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What's the deal with Steam and Windows 8?

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August 30, 2012 1:36:19 PM

So I keep reading about how Gabe Newell doesn't like the Windows 8 platform. I (think i) understand his skepticism but I’m surprised how many people a following this “hate” for Windows 8. The new platform, if anything, makes it better/easier to manage your games. As it stands, STEAM has a perfect design for Windows 7 (or earlier version) but why not embrace “Metro” and start working on a compatible design in line with Metro?

I understand why he would feel “threaten” by the (not so new, simply improved) windows market place built in within Metro but if STEAM were to provide an equal (if not better) interface matching Metro, Stream would do just fine in the Windows 8 world.

Maybe I don’t understand what the heat is all about… please enlighten me.

Thanks,

Alex

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August 30, 2012 1:52:54 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
So I keep reading about how Gabe Newell doesn't like the Windows 8 platform. I (think i) understand his skepticism but I’m surprised how many people a following this “hate” for Windows 8. The new platform, if anything, makes it better/easier to manage your games. As it stands, STEAM has a perfect design for Windows 7 (or earlier version) but why not embrace “Metro” and start working on a compatible design in line with Metro?

I understand why he would feel “threaten” by the (not so new, simply improved) windows market place built in within Metro but if STEAM were to provide an equal (if not better) interface matching Metro, Stream would do just fine in the Windows 8 world.

Maybe I don’t understand what the heat is all about… please enlighten me.

Thanks,

Alex


Based on recent interviews, Blizzard is also worried about Win 8. I haven't seen what Windows 8 looks like in the latest beta, but I think that the way Microsoft designed Win8 includes tightly coupling its own stores the way Apple tightly couples the Apple App Store to MacOSX and iOS. The trend has been to move toward closed walled gardens like Apple OSs. From a marketing strategy point of view, MS is attempting to get into this high-profit segment. The way they are doing it is to leverage their large distribution and future install base and mould Windows to fit their goal. This, I think is the eventuality that Steam, Blizzard and possibly others are worried about. If there is even the possibility that MS is using the same tactics that allowed Internet Explorer to destroy the competition, Steam and Blizzard (and others) should be worried.

I think that is what most of the fuss is about. The other aspects are about how Win 8 has become more "dumbed" down compared to Win 7, and less catered to enthusiasts, a lot of whom supports Steam, Blizzard, etc...
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August 30, 2012 2:15:59 PM

Gabe hates windows 8 partially because the windows live store will compete with steam.

Other reasons he hates it include microsoft adopting the xbox live store model for windows 8, which is hideous, especially for small developers.

For just one example why it's bad- microsoft charges developers tens of thousands of dollars to push a patch to one game on xbox live. Not so bad for EA, but devastating for indie developers and so a lot of games on xbox go unpatched.

Personally, having played with the metro-but-we-can't-call-it-metro-anymore interface for a few weeks now, I personally hate it. You used to be able to run a win7-style interface (albeit in a shell), but microsoft disabled even that. You'd think they would have at least built in a command line app launcher from all the thrid party ones in win7 like slickrun, but no go. Phone/tablet interfaces don't work on the desktop, imo.
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August 30, 2012 2:25:35 PM

Windows 8 represents a radical shift from the current OS. It is a very different approach to OS than was before heavily focusing on gestures and touch. I don't think they are worried much about the "App" store microsoft is providing but are worried about consumer adoption of windows 8 as a whole.

As with vista chances are windows 8 will be skipped by the consumer entirely if it is radically different (no start button, requiring extra hardware to new gestures etc.). With the way microsoft pushes new OSes to OEMs it will be difficult to offer a legacy OS (windows 7) along side windows 8 and could very well mean a substantial reduction of hardware sales, creating a cascading downward spiral in the OEM sector where people will simply not buy new computers because they do not want windows 8.

No new sales, means outdated hardware, can't sell games as well and so on. That's what they are worried about, not the Microsoft eco-system of their store.
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August 30, 2012 2:28:35 PM

Gabe hates Windows 8 because of the awful interface-formerly-known-as-metro. The Steam thing is a just a cover, Gabe is championing humanity as a whole.

Hot corners? HOT CORNERS? Hot pile of crap in my opinion.

