Gabe Newell Thinks Steam Can Help Mainstream Linux

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tomvw:
I don't see it taking of unless someone implements DirectX on Linux.

You mean like Wine?

OT: As for games on Linux...

Assuming that there's a decent selection, and it's not just Valve's own games, that would be enough to get me to switch back to Linux.

Linux advocate and realist here, yea.. This isn't going to have the impact Gabe wants it too, I'll give him some credit for having the balls to take a shot at it though.

Technical support for Linux is practically impossible, and it's caused by the most important part of Linux distributions, the freedom to choose.

Imagine you're a technical support assistant receiving a support request the first thing you have to ascertain is what DM they are running.. It could be: Unity, Gnome 3, Gnome 2 / MATE, KDE, Cinnamon, XFCE, the list goes on, and there's the consideration that the user may not KNOW what DM they're using! Each one has certain control panel settings in different places. The other solution is tell them to open a console and hope they can follow your instructions.

Once you've finally determined what DM they're using, maybe you'll need to know what graphics card they have (again, the user may not know this), and what driver they're using.. Do they have slow FPS? Are they using proprietary drivers or the open source ones? Could their issue be with dual monitors (which X really doesn't support well, in fact, X is just antiquated crap in general), how should the user get this information to you? You may also need to find out what audio stack they're using (as mentioned in this thread earlier, there are a few of them).

There's also the shift in the desktop paradigm when moving from Windows to a Linux based distribution, something doesn't exist which looks and behaves as windows does, if you know where everything is under windows, you may need to re-learn your OS under linux (admittedly, something which may be required for Windows 8 anyway), but this is what makes development and working with Windows easy.. Everyone is using the same thing which behaves in the same way for everything.

Unlike a lot of tech-savvy people who have the time and patients to learn and research, 95% of the world expect to be able to sit down in front of a computer and have it just work exactly how they expect it too, and how they were taught to use it, if it doesn't, they'll call tech support. They don't *LIKE* choice due to fear that if they make the wrong one they can't go back and they don't like change because they have to invest time into something they've known how to do for years. They don't care HOW their computer works, they just care that it works. It sounds harsh, but that's how these things work.

The solution for this which the Valve team are putting in place is that they'll support Ubuntu, which means they're not supporting Linux, they're supporting a Linux based Operating System, which are two very different things, running Mint, SuSE, Fedora et al. may result in no support being provided for you.

Would I like more people to use linux? Oh god yes, but do I want to be the one supporting them? Hell no. Before we even look at the technical problems of gaming under linux, the fact the entire DirectX stack (Audio + Input + Graphics + etc, remember, DirectX isn't just the graphics, it's a massive bundle of utilities wrapped into one tidy package) has no Linux alternative which is as easy to use, the problems with X11, the problems with the audio stack, the problems with proprietary drivers, we have to simply look at the people. Why would someone consider switching to Linux simply because Windows 8 is bad, when their alternative choice is to sit by and use Windows 7 instead?

Developing for Linux will satiate those who already use linux, and probably have valve games working fine under Wine, but this will do nothing to encourage new users over.

[EDIT]Not to mention that at most games for Linux will get about the same amount of support as that of Macs, there's no way they're going to get many AAA publishers on board, and the game count is going to remain low[/EDIT]

saintdane05:
Problem:

While Steam is available for Linux, how many GAMES on Steam are on Linux?

I have a similar problem with my Mac, where I look at a game on Steam that may be interesting, but then it shows that its Window's only.

Well, it was just announced that Serious Sam 3 will probably be a launch title for Steam on Linux, which is good news. Valve will obviously be porting all their latest titles like TF2, Portal, etc. Also, it is rumored that, based on the wording of the interview, [When he said "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well."], that Valve will be making some sort of Wine-esque Windows emulator for games without native support. This is a little more unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility.

0p3rati0n:

Plazmatic:

Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same... snip.

If I'm not mistaken, both Mac OSX and Linux are unix based. To my knowledge Mac OSX is just a "beefed" up version of linux... just closed off and such. I could be wrong though.

You are correct, but that isn't the point, he kept plugging in mac as if it was linux and then praised it, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but the fact that he did under the guise that no one would notice and that this was certainly not the place for it.

TheSniperFan:

Plazmatic:
Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same, they aren't, basic Linux is not user friendly, even real Linux users will admit that. We aren't stupid, stop trying to plug in your pro Mac bile, and actually contribute to the thread, you hardly have the right to call your self an elitist for using an inferior platform, not because of the user friendly-ness or the pretty colors, but because of the platforms unwarranted price. Oh and you know why Mac's don't get as many viruses? Its because barely any one uses them. And if that changed, it would be incredibly easy to exploit the system.

