Soon you will do more than waste time on Steam.
Long ago, in the before times, people thought digital distribution of software was a really dumb idea. “We need to buy our software in boxes at a store!” publishers cried back in 1998. Then Valve came out with Steam in 2003 and proved gamers wanted to buy their software from the comfort of their homes wearing only socks. Now Gabe Newell and company want to extend Valve’s reach to non-game software. Starting September 5th, Valve will have applications for sale on Steam that are not just for entertainment. There’s no announcement of what specific applications will be available when the service debuts, but Valve says the launch library will “range from creativity to productivity.”
“The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” said Mark Richardson from Valve. “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.”
Valve also mentioned that the applications will likely take advantage of all the secondary Steam functions such as Cloud space to save documents or projects, Steamworks to allow installation, and automatic updating through Steam. Developers can submit applications to be included in this new service through Steam Greenlight.
Basically, Newell wants Steam to be as diverse as Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Play and maybe even compete with the Windows 8 he hates so much. I’m not sure who will come out on top, but if there’s a Steam sale on Microsoft Office, we’ll know the end times are at hand.