Steam Expands Library to Non-Game Software

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Steam Expands Library to Non-Game Software

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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.

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I can see them merging with Linux in the future to form some kind of semi-opensource OS thing. Just a vibe I get after reading this.

Cowabungaa:
I can see them merging with Linux in the future to form some kind of semi-opensource OS thing. Just a vibe I get after reading this.

Valve, with a bit of additional specialized manpower, could make and maintain its own Linux distro...

If there's going to be one alternative to completely ditch Windows as a gaming platform, that would be it.

Greg Tito:
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.

Great. You made me imagine Russell Brand sitting at a computer playing Team Fortress 2 while only wearing socks. And my day was going so well.

Yo, I heard you like having DRM on your DRM and waiving your right to class action lawsuits on waiving your right to class action lawsuit. On Steam we got all that right here and more.

Anyone else disappointed that the beginning of the article didn't read:

"Soon" you will do more than waste time on Steam.

Missed opportunity for a classic Valve joke D:

Greg Tito:
if there's a Steam sale on Microsoft Office, we'll know the end times are at hand.

Adobe CS6 for 9.99$ during the holidays? Oh dear...

Tenmar:
Yo, I heard you like having DRM on your DRM and waiving your right to class action lawsuits on waiving your right to class action lawsuit. On Steam we got all that right here and more.

That made less than no fucking sense.

I'm expecting Visual Studio. It already has achivements!

Am I the only one who thinks this really isn't a good idea? I don't really want to get software through Steam. Maybe through a sister service run by Valve or something, but let Steam be for games.

The only way this would work is if they have the same kinds of connections that allow them to sell as crazy discounts as they have before. If it doesn't have that, it's just a side service that nobody will use.

cidbahamut:
Am I the only one who thinks this really isn't a good idea? I don't really want to get software through Steam. Maybe through a sister service run by Valve or something, but let Steam be for games.

Exactly what I though... I am a little bit disappointed that Valve wants to shift its focus from the gaming industry to general software.

Im just waiting for VALVE OS to be the PC gaming platform

I think its a great idea, i would love to see adobe and stuff on steam, i also love the idea of them getting into the ring now rather than later when ms and apple, google, get strangleholds on the market, plus i am rather curios to see if they can get the whole sale thing working for some of these apps like they do for games, nm what all apps they will be able to carry.

alot of valve head are modders and such tho it kind of makes sense to focus on 3d, graphic, scripting stuff. tools that modders find useful.

This seems like a silly idea, but whatever.

Super sale on Adobe Creative Suite! 80% off! Only 1000!

If we get Steam sales on the autodesk software I will be over the moon about this. Cause that shits expensive!

God.
Steam was meant to be for gaming.

cidbahamut:
Am I the only one who thinks this really isn't a good idea? I don't really want to get software through Steam. Maybe through a sister service run by Valve or something, but let Steam be for games.

My exact thoughts articulated better than I could at this hour.

Should be interesting. While I do feel like adding non games to a game service could muddle steam. I am interested to see what steams digital distribution power can do for this non game software.
Also... let their be e-books, game soundtracks (Listen to bastions soundtrack.) and creative software.

Fappy:
Anyone else disappointed that the beginning of the article didn't read:

"Soon" you will do more than waste time on Steam.

Missed opportunity for a classic Valve joke D:

Greg Tito:
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.

I highly doubt that'll ever happen Tito.
As far as Valve is concerned, the Windows OS has essentially been...

*puts on sunglasses*

... Left 4 Dead
How'd you like THAT Fappy?

score im looking forwad to this. it will be very interesting to see what their initial launch line is.

DVS BSTrD:

Fappy:
Anyone else disappointed that the beginning of the article didn't read:

"Soon" you will do more than waste time on Steam.

Missed opportunity for a classic Valve joke D:

Greg Tito:
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.

I highly doubt that'll ever happen Tito.
As far as Valve is concerned, the Windows OS has essentially been...

*puts on sunglasses*

... Left 4 Dead
How'd you like THAT Fappy?

I approve. Stupid jokes like that make my world go round.

Well I was worried that they'd stripped me of my rights to a class action suit by holding hundreds of dollars' worth of games for ransom, but wow! That totally makes up for that!

Valve, just make your own damned OS already. I'd definitely use it.

