Steam to start offering non-gaming apps next month

Valve has been busy lately. Its CEO, Gabe Newell, is publicly bashing Windows 8 and trying to build up Linux into a compelling alternative. Valve’s developers are working hard on Linux ports of the Steam client and Left 4 Dead 2. And now, the company says it’s going to expand its Steam digital distribution service to offer non-gaming software.

The first non-gaming apps will show up on Steam on September 5. They’ll include creativity and productivity software, and apparently, some of the apps will feature Steamworks integration—just like Steam games. "Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you," says the company. Indie developers will be able to submit their software for public consideration through Steam Greenlight, as well.

It’s interesting Valve would make this move just as Microsoft prepares to release Windows 8, which will have its own, built-in software distribution service: the Windows Store. The playing field is crowded on the Mac side, too, where Apple’s Mac App Store has been featured in two successive OS X releases. Valve claims it’s merely fulfilling popular demand, though. "The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," says Valve’s Mark Richardson. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

I suppose Valve could easily lure in customers by organizing tantalizing sales, as it does with games. The company may also find an audience among stragglers who choose not to upgrade to Windows 8. Still, Valve will have its work cut out if it’s going to compete with Microsoft’s and Apple’s in-house distribution services.

Comments closed
    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    It becomes obvious that Valve is working on some interesting things that seem to intersect.

    They built a Living Room UI that they advertised, then went dark on right after. They are building up Linux Steam support after building up Mac Steam support. They threw in iOS and Android apps. They built up inventory systems that allow trading of games, they build up Steam Cloud saving support, and then throw in non-games, too.

    Y’know, if you take this to the next logical step, you could have a Linux distribution that included Steam, brought games and applications over, and served as the more open counterpoint to the Windows 8 App Store and the Apple App Store. Of course, Steam has the advantage of being… everywhere. Windows, Mac, Linux. Everywhere.

    It’s just that Linux allows you to use it cheapest of all.

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    It usually boils down to price. If Steam can deliver standard workaday and creative apps cheaper than through any other method, it will get my attention. There are some apps which should never come from an online distributor like banking, booking, medical, line-of-industry stuff. Credible banks and other institutions won’t be doing this method anyway.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    haha, and the motive for the Win8 bashing comes clear. Not actual complaints about the platform, that would be easy to overcome – just refuse to develop for it like they did PS3 (how did that turn out in the end, Gabe?) but disappointment that Valve’s free money spigot is being cranked down a bit.

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Yep! Right on the money! Valve and Gabe Newell = biggest hypocrites around!

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        We don’t like Win8 so we’re going to to try and move our users to other platforms is hypocritical?

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      They think Win8 sucks so they are doing something about it by taking Microsoft on directly and even taking steps to push Windows out of the picture entirely!

      Big respect to Gabe. Almost anyone else would just moan and not do anything.

    • Jason181
    • 7 years ago

    The one negative I see with this is friends. I have 200+ “gaming” friends that I don’t necessarily want messaging me while I’m in a productivity app. Perhaps they’ll create a “work” group of friends in addition to the “game” friends and you can choose which to appear as online to. I could see the steam messaging being handy for collaboration, and the cloud access could be very nice.

      • Corrado
      • 7 years ago

      Or you could simply … sign out of the messaging part?

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        Well, the problem with that is that you then lose the collaboration potential. That’s basically what I was getting at. One of the largest draws for me (besides the auto-updating) would be the ability to collaborate on the fly. While I realize you could do that with other instant messaging tools and such, the integration is what would sell it to me (and presumably others).

        Edit: If I didn’t want to use the Steam messaging, why would I even create this post?

    • Silus
    • 7 years ago

    LOL Am I right or am I right ?
    Gabe Newell is really just a big, big PR man (kind of like Steve Jobs, maybe he was Gabe’s mentor ?)…Just a few days ago he was bashing Windows 8, calling it a catastrophe, that everyone would lose big time with it and now we know that through Steam, Valve wants to sell more than games!
    The hypocrisy is mind boggling! It’s pretty obvious that Valve just sees the Windows App Store as a threat, so they have to make a lot of noise against it, because they have their own app store, as closed or more than the Windows App Store.

    And people listen to this hypocrite douchebag ? Give me a break…

      • Jason181
      • 7 years ago

      I suspect this is the [b<]reason[/b<] Gabe said that Windows 8 is a catastrophe. I would be willing to bet they've had this in the works for a long time, and when he learned about the Windows app store (and possibly restrictions on 3rd party stores), he made his discontent known. Timing is everything, and we don't know much about the information and planning of either Windows 8 nor the next iteration of Steam. What may seem like hypocrisy could actually be legitimate complaints in the wake Microsoft's dissemination of information to parties under NDA, resulting in Gabe being able to say "it's a catastrophe," but not [i<]why[/i<] it's a catastrophe. I wouldn't be so quick to judge if I were you.