Could you either:
a) leave this thread and let people discuss who actually know what they're talking about.
or:
b) stop flaming offensive crap and get your facts right before posting.

Some tips:
1. So because you say that it's not user-friendly, it really isn't? Who are you to tell him (and me) if it's user-friendly or not?
2. What are real Linux users for you? People who compile it themselves? Of course that's complicated. *facepalm*
3. You tell him to actually contribute to the thread, while not doing so yourself.
4. Yeah we get it. Macs are overpriced. That's right.
5. Macs profit from their low market share in that case. You're right there too. It's known that Windows has a better security than OSX. That's due to Microsoft having that problem with malware. Certain Linux distributions have even better security than both of them. Linux/OSX malware-rates will explode if one of them becomes "mainstream".

This here is for the majority of people in this thread:
Linux is NO Operating System!
It's a KERNEL!

A kernel has no such thing as "user-friendlyness".

@Plazmatic:
Now tell me:
What's a basic Linux for you? I'm curious...

I love when people completely miss read what you say :)

a) He obviously didn't know what he was talking about, he said linux was user friendly, and you your self kindly state it wasn't, you can see by the context he used it in conjunction with Macs he obviously was trying to plug in Mac praise for no reason.
b) what exactly did I get incorrect?

Some tips:
1. Windows and Mac are both more user friendly than just using Linux, this is not a subjective opinion, this is objective fact. The only time in which this would not have been true is if you had been using linux, and ONLY linux all your life, in which case it still technically wouldn't be more user friendly because, again, approximately 99 percent of desktop users use Macs or PCs
2. you totally missed the point on this one, I was saying the he specifically wasn't a real linux user because of the obvious ways he tried to plug in mac crap.
3. I contributed by getting rid of his usless mac praise, which worked as you can clearly see.
4. only said it once, don't understand the tired tone here.
5. so far you've only been proving my point and telling me why I'm right, this is fairly confusing, though I guess since you completely miss-interpreted my post it makes sense.

TheSniperFan:

This here is for the majority of people in this thread:
Linux is NO Operating System!
It's a KERNEL!

The only people who care about that are you and Richard Stallman.

As you well know, when people say "Linux" they are referring to the to the whole Linux/GNU/Xorg/whatever Window Manager you prefer stack. Moaning about technicalities is pointless and drives people away from Linux because it makes them think Linux users are a bunch of neckbeards with nothing better to do then argue about trivialities.

If you want to make your point, don't rant, just say something like:
"Remember, Linux is just a kernel. By itself it is useless. You need the GNU userspace tools and XOrg to make it into a usable operating system."

Andrew_C:

TheSniperFan:

This here is for the majority of people in this thread:
Linux is NO Operating System!
It's a KERNEL!

The only people who care about that are you and Richard Stallman.

As you well know, when people say "Linux" they are referring to the to the whole Linux/GNU/Xorg/whatever Window Manager you prefer stack. Moaning about technicalities is pointless and drives people away from Linux because it makes them think Linux users are a bunch of neckbeards with nothing better to do then argue about trivialities.

If you want to make your point, don't rant, just say something like:
"Remember, Linux is just a kernel. By itself it is useless. You need the GNU userspace tools and XOrg to make it into a usable operating system."

But you know why I have a problem with that?
When people say that Linux isn't user-friendly, they have some image of Arch, Gentoo or a completely self-made uber-pro Linux in their head. However, putting Arch, Gentoo,... into the same basket with Ubuntu and even Android is bullshit. They also put KDE, Gnome and whatever DM into the same basket. Ones that have completely different goals. Gnome tries to be simple, LXDE tries to be light,...
All I'm trying to say is that people who say "Linux is ..." are horribly generalizing. If one says "Linux is not user-friendly.", my smartphone, notebook and the computer of my sister (who is no "computer-freak" at all) prove them wrong.
There are just way too many flavours of it to say "Linux is ...". Even on the same platform:
PC: Unity != Gnome != KDE != LXDE... and Ubuntu != Fedora != Arch...
Android: CM != HTC Sense != Samsung TouchWiz != MIUI...
and so differs their user-friendliness.

First: Sorry, I was kind of mad yesterday, because of the amount of shit people say in this (and other threads here and on xda). Let me make myself clearer here.

