Microsoft plans to “relaunch” PC gaming with Windows 8, according to an anonymous source, who said that games will be a “key component” of the software giant’s next operating system.

It’s kind of a familiar refrain, isn’t it? Microsoft, maker of the ubiquitous Windows operating system, vows to ride in and save the day for PC gaming with a commitment to the platform that this time, no kidding around, it really, really means. The interesting twist here, though, is that this particular pledge – which, to be fair, is being made on the company’s behalf by an unnamed source – is based on software that we won’t be able to lay our hands on for the next couple of years.

“Windows 8 will represent a real new push into PC gaming,” the source told TechRadar. “Gaming will be a key component for the whole OS.”

Easy to say, a little harder to do; Bill Gates personally promised the world for PC gaming with Windows 95 and while I don’t think it was quite as bad as some folks make it out to be, it’s sure not what we were expecting, either. On the other hand, Microsoft does seem to be taking the matter a little more seriously; the relaunched Games for Windows Marketplace shows potential, the Age of Empires and Flight Simulator franchises are being revived and Fable 3 is on the way.

But while the Marketplace may be a good first step, I’m still not playing Alan Wake with my keyboard and mouse. I have no doubt that Microsoft can have a huge impact on the state of PC gaming, but whether or not it actually will? That I’m not so sure of.

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