Do you think Microsoft’s bet on Windows 8 will pay off? Valve’s Gabe Newell doesn’t – even going as far as to call the OS a ‘catastrophe for everyone in the PC space’. 

Newell – a former Microsoft employee – shared his thoughts on the controversial OS as part of a question on gaming on Linux.

Speaking at the at the Casual Connect videogame conference in Seattle, USA, Newell said:

“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.”

Bias or Fear

‘Catastrophe’; top-tier PC OEMs exiting the market; destroyed margins… It’s all very dramatic sound stuff but with Newell having spent 8 years working on Windows it’s not easy to dismiss his remarks out of turn.

But there is, arguably, a bias at work in his comments.

Windows 8 introduces something hitherto unseen on the traditional PC desktop: the built-in, comes-by-default Windows Store – a potentially more accessible platform with wider reach than Valve’s own Steam client.

Coupled with the gaming credentials that Microsoft’s XBox LIVE integration brings, the Windows Store could pose a serious threat to Valve and their business model.

So Linux, with its free, and open ecosystem presents Gabe and his team with a plan b; an tapped revenue stream.

Earlier this month Valve formally announced their plans to bring Steam and top gaming title Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu. Weeks prior to this Unity 3D, one of the most widely used gaming engines used by developers, revealed their plans for first-class Linux support.

So w the walls may be closing in around the garden of Windows, locking developers out, the open plains of Linux are starting to look ripe for harvest.

Greg via LeJournalDuGeek

Steam for Linux Valve