        • Silus
        • 7 years ago

        And here comes the Valve/Gabe Newell defense police! An hypocrite is an hypocrite and this isn’t the first time Valve/Gabe did something like this. He did the same thing with PS3, calling it something like catastrophe too (I think it was disaster) and months later, Valve was making games for PS3. Was it bad at the time he said it ? Maybe, but then you as a CEO of a company don’t go out with stupid comments like he did (similar to what a child would do or someone that ONLY cares about one thing and I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t the consumer). A real CEO would discuss things with Sony and try to get it running as it should, not go crying to the public about it.

          • Scrotos
          • 7 years ago

          Time for another lesson of the real world. Sometimes you need more than just vendor pressure to effect a change. You see this in politics, too. If popular opinion is large enough, a politician or company will change their practices or product to meet demand.

          Maybe Sony’s developer tools sucked and they refused to address the issue. Then Gabe makes a fuss and all of the sudden Sony’s got a PR nightmare on their hands. To fix the issue and shut him up, they address the developer tools.

          Now I don’t know the details nor do I care to research them, but that’s an example of why someone of influence would make public comments for or against something–to try to effect a change that otherwise they could not. Public opinion is a tool that can be wielded by those who know how. Surely you’re not that naieve to not know this, are you?

            • Silus
            • 7 years ago

            And here’s your lesson of the real world: Anything related to politics that goes to the public, isn’t about addressing real problems, it’s about tossing sand to other people’s eyes in order to get what you want and that’s what Valve does. They’re like a whining child that when it can’t get exactly what it wants, it cries about it, making a big fuss!
            Other developers worked on PS3 games much sooner than Valve did and they didn’t make a fuss about it in public. They went to Sony and tools got better as time went by. You only go to the public as your last resort. And if you think tools got better just because Gabe Newell said something about it, you are the naive one. Valve isn’t the only developer around. There are plenty developers out there and many are much bigger and with much more influence than Valve. Others just know how to address issues without being a cry baby.

            Fortunately for Valve, they have a cult like following that defends them on WHATEVER they do. They could be killing baby seals that I’m sure there would be quite a few idiots defending them…

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Other developers worked on PS3 games much sooner than Valve did and they didn't make a fuss about it in public [/quote<] ...except they did.... google "PS3 development difficulties" and you can see a multitude articles pre-dating Gabe's rant(s) way back to the infancy of the console.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            the issue with the ps3 was easy to explain, and it’s not hard to read up on. He said that the developer tools sucked on the ps3, and that it was hard to code for vs the xbox. BUT he wanted steam on a console, MS refused, as they have the closed xbox live, and Sony said “ok”. that was what changed it. he then criticized MS for having a closed multiplayer, and sony’s being open (which is fine, imo) and started development on the ps3.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Quiet down ssk, you’re actually listening to what people say instead of reducing it to the bare minimum idea like “ps3 bad smash” “win8 horrendous crush.” There’s no room around here for this kind of discourse.

          • Jason181
          • 7 years ago

          The comments I made would apply to [b<]any[/b<] company and situation. It's easy to sit back and make disparaging comments when you don't know nearly all of the facts. Uninformed opinions are useless at best.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    CEO is a hypocrite and can bash MS all it wants. DirectX has made steam profitable. top games are never newly released on mac/linux platforms, so valve’s ceo is full of $hit!

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      How has DirectX made Steam profitable?
      Swapping DirectX for OpenGL on Windows is irrelevant to them

      Had DirectX never come around then games would just use OpenGL instead… and Steam would distribute them much the same as they always have.
      It’s not like Steam is incapable of distributing games that don’t use DX. They don’t care what API your game uses as long as it sells.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        They might not care what APIs are used, but developers do. DX isn’t just graphics; it’s i/o and sound too, at a minimum. The vast majority of games use DX, so you’re probably going to have to retrain your entire programming team for not only OGL, but whatever you end up using to replace the other components of DX.

        It’s not that Steam cares; they distributed Rage, but not everyone has a John Carmack (not that it’s actually required, but since the licensable engines use DX afaik, they’d need to create their own engine in-house or modify a licensed engine).

        Another problem is drivers; atm the AMD OGL drivers totally suck, and that won’t probably change until a fair amount of OGL games are released. Who wants to be the developer to catch all the flak for someone else’s messy drivers (and… not a fanboy, I actually have 6970s in crossfire).

        • Sahrin
        • 7 years ago

        >Swapping DirectX for OpenGL on Windows is irrelevant to them

        This must be why most Windows games use DirectX, and OGL defines its spec based on DirectX.

      • stmok
      • 7 years ago

      …Except if you actually looked at what Valve has been doing with Linux in the last couple of months, you’d realise his “full of $hit” actually involves personally making an effort to get things working on Linux.