Plazmatic:
Some tips:
1. Windows and Mac are both more user friendly than just using Linux, this is not a subjective opinion, this is objective fact. The only time in which this would not have been true is if you had been using linux, and ONLY linux all your life, in which case it still technically wouldn't be more user friendly because, again, approximately 99 percent of desktop users use Macs or PCs

No, they aren't. You can't define "user-friendliness" objectively. It's something that is highly subjective, because what fits one user and what's liked by him, can totally be hated by somebody else. Search the internet. There is no "universally super-OS". People complain about OSX' lack of customization and that you can't do x that you could in Windows. People complain about Windows when they saw feature y in some Linux OS or OSX all time.
Here are some facts about my personal opinion:
-I used Linux first 2,5 years ago.
-Before that I only used Windows.
-Ubuntu was the first distribution I've used.
-Overall it was more user-friendly for me, while not as polished as Windows. (Many small bugs, nothing fancy)
-After Gnome 3 was released I was like "WTF is this shit".
-However, after using it for a while Fedora 15 became my primary OS for this reasons:
1. It had all the "user-friendliness" Windows had (Aero-Snap,...)
2. It had better hardware support (no need to instally any driver besides video driver)
3. It had more user-friendliness than Windows (Multiple workspaces*, Dualpane and multiple tabs in the file explorer, faster startup/shutdown and login times, updates without rebooting all the time (got better under Windows in 7), perfectly integrating extensions for the UI and package-managing)

*This and this alone is a feature that adds SO MUCH to the user-friendliness of an OS. Chatting with friends while listening to music while browsing Wikipedia and having Office open to write the information down is not even remotely as comfortable under Windows.

Besides that there is Android, which in many points is more user-friendly that WP7 and even iOS.

Plazmatic:
2. you totally missed the point on this one, I was saying the he specifically wasn't a real linux user because of the obvious ways he tried to plug in mac crap.

Okay, sorry.

Plazmatic:
3. I contributed by getting rid of his usless mac praise, which worked as you can clearly see.

Plazmatic:
4. only said it once, don't understand the tired tone here.

Yeah, that was good, but why:

stop trying to plug in your pro Mac bile, and actually contribute to the thread, you hardly have the right to call your self an elitist for using an inferior platform, not because of the user friendly-ness or the pretty colors, but because of the platforms unwarranted price.

instead of:

this is no Mac thread.

Yours was kind of an overkill. ;)

Plazmatic:
5. so far you've only been proving my point and telling me why I'm right, this is fairly confusing, though I guess since you completely miss-interpreted my post it makes sense.

Kind of, except point 1. What I'm trying to say is that user-friendliness cannot be defined objectively. I hope you get my point.

surg3n:
Personally, I'd rather see Steam target Android, for the sake of the budget tablets and PC's, and media players and homebrew projects... and that Ouya console thing as well. Surely there are more people ready to support Android gaming, than Linux gaming!.

Android sucks for anything but phones. The whole Java targeting of Android is absolutely useless for gaming, not powerful enough for PCs or tablets, and is only really useful for quick application development for things that aren't very reliant on processor power.

When the head of one of the most influential businesses in PC gaming is afraid of what the next Windows will bring, you know that's when shit got real.

More worrying, the launch of Windows 8 will be the first without that antitrust suit hanging over Microsoft's head. (Congress brought the suit against Microsoft in 1998, and won).

From what I've heard via the rumor mill Microsoft is going back to integrating Internet Explorer directly into the Shell of Windows 8, and Newell would almost certainly know about this by now (if his company didn't have any Beta environment testing or demos by now, I'd be stunned).

Besides that, I'm curious as to what would spook Newell into so openly stepping on Microsoft's toes like this.
Love him or hate him (or Steam), Windows is essentially his core platform.

Atmos Duality:
When the head of one of the most influential businesses in PC gaming is afraid of what the next Windows will bring, you know that's when shit got real.

More worrying, the launch of Windows 8 will be the first without that antitrust suit hanging over Microsoft's head. (Congress brought the suit against Microsoft in 1998, and won).

From what I've heard via the rumor mill Microsoft is going back to integrating Internet Explorer directly into the Shell of Windows 8, and Newell would almost certainly know about this by now (if his company didn't have any Beta environment testing or demos by now, I'd be stunned).

Besides that, I'm curious as to what would spook Newell into so openly stepping on Microsoft's toes like this.
Love him or hate him (or Steam), Windows is essentially his core platform.

He didn't have any problems stepping on Sony's toes and then he went on to retract his words, as I recall.

Gabe is awesome but not infallible. I have yet to see any details on this matter, it's all been vague and as someone who has been using Windows 8, I just don't see what he's talking about.

With everything going into touchscreen friendliness it will be nice to have an operating system that is designed for a PC... Windows 8 looks like hell... as in worse than Vista... Steam is big enough to make linux legitimate on a gaming level. I am tempted to try it when Steam makes it to Linux... not right away but when they have enough of the bugs worked out =)

Crono1973:

He didn't have any problems stepping on Sony's toes and then he went on to retract his words, as I recall.

