

The managing director of Valve Software has claimed that Windows 8 will be a “catastrophe” for PC developers.

The latest version of Microsoft’s operating system is due in October, but Gabe Newell says that it will mean huge changes for the PC market and none of them positive.

Windows 8 includes the Windows Store, which will be a competitor to Valve’s Steam online marketplace which boasts a library of more than 2,500 games. Microsoft’s Windows Store will be the only way to download software to some Windows 8 devices.

Windows 8 Catastrophe

Newell, who worked for Microsoft for thirteen years on Windows, said its arrival would drive some PC developers out of business because it will put so much pressure on sales margins. Microsoft will take a cut of up to 30 percent on everything sold through its store.

He added that because of the temptation to close the system in order to limit competitors’ access to it, Microsoft could remove the openness that has allowed companies like Google and social game developer Zynga to thrive.

Valve is working on ways to combat the perceived threat of Windows 8. It has adopted open-source Linux in an effort to offset the damage that it believes it is likely to sustain and hopes to make it as easy as possible for the games on Steam to run on Linux. It also plans to create a range of tools and services that players could use to make games and make gaming more fun.

Microsoft pledges that Windows 8 will work equally well with both tablets and traditional PCs and users can switch between a tiled interface and desktop mode whenever they want.  Microsoft hopes that this dual system will give it a potential inroad into the tablet market amid slow sales of PCs.

Does your organisation plan to adopt Windows 8?

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  1. “Microsoft’s Windows Store will be the only way to download software to some Windows 8 devices.”

    This is incorrect.

    Windows Store will be the only way to download software to Windows RT devices, the same way the Apple store can only be used to download apps to the iPad.

    Any windows 8 device will allow any software, like Steam, to run.

          1. Sounds to me like Mr Newell is biting the hand that feeds him. And by the looks of him, he gets fed a whole lot …

            Windows 8 Pro is a triumph, those who have used it for long enough on a decent PC should have realised that by now. WP8 is also a triumph (I moved from an iPhone 4 to a Nokia Lumia 920). Sure, the Windows app store is pretty bare at the moment but as a platform, it should only get better as more developers support it. And that should include Mr Newell.

            Can’t comment on RT, havent used it yet.

    1. The statement was correct. It said “some Windows 8 devices”, meaning the RT devices.

      You can run old type of WinXP/7 apps and games in Windows 8, but will you be able to do that in Win9, Win10 and so on? In the long run, this can be very bad for Steam and other non-MS digital distributors in Windows.

    2. Yes, but let’s not confuse Apple’s OS X, which is a world apart concerning adaptability & stability when compared with MICROSOFT!

  2. He only dislikes it as unlike the Apple OS X App Store, the Windows 8 one could be a real threat to Steam as it will be far more accesable to everyone who has Windows 8 and so could be potentially far more profiatable for those who would use Steam to sell their games even with the MS cut.

  3. The maintaining a monopoly in the way a consumer buys applications is I suspect illegal in many jurisdictions.

    Its surprised me that Apple have been allowed to get away with it for so long in the EU – look at the fuss they made (and still are) over browser choice in Windows.

    Being forced to purchase through the Apple store is basically wrong. Even more so the way Apple is trying to close down competitors.

    Time the EU and others woke up and clamped down on rogue companies such as Apple and now possibly Microsoft with its RT devices.

  4. Windows has had it’s day anyway. It does still serve some kind of purpose, but Microsoft would be better at looking at developing stuff for Linux and Android based software rather than trying to keep this decadent OS going.

    More and more people are either switching to using just Android or iOS devices and less people are having desktop PC’s, and as Android is so close to Linux the future OS is more likely to swing towards Linux as this OS has been designed to allow easy transformation of software from Linux to a tablet form (Android).

    In this house I have a number of computers, my laptop is running puppy linux, my main desktop is running Vista (64-bit), but I use my laptop more than my desktop. My mum has one of those Eee PC’s with Windows 7 on it although she is considering replacing it with an android tablet ‘cos it’s too complicated when all she wants to do is browse the web, use facebook, upload pictures, etc, my sister also has a Eee PC but is considering replacing with an Android.

    I also have many friends who have mainly all replaced their PC’s for android tablets rather than PC’s ‘cos Android is so well designed and doesn’t have as many complications to go through to get to the internet, which is what most people use a PC for now.

    Windows has had a good number of years – Windows 3.11 was kind of the start, although Workbench on Amiga’s was far superior to that, then the next good one was Windows 98, and then XP, but since XP there has been nothing really and I doubt that even Windows 8 will come up to the standards of XP.