      (1) The CEO himself started the porting to Linux initiative. His system on his work desk is an Ubuntu install and making Left 4 Dead 2 work on it natively.
      => [url<]http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=valve_linux_dampfnudeln&num=1[/url<] (2) To top this off, Valve have been actively looking for and hiring people with experience in developing games in Linux. => [url<]http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=valve_linux_sdl&num=1[/url<] (3) You don't expressly fly out Intel engineers to your own company's HQ in order to personally work with them. Nor do you invite AMD and Nvidia engineers to work on improving OpenGL feature support and performance in Linux. ie: He is making a deliberate effort in getting cooperation from the hardware driver people! This is a blog entry of an Intel engineer at Valve...He gives an explanation of what they've been doing together. => [url<]http://www.paranormal-entertainment.com/idr/blog/posts/2012-07-19T18%3A54%3A37Z-The_zombies_cometh/[/url<] (4) Valve's CEO has already encouraged [b<]Croteam[/b<] to port [b<]Serious Sam 3: BFE[/b<] to Linux. => [url<]http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE0MjU[/url<] ...As you can see, this is nothing like what Id Software (or anyone else) has previously done on Linux. Valve is investing engineering resources into pushing Linux to become a viable alternative. Whether they actually succeed is up to the customer/enthusiasts/Linux users. The point is this: Microsoft made major changes (Win8, Surface, etc) because they saw how Apple profited greatly. They wish to emulate the success. Good for them. If you don't adapt and change, you die. It's common business sense. (Especially in the highly dynamic environment of the technology industry.) However, as a consequence of their major actions; they have alienated some members of their existing ecosystem. And its causing concern. * Valve/Blizzard/indie devs aren't happy with the idea of MS's App Store-like solution (Windows Store) in Win8. => [url<]http://www.legitreviews.com/news/13833/[/url<] * Acer isn't happy about Surface tablet. => [url<]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/9459164/Acer-attacks-Microsoft-Surface-tablet.html[/url<] * Long time followers of Windows aren't happy of Metro (or whatever it is called now) on the traditional keyboard/mouse desktop. Etc. I honestly don't know if all this is a good or bad thing in the long term. But I do know, the technology map is going to change.

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Exactly! Although DirectX didn’t make Steam profitable directly, although DirectX IS the best graphics API and thus chosen by the majority of developers for their games and rightly so.

        • way2strong
        • 7 years ago

        DirectX was not chosen strictly on it’s technical merits.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        DirextX was marketed the best. And then because more marketing was done and more game engines were made with it in-mind, the profits then got invested into making it better. It wasn’t originally the best.

          • Pettytheft
          • 7 years ago

          Ohh so it was marketing that made it better? Try OpenGL being mired in a committee. They had a huge lead on Microsoft and nobody really used DirectX. The OpenGL committee couldn’t agree on features and the standard stagnated. Meanwhile DirectX kept improving around version 7 it matched opengl and passed it up in features and abilities. More importantly Microsoft created tools and listened to developers. OpenGL is also a professional standard so gaming features do not come first.

          Marketing had very little to do with it.

          • Sahrin
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, because OGL is free from all technical flaws and always have been.

          Seriously, when did PC users become a bunch of Mac fanboys.

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          LOL @ marketed the best! Read Pettytheft’s post…it’s all about tools and Microsoft provides tools that OpenGL simply doesn’t have. DirectX IS the best graphics API and it is deservedly so, not because of marketing. You want marketed as best although not being the best ? Look at Apple. They know a thing or two about marketing inferior or equal products, as the best ever!

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        Actually, when DirectX first came out 3d cards were very rare. What made DX popular was both integration into windows and an API that included graphics, sound, input/output devices. It was the fact that it was the whole package.

        OpenGL couldn’t compete since it was a graphics API only. Anyone who spent time getting their soundblaster emulation and irqs, dmas working properly can appreciate how nice DX was for the end user as well (although it was far from perfect at release).

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          True too, but above all, it’s about tools as I’ve mentioned countless times in related threads. Tools are the key and Mirosoft just provides the best tools that makes things easier for developers, which in turn choose DirectX for their games. As I also said, not everyone is a programming genius like John Carmack, so tools are probably the most important thing for software houses.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            You [b<]do[/b<] understand that APIs [i<]are[/i<] tools, don't you? How much DX programming have you done? OGL programming?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Steam has hundreds (maybe even thousands) of OpenGL, Unity and Flash-based games. I’m sure there are plenty of other engines used across the Steam library too.

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t think anyone would argue if you just said, “Windows has made Steam profitable.” Which, ya know, it has. But DirectX? Really? That’s like boldly proclaiming the XML specification has made Gabe a billionaire.

        • albundy
        • 7 years ago

        Fair enough, but how many of their top newly released games are not DirectX based then?

          • eloj
          • 7 years ago

          Don’t you mean, how many do not use XML? 🙂

    • Goty
    • 7 years ago

    And the march toward SteamOS continues.