SupahGamuh:
Valve, just make your own damned OS already. I'd definitely use it.

Naturally the only programs you'd be allowed to use are ones gained through Steam. It's like over the course of s decade, Valve is planning on outsmarting Windows and Apple.

Lol, funny. He's making his own Win8.

Mr.Tea:

Cowabungaa:
I can see them merging with Linux in the future to form some kind of semi-opensource OS thing. Just a vibe I get after reading this.

Valve, with a bit of additional specialized manpower, could make and maintain its own Linux distro...

If there's going to be one alternative to completely ditch Windows as a gaming platform, that would be it.

I am glad I am not the only one who got that from this article. I could see Valve making Steam and integral part of their own Linux distro with it acting like Ubuntu's Software Center. I think that would actually be a good move. An idiotproof distro made by Valve specifically for gaming(with full driver support for a multitude of cards) could make Linux PC gaming dam near painless. I hate having to deal with Linux when shit goes wrong....

PS: If valve rolls their own distro you know it will have a cool looking base GUI...

So I'll have to start up Steam client and spend 15 minutes watching it repeatedly trying and failing to download an update before I can use my text editor? Yeah - I totally want that.

Or perhaps I want to go through the aggravation of having to cancel my credit card after they leak it again. Even better.

It seems like a pretty sweet idea actually, the cloud service sounds like it's be really useful. Newell makes another step towards world domination.

I would really hope that it would be possible to turn off automatic updating on applications. An auto-update of a game renders a save file unreadable or tries to introduce a feature your video card doesn't like, well, that's a hassle. An automatic update of an application stops supporting a file format because the parent company has had a falling out with someone like Adobe or Sun... that can be a lot of valuable work lost.

I am normally a big supporter of steam but I can't say this is a good thing. I want my gaming platforms to be about games, not other media,software, or bloatware that I see on the xbox dashboard.

Mr.Tea:

Cowabungaa:
I can see them merging with Linux in the future to form some kind of semi-opensource OS thing. Just a vibe I get after reading this.

Valve, with a bit of additional specialized manpower, could make and maintain its own Linux distro...

If there's going to be one alternative to completely ditch Windows as a gaming platform, that would be it.

Considering that the source engine seems to run better on linux than on windows/OSX I get the feeling you will not be the only one jumping ship if this happens...

OT: Steam sales for software as well as games? SIGN ME UP! (Brace yourself wallet...)

Callate:
I would really hope that it would be possible to turn off automatic updating on applications. An auto-update of a game renders a save file unreadable or tries to introduce a feature your video card doesn't like, well, that's a hassle. An automatic update of an application stops supporting a file format because the parent company has had a falling out with someone like Adobe or Sun... that can be a lot of valuable work lost.

See, this is the sort of thing that people should point out to Valve ahead of time, so they can make sure that their contracts with developers specify that non-optional patches are not allowed to strip functionality from an app. 99% of developers wouldn't even think twice about agreeing to that, since nobody plans to need to do that ahead of time.

Not all that surprised by this. I've actually kinda been looking for this functionality from them for a while.

Aren't there a couple non-game software already on the site? Source filmmaker, that one indie developer documentary, some gamer magazines...

Callate:
I would really hope that it would be possible to turn off automatic updating on applications. An auto-update of a game renders a save file unreadable or tries to introduce a feature your video card doesn't like, well, that's a hassle. An automatic update of an application stops supporting a file format because the parent company has had a falling out with someone like Adobe or Sun... that can be a lot of valuable work lost.

You can do it for games, i do it for arma 2 because i rather manually update that with beta builds most of the time.

i do not see why you would not have the same options for apps, after all its pretty standard practice to not deploy point upgrades before they are tested in house before they are generally deployed in most work environments, would only be common sense to offer all or more options for the app store as compared to the games store, do not see why they should differ all that much if at all.

I heard about this on Forbes, and frankly, the more I think about it the more I'm realizing that this move will either be useless or it could have an enormous impact on the software industry as a whole.

The addition of automatic updates, cloud-service integration, up-to-date driver support, Steamworks and Steam Workshop integration, and the possibility of companies like Adobe going to a free-to-use model like gaming uses could lead to sweeping changes to the software industry.

Time will tell how this turns out. Either way, I eagerly await September 5th.

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