Valve Hedging Bets on Linux to Avoid Windows 8 "Catastrophe"

Paul Lilly

You may have heard that Valve is hard at work porting its Steam client to the Linux platform, but it's not because the company has developed a sudden affinity towards the open source space. The real reason is because Valve views Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release as a "catastrophe" in the making for the PC industry at large, or at least that's the viewpoint held by Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve.

Newell sat down for a fireside chat at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. AllThingsD was in attendance and posted some interesting, if unflattering (towards Windows 8) quotes from the head of Valve.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," Newell explained . "I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality."

Newell isn't alone in his assessment. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell wrote a piece for Kotaku earlier in the year in which he called Windows 8 a "schizophrenic" operating system unable to decide if its a tablet or desktop OS, and a "usability nightmare" that puts too much focus on touch.

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