      • stupido
      • 7 years ago

      more like “SteamedLinux” 😉

      (see willmore’s comment)
      [quote<]Now, the 'Steam on Linux' idea gets interesting. [/quote<]

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Valve: selling you a linux distro on Steam to you via Windows 8.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Beautiful 🙂

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    This is neat and everything, but honestly I don’t use that many apps. Maybe I’m outside the norm, but generally speaking Windows has gotten to the point where it does most everything I want it to do without supplementing it with other software. I don’t do video or photo editing, so that drives some out right there.

    I guess I use OpenOffice, Xfire, Thunderbird, Opera, and Trillian… Besides that it’s pretty much all games. All the said programs have auto-updaters already built in too. I suppose this could make a nice list to reinstall after I do a fresh installation… that rarely happens though.

    Who knows… Could be a neat way to find little heard of programs I never use, but could.

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      “I don’t use that many apps… except all the ones that most people would use anyway, like an office suite, a web browser, an email client, and an instant messanger.” Ayup.

      😉

      Though honestly, if I could get some of that junk in Steam and just have it WORK on reinstall, that’d be great. No more digging up some old-ass serial number that sometimes only works with a certain version of an application; then having to reconfigure stuff like entering in my user/pass for different IM networks, updating IRC junk, etc. If Office adopted that, neat, but then again I have less than zero interest in moving to Office 2012 or 2013 or whatever the new one is; I doubt the old versions would be offered in the MS app store and/or updated to have preferences like customized ribbons saved and migrated.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah as key management software… How often do you reinstall Windows though?

    • Game_boy
    • 7 years ago

    It’s part of their plan to never release a single player game again.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    Now, the ‘Steam on Linux’ idea gets interesting.

    Microsoft: We’re locking other software sounces out of Metro.
    Valve: We’re taking out software store to other platforms.

    Seems fair. With a Linux Steam client, Microsoft is cut completely out of the loop–no OS, no app revenue.

    Valve can leverage the relationships they have with the developers/publishers of the software they sell and, probably, help provide porting support.

    Hell, it might even be worth moving to Ubuntu from a decade and a half (or so) of Fedora/Redhat.

      • stmok
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Valve can leverage the relationships they have with the developers/publishers of the software they sell and, probably, help provide porting support.[/quote<] They're doing more than that. Valve knows Linux's graphics driver infrastructure isn't really up to scratch for the commercial gaming industry. They are actively doing things to change this. For the past few weeks, they have been closely working with Intel, AMD, and Nvidia engineers to enable features of OpenGL spec (which were previously missing and needed by game developers); as well as doing some serious analyzing and tweaking to ensure Linux will perform at its potential. Some of these changes are sent upstream to the Linux Kernel project itself...Which will eventually trickle back to future versions of distros. They even flew Intel engineers (those responsible for Sandy/Ivy Bridge graphics open source drivers), to Valve headquarters in order to work together more productively. ie: Allowing Intel engineers access to the source code of Left 4 Dead 2; so everyone can look at where the performance bottlenecks and issues are, then working together to resolve them. Result? * Intel's IGP open drivers improve. (As does AMD/Nvidia closed-drivers). * Linux OpenGL performance and feature support gets better. * Valve will have an alternative platform option in the long term. From an overall perspective, Microsoft wants to emulate Apple's success. (They are a business; they exist to make money and appease shareholders). That is to say, Apple has created their ecosystem where they control the hardware design, decides who makes it, and software/content distribution for their platforms. A consequence of this approach is that such actions threatens third-party distribution solutions in the long term, like Steam. Valve has decided to take matters into its own hands. Linux gains something tangible from the action. Intel/AMD/Nvidia wins, as games means hardware sales.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        I agree with the majority of the sentiment here, but I don’t think MS will get into the hardware business. In their ideal world, they probably would want to, but it would alienate all their hardware partners and open the door for a new competitor.

          • Scrotos
          • 7 years ago

          MS can do what they want to. No, seriously. You think Dell or HP are going to magically stop selling Windows-based PCs in protest that MS is releasing their own laptops and desktops and tablets? That would be suicide for their PC business.

          Apple could kill clone competition by stopping licensing ROMs back in the day. But MS doesn’t own any BIOS that enables PCs to work so they don’t have that control. (Amiga also had that control, btw) However, even though MS doesn’t have that licensing or technical control, they have massive market control.

          Alienate their hardware partners? HAH! What are they gonna do, cry to momma? I bet MS would do this in a way to carefully skirt antitrust stuff as well; they learned that lesson though the remedy and time it took was just as large a farce as everyone figured it would be.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            Apple almost died because of the clone market. Why do you think they stopped allowing it?

            MS could easily create a BIOS that restricted their next release of Windows, but they are almost entirely a [i<]software[/i<] company, and they've stayed that way for very important reasons. And yes, they probably would explore other options. Linux with Wine would be totally sufficient for most business applications, and although I don't see Linux going desktop mainstream without some major changes, this could very well be the impetus for those changes. MS learned from Apple's mistakes and didn't go into the hardware business, and why should they? Their margins on software are much better. Don't forget that MS bailed Apple out, and it's very possible they wouldn't even exist if it were not for MS, because making the move of eliminating clones was very, very bad in the short- and mid-term. That's not a gamble I think MS should or will make.

