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If you’re not already familiar with Gabe Newell, then you’re probably not into the PC gaming scene. Newell is head of Valve Software, creator of popular games like Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half Life, Team Fortress 2, and CounterStrike Source, among others. Of course, that’s not to mention ‘Steam’, which is Valve’s flagship PC gaming platform. It allows users to buy new PC games, transfer save games between computers, and perform all sorts of other useful tasks.
Most people view Gabe Newell as a pioneer of PC gaming and one of its greatest supporters. However, Newell generated some controversy earlier in the week when he announced that Windows 8 would be a “catastrophe” for the global PC industry. He says that Windows 8 will cause top-tier OEMs to exit the market, ultimately leading to the decline of Microsoft and the Windows brand.
Obviously, Steam currently runs on the Windows operating system. However, instead of focusing on optimizing Steam for Windows 8, Newell claims his company will focus on porting Steam to Linux – a free operating system that can be installed on any computer. While Steam will work on Windows 8, Newell wants to ensure that all 2,500 games in the Steam library will also work on Linux. Newell labeled this as a “hedging strategy.”
In other words, Gabe is protecting his company in the event that Windows 8 is a complete failure. He’s hedging his investment against the failure of Windows 8.
Newell’s comments were made at an annual video game conference in Seattle called Casual Connect. Newell revealed his Windows 8 opinions during a chat with AllThingsD.
Earlier in the week, Stardock’s President and CEO Brad Wardell also came down harshly on Windows 8, calling it an unnecessary hybrid between mobile and desktop operating systems. Stardock is one of the PC gaming world’s largest companies. To add more fuel onto the flames, another massive PC gaming company, Blizzard, agreed with Newell’s comments.
Until the final version of Windows 8 is released on October 26, it’s difficult to say who will be right. But one thing is certain: PC gamers will probably go wherever Steam goes. It’s Winter and Summer sales are just too tempting to resist!