It’s no secret that Linux and Valve has teamed up to create the best possible gaming experience on Linux. But why are they doing it, and why now? Gabe Newell top-man of Valve explained:
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.
Gabe is sure Windows 8 is going to be a catastrophe, and perhaps his right but it’s still hard to tell the output. I myself did a post on Steam for linux when it was announced, and like Gabe I wasn’t impressed with Windows 8, so I did a sum up of the latest windows systems successes and fails.
- Windows 95 = Not successive
- Windows 98 = Successive
- Windows ME = Not successive
- Windows XP = Successive
- Windows Vista = Not successive
- Windows 7 = Successive
- Windows 8 = Not successive??
Now I won’t judge Windows 8 before the official version is released, but I’m not at all satisfied with what I’ve seen in the consumers preview. I find it hard and annoying to use and adjust to. And I’m definitively not the only one struggling with the consumer preview. They’ve spent so much time developing the touch surface, that they forgot their main consumer group: Desktop users. We’re not ready to go full touch, most of us don’t even own a monitor with touch support – so what’s the use?
Even further only a small bunch of apps will have window support, which means the window UI is only usable IF you use supported applications.
Sure the system is less space requiring, consumes less ram, boots faster and supports hyperthreading but Linux still proves to be the best even on a 32 bit version which only supports up to 4 gb of ram, where as the windows version is 64 bit and supports all 32 gb of ram. It might not be of much use in game, but it’s still a factor to consider.
I came across a video titled “How real people will use windows 8″, a video in which we’re following a man which has used windows all of his life, in his first attempt to use Windows 8, it shows how hard it is to adjust to even for an all time windows user.
To compare, I found the very same man trying OS X for the first time – which went silky smooth.
In my opinion this just isn’t good enough, and Microsoft needs to step it up a notch if they want to play in this game. They need some attention drawn to usability.
I’m getting ready to leave windows for good when Steam hits the Linux platform, and hopefully I won’t be the only one doing “the move”. Am also hoping for Blizzard to join in on the Linux project, there have been multiple threads on the blizzard forums already stating “We want Linux support”, no answer from Blizzard so far.