  5. The Steam guy is talks bollocks, a competitor such as a Win8 RT download hub (or MS store) will bring more Apps quicker, to those choosing to adopt a Win 8 tablet. I once bought a game using Steam, the download speed was crap. I won’t purchase another ever using Steam for this reason. If the greedy developers didn’t ask so much for titles, it wouldn’t fuel piracy on PC’s! They create the bloody market! BTW I don’t use copies, I buy the titles I use.

    For once, due to the healthy competition, I think MS are moving in the right direction and helping Devs get titles across Win-8 platforms easier. Coding between RT and full Win8 PC Apps requires minimum effort. Again from somelike RT to mobile, it’s the same scenario. Even coding an IOS mobile game across, is something that takes a few weeks. This will allow exciting new Software houses to code on a budget and produce pick up and play Apps/Games that have helped make the IOS stuff popular. It will also allow the decent apps in other stores to go over to a Windows 8 store, etc. I wish ppl would stop talking crap, and trying to force an opinion one way or the other. I use all the different OS’s, we all like different ones for different reasons. None of em are freaking perfect.

    Linux will never rule the world, it’s open source ffs. Microsoft has dropped more bollocks than all the others put together. IOS computers cost double (and yes I own a MBP) everything else, well that’s a recipe to fleece the last penny, cent, yen, etc, etc from it’s consumers. Hardly gonna lead it to global domination now is it. If the others were perfect, Android would have never taken off.

    Android has grown because of the limited “customisation” of the iPad and iPhone, which is now looking a bit stale. Yes I do own an iPad3, and owned an iPhone4. But the open way Android is available has bought a raft of budget tablets with poor performance and this will spoil enjoyment of the amazing Android OS. If you only have £100, or $140 to spend on an Android tablet, it’s hardly going to be a compelling reason to fall in love with the device.

    Competition and choice is healthy, and let’s be honest, as much as I dislike having only options to alter my background screen and icon layout on the iPad, nobody but Apple could have made a tablet as viable and popular. Android and Win.x on tablets, owes whatever success they have to Apple. Be honest, how many though the iPad would never catch on, when it launched? I did. :)

    So Valve can go fekk themselves, the guy is talking total garbage. Like others before me, on a Win 8 PC he isn’t even talking fact. If you adobt Win 8 on your PC, then you’ll still buy a DVD and install it. If ya wanna download, then you’ll need the Windows store. Personally, on a tablet, due to small sizes, I like the sml downloads and pick up and play nature of apps. But for Apps 500mb plus, I wanna have the dvd and box.

    As daft as this sounds, I think we need Win8, a newer take on the tablet OS, etc, etc. Apple have become too comfortable bringing products to market with an over-inflated price point. The new Google Nexus looks amazing spec wise, £200uk, and a refurb iPad2 is £280! Oh dear, I think Apple are gonna lose market share. I was sooo looking forward to what Apple’s iP5 would be, but now, I think it’ll offer the same dated IOS experience, and I for one like some personalisation. I want my purchase, to be made my own. We are lead to believe (Apple aren’t denying it) that the prop-connector will change for iP5, so you can scrap all your expensive add-ons. Oh, but of course will sell us an adaptor for $30! I’m growing tired of being fleeced out of every last penny, in the name of progress. Ship an adaptor free, they cost $5 to make for heavens sake.

    Like Windows or not, love Android or not, prefer IOS or whatever else, ARM based Win8 platforms are almost upon us. I think MS understand they have to rescue the situation they find themselves in. We force this upon them, as we all want a device that sync’s our phone to a computing device. Updates internet faves added on one to the other, messaging the same etc etc. IOS has set a terrific benchmark, whether you like them or not is irrelavant.

    Tablet manufacturers AND ultrabook makers will flock to be on-board from day one, whether the guy from Steam likes it or not. 2013 will see a huge shake up in the mobile, tablet, and PC world. Industry figures suggest 350+ million PC’s alone will ship running Win 8. That doesn’t g’tee anything, but like it or not, it’s called global domination.

    These battles are great news for us tech-heads. Now I’m old enough to be most ppl’s Dad, heaven forbid, so whilst I’m gone, drop ur “my platform is better than yours bullshit” and game nicely 😉

  6. The issue here is that he knows Microsoft are about to eat his lunch, take one look at the guy and you know he likes his lunch.

  7. which idiot will buy a windows RT for intensive gaming? More generally, which idiot will buy RT for a frickin laptop?

    Anyone who wants games from valve will purchase the win 8 pro version….

    Valve’s fears are therefore nullified.

  8. This is great! There are many distributions of Linux, and one of the few weaknesses remaining for it has been a general lack of games (I know they have been greatly increasing here lately). With Valve’s support, Linux could be put over the top to be a true consumer level competitor.

  9. Did someone ask Gabe Newell why Valve charge users in some countries outside the US a 300% markup on games over what they chanrge users inside the US?