      • eloj
      • 7 years ago

      All the big linux distributions already have huge software repos with easy to use UIs for access, as you should know. No only is this not a big thing for me as a Windows user, it’s even less of a thing for me as a linux user.

      It’s not like I’m going to buy some text editor when I already know how to use vim. There’s literally not /one non-gaming application/ that I would be interested in buying on linux.

      Sure, I could say the same for osx/windows, but at least I know there are other people out there buying stuff.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        You might not, but I know people who need Photoshop, Autocad, or MS Office, and couldn’t switch to Linux because of that.

        Obviously Office isn’t going to change, but the other 2 could and that would be a huge blow to MS.

        There’s also things like Turbotax that consumers love that is Windows only.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          Google is making sure this is happening.
          Also OSX is forcing developers to think twice about cross platform.

          And if you find a solution to make it work on two.. its a small step to make it work on 3.

          Linux will get a huge boost from the Metro debacle and OSX rising popularity.

          Making apps that dont work on OSX is not an option ($$$) anymore for developers.

          Time are changing. MS is grasping for air…

          • eloj
          • 7 years ago

          So you think Adobe and Autodesk have been sitting around going “If only there were some third party willing to take a percentage cut on sales of our software on linux, then FINALLY it’d be worth porting it there”?

          I don’t see it. Especially not when it comes to high-cost speciality software like those you mentioned.

          It’d be in a galaxy/time far far away.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            No I don’t think that, how did you get that from my post?

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Just as a note to clarify what I meant, BobbinThreadbare made my point. It’s not for us Linux users, it’s for Windows users who might be tempted to defect.

      • Sahrin
      • 7 years ago

      >Seems fair. With a Linux Steam client, Microsoft is cut completely out of the loop–no OS, no app revenue.

      AKA the existing Steam model. Which will continue to work with Windows 8 – you just can’t develop Metro apps that way. What’s that you say? No games are developed for Metro? Huh.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    so is that their true agenda?

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      You mean they want to make money and survive? yes.

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, pretty much! There should be a synonym in the dictionary for Valve: hypocrites

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Oddly enough it seems “cock” is a synonym for “valve”:

        [url<]http://thesaurus.com/browse/valve[/url<]

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          LOL good one 🙂

            • Scrotos
            • 7 years ago

            Why is their name a synonym for rooster?!?

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          That’s a different thing. Like when I “cock” a revolver, or “cock up” in London, “cock” still wouldn’t mean what you think it is. (I know, english is so confusing even when it is spelled correctly)

    • maxxcool
    • 7 years ago

    Soooooo where is the steam distro? seems next logical step… Steambuntu ? On the other hand the software center in some distros is already pretty damn good so i am not sure how popular they expect this to be.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      How do you figure a Steam distro would be the next logical step?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        There’s nothing logical involved in the figuring that Linux will take over the desktop.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Well of course not, I thought we all agreed that OS X was going to do that. ;D

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            lol- but hell, we can almost expect some flavor of Linux to make it to common desktop usage- it’d just be an expansion of Android!

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Oh God, I hope not. I’d hate to see linux castrated down to Android/Win 8 levels.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            Well, we’ve been hearing that for a decade so far….

        • ET3D
        • 7 years ago

        If Microsoft is adding an app store to the OS, Valve could add an OS to the app store. That makes perfect sense. 🙂

        Besides, Steam Powered Linux would be a good thing for gamers who want Steam taken to the max. Make graphics drivers part of the distro, have Steam already installed, make the desktop show your friends, groups and achievements, … An OS centred around gaming would be a great thing. (Of course, it will need some games, but I believe that if Valve could take a hand in supporting Wine and perhaps including configurations and patches with Windows games, then Linux could become a really good platform even for Windows gaming.)

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Guano! I am still waiting for a distro called Guano!

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        why

          • Grigory
          • 7 years ago

          Penguin dung is guano.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i thought it was bat

            ahh i see it’s both

            • Grigory
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, guano can be a couple of things. Penguin dung is only one of it. Everytime I saw it at farming supplies the bags of guano were sporting penguin images, tho. 🙂

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      suddenly having steam (which already works in wine) on linux is not going to make it suck less for the desktop. it’s not going to magic native linux ports. you’ll still be playing tux racer for the next 10 years.

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        Please stop complaining that Steam sucks. We know you have horrible luck, and that extends to Steam, but damn, it works for the rest of us. And very, very well at that.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          I like steam. I just wish it was better.

          and i just don’t see the major advantage this will bring. there are already digital distribution stores for linux, i guess i’m not sure why valve is doing this.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            For Linux, it seems like they’re bridging a gap- on Windows, they’re offering a service as a third party; what I’m excited about is having a single source across all platforms for games and apps.

