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Microsoft Store Competes With Valve's Steam

| 25 Nov 2008 16:00
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With Valve's Steam service supplying a growing number of high-profile games, the software king is looking to wage digital distribution war with its own Microsoft Store.

With a company the size of Microsoft, plenty of people in the technology community were surprised that it took until last week for Microsoft to start an online store hosting downloadable goods. The Microsoft Store sells a mix of Microsoft hardware and software, with its entertainment offerings including PC and Xbox 360 games.

Currently, Flight Simulator X is the only title that can be directly downloaded and played. It's a key first step for Microsoft into the PC digital distribution competition, a sector that is currently dominated by Valve's Steam service. Boasting hundreds of high-profile titles from most of the top third party publishers in the industry, Steam has seen incredible success, placing itself in a leadership position for offering full-priced triple-A titles.

Games for Windows Live manager Chris Early isn't quite ready to claim victory or really even entrance into the download fray, but did confirm to Shacknews, "Clearly it's on our road map."

Early is concerned with how to handle digital-rights management for Microsoft's fresh store. "When we get to the place where we do distribute games digitally, will we have a digital rights management system? Maybe," explained Early. "Or maybe we'll just continue to support the industry leaders in that. Because it is a hard thing to do. You talk to any of those companies, and that is their whole company, is doing digital rights management."

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