    I for one am sick of listening to rip-off artists like Valve complaining that other companies are ripping off the consumer.

  10. What people don’t seem to understand, and what Gabe is getting at, is that the metro interface element – called WindowsRT – is seperate to the desktop environment. Meaning that while Steam and other programs will run fine on the desktop, the Windows App store and all its fancy new applications will only run in the Metro/RT/touch interface. Meaning that nooby users of PC’s, like many commenting, won’t understand the difference and will stick to the new interface. Meaning that if companies want access to these customer they have to join the Windows App store. Basically MS is building a walled garden called. Which is a shame as its success has been built on being exactly the opposite of that. Let’s all copy Apple, let’s all copy Apple, la la, la, la, Hey!

  11. It’s all very well but has anyone tried using Steam (created and run by VALVE Software) on a Mac? It crashes, stalls, quits, and with each update one problem is solved and another begins. Support give me various instructions about going into the terminal and writing execution lines i.e. “Hacks” which don’t work entirely because the software is bad, and this is a company software executive that feels comfortable publicly criticising others. Talk about the Pot calling the Kettle black. Someone should ask Gabe to define Hypocrisy. No really, somebody ask him; and while they’re at it get him to give me a refund for Mac games purchased on Steam.

    1. this guys is talking crap, steam is slow to download and the worst support ever,once they get your money, your dead in the water, never buy of them again

  12. I doubt it will be a good move thinking you can run games on Linux. With the new UEFI BIOS coming out on the latest PC’s, It might be a challenge to even get Linux running.

  13. You bet that soon the OS won’t even run on your device, but on the cloud, so that you can run the same instance and profile on any device. While this a great benefit, it should just be an option. Or else you are trapped: you don’t own your data, you are being proxies for any activity and you will have lost 100% of your privacy… just to mention a few. No matter what people or providers say.

  14. Gabe blatantly knows less than nothing about windows 8. The first thing I did after installing windows 8 was install steam, and it works fine. What is the problem?
    The only thing threatening steam is its own crappy support and unnecessary blocking of functions (such as multiplayer with 1 cd)

  15. I have installed Window 8 on both my PCs and also use it on my Surface and frankly, it ROCKS! I haven’t lost anything and gained a lot of functionality from the new UI including syncing my calendar and contacts, Smartglass control of my Xbox through the Surface and my Windows Phone. Microsoft have really got their act together. Windows 8 is great.

    As a long term fan of Half Life, I’d like to remind Gabe of his job; producing games. Episode 3 should be their top priority, because I’m not going to move over to Linux and I’ve been waiting over four years since the death of Eli. Between Valve and Bioware, my enthusiasm for games has taken a huge knock. Why can’t you people just do what you promise?

    So Gabe, stop pontificating, Steam still runs on W8 Pro and get your finger out, because I’m not interested in anything you have to say because I have a four year old gaping wound that needs closing.

  16. If I were planning to upgrade to Windows 8 I would wait for a couple of years whilst Microsoft get all the bugs out of it.
    in the recent past when I bought a new PC with Vista pre loaded on it the machine had to download 70 upgrades on the operating software before it could get into action.

    1. If you are still on Windows Vista you should definitely make plans upgrade to Windows 8. Do it today, it’s a vast improvement.

    2. Am sick of the way moneygrubbing Mickysoft keep turning out these crappy OSs, so Mickysoft can stuff them up their arses from now on, Im off to Linux, it will probably be a bit of a learning curve for me, but at least I wont be badgered into shelling out for a new pathetic OS every couple of years,

  17. A catastophe, this guy doesn’t know the meaning of the word. If he did, the moment he looked in the mirror, he would have done something about himself.

  18. I don’t know about you, but I am much more likely to take someone’s opinion seriously if they can make a case about the pros and cons of an issue without resorting to personal abuse. Babe may not be correct. He is also over weight. The two things are not linked.

  19. He’s fairly right, it is a POS. Vista was a catastrophe, this is just bloody annoying.

    IMHO it’s a product of wrong thinking.
    1) Being too lazy to produce a separate driver for tough pads, this is a bastardised mix.

    MS spend too much time listening to the “toys for boys” gang – those who spend their night with friends, but doing nothing but playing with their phones.

    I knew it was a dead duck when I was told there was a half hour instruction session for buyers. Having used computers moderately for thirty years, I really, really want to learn a new way of working just to suit the ****ing manufacturer. TaVM.

  20. I would so like to get shot of steam on my PC, it just sits between me and the games I want to play on it, funding this guys huge ego too 😛

    When DoD moved to steam originally I was cheesed off, now this guy is acting like he is the second coming or something while he’s just a middleman, I’d be interested to see what cut/how they make their money here.