            • stupido
            • 7 years ago

            commercials/marketing…

            because if you remember, the main page in steam is the store; where you see all those shiny % reduction on this or that title… 😀
            so just expand that to non-gaming content

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    So, the speculation is confirmed: this is the real reason why The Gabe was making sure to vent some, uh, steam against Windows 8 a few weeks back.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, now we know who it’s actually a catastrophe for: valve.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        No, it’s a catastrophe for end users. Living in vendor-locked worlds suck! I wan’t feedom.
        Then again Valve is vendor-locking everything to Steam, so it’s only a trade-off.

        No real cross platform, vendor independent solution yet.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          I guess I missed where the Windows app store is mandatory. Time to tear out my optical drive because my physical media no longer installs?

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            Good luck finding a physical media, I’m still looking for Skyrim, if you see one, please let me know.

            • tfp
            • 7 years ago

            Are you even trying to look for it? First two places I checked online had it.

            [url<]http://www.amazon.com/Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-Pc/dp/B004HYIAPM/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1344483857&sr=1-1&keywords=skyrim+pc[/url<] [url<]http://www.bestbuy.com/site/The+Elder+Scrolls+V%3A+Skyrim+-+Windows/2095222.p;jsessionid=241BE9921A45C8940B1A27D5EECD1B0D.bbolsp-app01-55?id=1218309073504&skuId=2095222&st=skyrim%20pc&lp=1&cp=1[/url<]

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Skyrim is a steamworks title, you need Steam no matter how you buy it.

            • tfp
            • 7 years ago

            Unless you have a PS3, should be ok there right?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            That doesn’t mean it’s not available on physical media, though, which is what Madman was ranting about.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I didn’t say that, I was just letting him know even if he buys a disk he’s still going to be using Steam.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          Steam will run on OSX, Windows, Linux and offer a cross platform catalog.

          Got Half life3 ? play it on your windows7 machine (what 5 years from now)
          but play it again on linux 10 years from now.

          I think those are realistic numbers 🙂

          What do you do with your metro apps ? put them in the trash.

          • bjm
          • 7 years ago

          These cries against the evil “Vendor lock-in!” has become the Salem witch trial of the tech world. Instead of Abigail Williams screaming “Witch!”, she’s screaming “Capitalist vendor lock-in bastid!” It’s thrown at practically every company or organization that tries to focus its efforts on improving their own platform — as if that is some sort of evil endeavor. If that improvement happens to include any form of software integration, it’s almost guaranteed to be labelled a vendor lock-in effort. And heaven forbid you try to leverage an advantage over a competitor.

          DirectX was labeled a vendor lock-in effort, despite there being no other unified gaming API before it. Flash, despite allowing web developers to easily do things on the web before any standards-based technology, was labelled a vendor lock-in effort. It’s not only proprietary companies either; systemd was labeled a vendor lock-in effort from Red Hat to kill non-Linux POSIX platforms because they dared to take advantage of features exclusive to the Linux API. Canonical has been accused of vendor lock-in because they dared to fork the necessary GTK and GNOME APIs to create Unity. The list goes on…

          Next thing you know, the Tech Report will be labelled a vendor lock-in effort because we can only view their articles at their website. The bottom line is that sometimes vendors offer legitimate advantages to their user base; if they are vendor-specific, then so be it. Yes, there has been legitimate vendor lock-in efforts in the past. But with the way that accusation is being thrown around these days, it’s beginning to lose both its meaning and its teeth.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            Yes!!! Screw the ISO standards, fuck the mofos that mimic patented APIs to support compatibility, sue them for all they’ve got! Everyone wins!

            Microsoft suing Linux and milking it for some “patents”, Apple going for people that “tap the screen”, CUDA and PhysX “only if you own a true GPU”, h264 playback engine only if you use a paying browser, screw the open-source movement, Steam only allowing you to install physical media as they see fit, etc., etc.

            Yes, ahhhhh, the world becomes so much better, instantly!!! Who needs ISO system anyways? My network card is better than your network card, it will run better IP protocol! IPv12 FTW!

            • Scrotos
            • 7 years ago

            There’s an ISO standard for a cross-platform online content distribution and storage system?

            Man, ISO thinks of everything! Good thing they move at the pace of technology, too! I mean, people really wouldn’t roll their own wireless standards based on DRAFT specifications because ISO took so long that it was starting to lose relevance.

            Not even just ISO. I remember all the V.34 draft implementations, V.Fast, V.FC, while waiting for that crap to get ratified.

            Or even look at all the complaints leveled against OpenGL over many YEARS of languishing behind DirectX and hardware capabilities. Much better now, sure, but only just now catching up to what’s on the market.

            Standards bodies are nice but not a panacea for everything.

            • bjm
            • 7 years ago

            I never said screw all of the ISO standards or that of any other standards body. But go ahead, argue with that straw man, I’m sure you’ll beat him.