Gabe is awesome but not infallible. I have yet to see any details on this matter, it's all been vague and as someone who has been using Windows 8, I just don't see what he's talking about.

While he certainly isn't infallible, he has been in the gaming business for a long time and at more than just the administrative level.

From a business standpoint, it doesn't make much sense...Windows is by far his biggest platform, and Linux, while powerful (hell, I'm typing this up on alt-boot Knoppix install), does not really constitute a major portion of his potential user base.

I just want to know what it is he sees in Microsoft's next platform that has him suddenly blazing on about supporting Linux full-bore.

As for the point about Sony; I don't get it. Sony is pretty high on a list of companies I would avoid making a partnership with if I were touting open-source development, because they are purebred Proprietary dogs.
Why he backpedaled with them, I can only assume that negotiations broke open after he made his statements.

Richard A. Kiernan:

surg3n:
Personally, I'd rather see Steam target Android, for the sake of the budget tablets and PC's, and media players and homebrew projects... and that Ouya console thing as well. Surely there are more people ready to support Android gaming, than Linux gaming!.

Android sucks for anything but phones. The whole Java targeting of Android is absolutely useless for gaming, not powerful enough for PCs or tablets, and is only really useful for quick application development for things that aren't very reliant on processor power.

TheSniperFan:
First: Sorry, I was kind of mad yesterday, because of the amount of shit people say in this (and other threads here and on xda). Let me make myself clearer here.

Plazmatic:
Some tips:
1. Windows and Mac are both more user friendly than just using Linux, this is not a subjective opinion, this is objective fact. The only time in which this would not have been true is if you had been using linux, and ONLY linux all your life, in which case it still technically wouldn't be more user friendly because, again, approximately 99 percent of desktop users use Macs or PCs

No, they aren't. You can't define "user-friendliness" objectively. It's something that is highly subjective, because what fits one user and what's liked by him, can totally be hated by somebody else. Search the internet. There is no "universally super-OS". People complain about OSX' lack of customization and that you can't do x that you could in Windows. People complain about Windows when they saw feature y in some Linux OS or OSX all time.
Here are some facts about my personal opinion:
-I used Linux first 2,5 years ago.
-Before that I only used Windows.
-Ubuntu was the first distribution I've used.
-Overall it was more user-friendly for me, while not as polished as Windows. (Many small bugs, nothing fancy)
-After Gnome 3 was released I was like "WTF is this shit".
-However, after using it for a while Fedora 15 became my primary OS for this reasons:
1. It had all the "user-friendliness" Windows had (Aero-Snap,...)
2. It had better hardware support (no need to instally any driver besides video driver)
3. It had more user-friendliness than Windows (Multiple workspaces*, Dualpane and multiple tabs in the file explorer, faster startup/shutdown and login times, updates without rebooting all the time (got better under Windows in 7), perfectly integrating extensions for the UI and package-managing)

*This and this alone is a feature that adds SO MUCH to the user-friendliness of an OS. Chatting with friends while listening to music while browsing Wikipedia and having Office open to write the information down is not even remotely as comfortable under Windows.

Besides that there is Android, which in many points is more user-friendly that WP7 and even iOS.

Plazmatic:
2. you totally missed the point on this one, I was saying the he specifically wasn't a real linux user because of the obvious ways he tried to plug in mac crap.

Okay, sorry.

Plazmatic:
3. I contributed by getting rid of his usless mac praise, which worked as you can clearly see.

Plazmatic:
4. only said it once, don't understand the tired tone here.

Yeah, that was good, but why:

stop trying to plug in your pro Mac bile, and actually contribute to the thread, you hardly have the right to call your self an elitist for using an inferior platform, not because of the user friendly-ness or the pretty colors, but because of the platforms unwarranted price.

instead of:

this is no Mac thread.

Yours was kind of an overkill. ;)

Plazmatic:
5. so far you've only been proving my point and telling me why I'm right, this is fairly confusing, though I guess since you completely miss-interpreted my post it makes sense.

Kind of, except point 1. What I'm trying to say is that user-friendliness cannot be defined objectively. I hope you get my point.

I see we mostly agree, but what I meant about the user friendly-ness on linux versus Macs and PCs isn't based on the Operating systems you can use with it (because that would make my point entirely mute since both MacOSs and Windows are based on Linux kerneling I believe) I was talking purely on what you your self said about using a kernel being obviously less user friendly than say, kernel + windows. And to be clear, I wasn't saying any operating system, based on actual function, was any better or more user friendly than another (windows certainly has a lot of downfalls that make me want to puke that neither macs nor any others have)

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