            Anyway, you’re heavily misrepresenting the contribution of vendors to this industry if all you think they are good for is anticompetitive practices. If 3Dfx waited for OpenGL and DirectX to have acceptable performance, 3Dfx would have never succeeded in the marketplace. OpenGL and DirectX performance at the time was terrible with Windows. DOS and Glide pushed the gaming industry forward until a more standard API came forward. This is the pattern most innovations follow, a vendor introduces a platform specific one then the industry implements a standard version.

            You site CUDA as a vendor lock-in, but what could have Nvidia used? There was nothing like it before. AMD had to come out with their own Close to Metal API, too. Once OpenCL finally came out, which of course followed CUDA’s lead, Nvidia began to adopt it (though still not to the satisfaction of some). Once again, the vendor is pushing the innovation before the standards body. You site the open source movement — did you know that even Linux avoids true POSIX compliancy? Why? Because POSIX move too damn slow. POSIX’s 2008 version adopted features that were common in Linux for years before the version was ratified. Scrotos touched on communication standards for modems and wireless because its the same there.

            Bottom line is, vendors have a legitimate and significant place in this industry, and one part of that is pushing innovation. Yes, some good things have come from a standards body — the Internet protocols being the most significant. But that does not discount the contribution of vendors. If you want a standards compliant, vendor-free platform you got on — the Web. But good luck playing any interesting triple-A games without help from a vendor.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          Wan’t?

    • Neutronbeam
    • 7 years ago

    I LIKE it…could be anything from LibreOffice to .pdf software and lots of other packages. This will let you have your software anywhere, great for switching to a new machine.

    With my files on Google Drive and SkyDrive, and with Google Docs and MSFT’s online Office apps and my calendar online I can work from almost anywhere, and this just adds to the capabilities of virtual me. This could be a big win for Valve.

    Now if they would just the &)(&(^^ get Half-Life 3 out on the Source 2 Engine I’d be as happy as a gravy-suckin’ pig.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      This is what MS was never able to achieve.

      Want to re-install, or do a clean upgrade?
      Do a steam backup, and you can re-install all your apps with ease.

      Try to do that with Windows7 and Metro!

      “Where is my key?” “Why cant I active this?” “Crap, where the CD” “Humm, do I still have the download link” “Why is this taking so long!” etc.. etc…

      Steam fix all those problems, a problem that 4 billion a year and 50,000 programmer at MS couldn’t solve.
      Is Valve full of the biggest genius on earth, or is Microsoft full of close minded geeks? you decide 🙂

      + you get the benefit of a clean one stop shopping experience (with cross platform support)…
      MS relied on monster like towcow and zdnet for windows users to get their software.

      MS, you are just a poor excuse of an OS provider.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        from the beginning MS has advertised the simple backup and reinstallation of metro apps. it’s one of the biggest selling points. you have your MS account, which is tied to your windows login, and you have access to your desktop, with all your metro apps. Why are you posting negative crap about windows 8 CONSTANTLY if you don’t even understand the new feature basics?

          • Scrotos
          • 7 years ago

          Simple backup and reinstallation of Metro apps? Only Metro? Or all “new” Win8 apps? Or only apps from MS’s app store? I haven’t followed Win8 much but I don’t know that their solution is going to be as far-reaching as sschaem is hoping.

          Hrm. Now that I think about it, I think OS X is just about already there, isn’t it. You enter in an AppleID on 10.8 and you can download you app store purchases on a new computer. I don’t really have any OS X app store purchases to try and migrate between systems so I don’t know how well that works or if it stores preferences in the Apple cloud, though.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            the applications tied to your MS account will transfer with your logins, and you’ll have access to them on any internet enabled PC you log into (once downloaded, obviously)

            MS does store your preferences in the cloud, and will download stuff automatically that you currently have installed, but once purchased, allow you to redownload stuff you might not have installed currently.

            it’s EXACTLY what he’s talking about, excepting the “cross platform” support. you can do a complete format of windows, and it’ll auto update your apps and files onto your system, making viruses MUCH less of an issue.

            OBVIOUSLY it doesn’t support things that you don’t get through the MS store. Like steam, it has to have a recorded sale inorder to give you access to it. you dl something through your browser, format, and hope it’s reinstalled you’re going to be out of luck. his entire post is about something that’s built into windows 8. he’s asking for something that is already there, well documented, and can be tried right now on the release preview.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    The only scenario I can think of where this makes sense is if Steam goes mobile as well, but then they might get royal Hell from Google and Apple.

    What non-gaming apps are there that you would not get from a browser, or where Steam would be better than a browser?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      This would be like the 5th android market that I know of if that’s the case, I don’t see Google being particularly upset.

      Yeah, 5th.

      Play
      Amazon
      AppBrain
      GetJar
      Steam(?)

        • codedivine
        • 7 years ago

        You forgot SlideMe.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          THere’s a new one for my list. 😆

    • Walkintarget
    • 7 years ago

    Any chance we can get achievements for those apps, such as … ??

    * Type in l33tsp33k
    * Type 100+ wpm in a word processor
    * Use ‘Backspace’ 5,000 times

      • Myrmecophagavir
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not so far fetched… We already have them in Visual Studio!
      [url<]http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/archive/2012/01/18/announcing-visual-studio-achievements.aspx[/url<]

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        Don’t try this at home achievements are ROFL.

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    These are crazy times.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    On one hand, I’m surprised it took Valve this long to do this, on the other hand, I wish they would have focused on games. The ideal experience for Left 4 Dead and Photoshop are quite different.

      • XTF
      • 7 years ago

      Are they? In what way? I don’t mind simple installations and automatic updates.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        Interaction with other people mainly

          • XTF
          • 7 years ago

          How’s that related to software management like Steam?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Because that’s one of the primary things Valve has tried to do with Steam provide more and better interaction with other players.

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            Didn’t see communication mentioned in the Steamworks support, so why is this an issue? Isn’t the answer blatantly obvious?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            What? My issue is that I want Valve to focus on the best game experience possible. This is is going to necessitate split focus which is worse for me.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            Meh, they’re just putting more crap on the store. Who cares? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

            Less focus? More jobs. This has nothing to do with the game development side of Valve.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            “Meh, they’re just putting more crap on the store.”

            Agreed, which is why I’m mostly ambivalent towards it.

            “Who cares?”

            I do for the reasons I just stated.

            “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”

            I don’t care what they sell, that’s not even was I was talking about

            “Less focus? More jobs. This has nothing to do with the game development side of Valve.”

            Everything in this world has limited resources. Also, I wasn’t talking about Valve making games, I was talking about making Steam a better experience for games, which this most assuredly will cut into because they’ll be crafting an experience for both gaming and productivity now.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            What problems exactly do you have with Steam in its current form? Sure, there is always room for improvement, but really as far as I can tell it just works. It’s been working quite well for several years with very little changes made to the client. The biggest changes we’ve had are SteamWorks, Steam Workshop, and the recently announced Steam Greenlight (which is a gaming focused addition).

            I really don’t think this news changes anything; they have probably been planning this for awhile. If anything it just confirms that Valve dislikes Windows 8 a lot because it will introduce stiff competition they did not anticipate whenever they did their cost-benefit analysis before becoming invested in making this happen.

            I’m willing to bet that porting Steam to Mac and Linux has much more of an impact on diverting their focus to things other than making Steam a better experience, but I don’t see Linux and Mac users complaining. Steam started out as a game store, it will continue to be a game store, and Valve is still a video game company. Additional software will be another source of income that will undoubtedly help to fund their gaming efforts as they push forward. They have shown no signs of changing direction away from gaming, they are simply introducing new products to their catalog.

            They have to devote additional resources to making this happen, sure, but I don’t think it will be that much different than adding more games while still supporting and updating their existing offerings. Maybe at first it will be, but once the infrastructure is in place it will be business as usual for Valve.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t even care that much, it’s just a minor preference.

          • khands
          • 7 years ago

          I dunno, getting pulled away from a project to blow off some steam in TF2 might not be a bad thing.

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Is the ideal *installation / licensing* experience any different?

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    Also in the news, Microsoft starts to sell Windows branded Viagra.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 7 years ago

      With a hard sell? 🙂

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      There is a Metro joke somewhere in there.

    • SkyWarrior
    • 7 years ago

    Ridiculous!

    Valve should be working on bringing HL2 Episode 3 instead of fiddling with people’s productivity. There is no productivity in gaming…..

    None of the corporates will allow steam client to bring software to their client pc’s

      • paulWTAMU
      • 7 years ago

      I’m hoping I can use this to justify Steam on my work laptop…

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        Damn straight!

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      I think its great for end users.. the ‘twocow’ nightmare should have ended a decade ago.

      My issue is if Valve got their hand on the developers wallet.

      I’m fine if they charge for the listing. download service etc…
      But anything based on percentage make me vomit.

        • Scrotos
        • 7 years ago

        The listing and hosting of files for download is what the percentage pays for. Think about the pricing for a moment. You have someone selling a game for $1.99 and it’s 5 GB. What does Valve do for storage and downloading per-copy? Charge a flat rate? Maybe $0.50 per GB to cover bandwidth and make a small profit? That game would cost the developer $0.51 every time someone bought it! What pricing structure do you use that makes it fair among different sizes and pricing models? A percentage makes the most sense.

        And I think most of the industry works on percentage markups and cuts going all the way through publishers, distributors, and retailers. What’s your alternative to keep Steam profitable and able to provide this service if a percentage model makes you sick?

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      Most likely corporations would use their own login for Steam to install apps. Put in policy that employees are NOT to use Steam on company assets for anything besides company work. Most places would have this already in employee handbooks/agreements for software and computer use in general.

      Valve may even be able to provide Steam clients that can be locked down, hell, maybe via GPO or something so that it always logs in a corporate account. Who knows.

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