Windows 8 AKA Vista 2
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August 30, 2012 2:28:51 PM

quilciri said:
Gabe hates windows 8 partially because the windows live store will compete with steam.

Other reasons he hates it include microsoft adopting the xbox live store model for windows 8, which is hideous, especially for small developers.

For just one example why it's bad- microsoft charges developers tens of thousands of dollars to push a patch to one game on xbox live. Not so bad for EA, but devastating for indie developers and so a lot of games on xbox go unpatched.

Personally, having played with the metro-but-we-can't-call-it-metro-anymore interface for a few weeks now, I personally hate it. You used to be able to run a win7-style interface (albeit in a shell), but microsoft disabled even that. You'd think they would have at least built in a command line app launcher from all the thrid party ones in win7 like slickrun, but no go. Phone/tablet interfaces don't work on the desktop, imo.



That's how I understood it (they also charge something like 30% royalty - though I'm sure it's negotiable - when using they marketplace to push a game). My argument is not with the marketplace itself (I never really liked Live MarketPlace anyways - i own an xbox)... which is why Stream could do very well (with all their deals) as long as they make a Steam version to go with Windows 8 interface...no?

The interface is completely different and I'd expect a huge resistance from Windows users when working with "Metro" (what's the new name anyways?) much like the first time a windows user uses a MAC (extremely frustrating) because you go from a PRO to a Beginner in an instant.

That said, "I" can see Metro taking off as an interface (once we're all use to it). BUT... i do agree that they've taken a lot of "customizables" out of the equation and made it maybe a little too dumb for enthusiasts like me (or many of us).

But going back to the thread...strictly referring to Steam & Windows 8....i think Steam could do very well if it played it's cards right.
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August 30, 2012 2:33:54 PM

I was writing the previous post while you guys could post 2...so sorry if my subconscious has repeated some of your "sayings".

Vista 2 (lol)

I didn’t discuss it (because I felt it would steer of this thread to a whole new direction) but ya, of all markets, the hardware might be affected the most. Then again, any good business knows how to adapt to its market (or change market if it makes sense). So selling less keyboards but selling more touchpads isn’t necessarily bad for a market (me thinks).
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August 30, 2012 2:53:16 PM

I don't think touch interface is going to replace the mouse. Fingers aren't precise enough, ntm with touchscreens - reaching up to the screen every time is more hassle than moving the mouse a couple inches :) 
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August 30, 2012 2:54:47 PM

I am a big fan of the mouseglove idea, though :) 
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August 30, 2012 3:03:08 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
which is why Stream could do very well (with all their deals) as long as they make a Steam version to go with Windows 8 interface...no?

They can just continue with the current Steam. Windows 8 still allows regular non-Metro programs.

Putting anything serious into Metro is a terrible idea not just because of the royalty fee but also because Microsoft gets control of the whole thing, they have to approve the apps and so on. It's a walled garden in all the bad ways.
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August 30, 2012 3:04:52 PM

I will say that I tried the Win8 developers preview, and disliked it. Then I tried the prerelease and hated it since I couldnt bypass the - lets just call it - "new UI."

I have been saying this with my computer enthusiast friends for a while now, but it just feels like Win8 was built to encourage touch screen systems. I am sure it will be wonderful on phones and tablets, but I will never have a touch screen for my PC, making the UI more of a nuisance than anything for me.

I think that sentiment is where a lot of the WinHate is coming from for the typical user. From the developer and gaming/Steam side of things, they arent stupid. They see that this operating system is going to generate a lot of resistance, and as pointed out previously, I think its going to prevent people from buying new PCs because most people are not like the majority on this site who know how to build their own and install whatever OS they prefer, be it Win7 or Ubuntu or whatever else.
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August 30, 2012 3:06:11 PM

Sakkura said:
They can just continue with the current Steam. Windows 8 still allows regular non-Metro programs.

Putting anything serious into Metro is a terrible idea not just because of the royalty fee but also because Microsoft gets control of the whole thing, they have to approve the apps and so on. It's a walled garden in all the bad ways.


I didn't express myself correctly. What I mean was creating a design mimicking Metro (Steam with touch options in their own Steam App) but still be an independent or stand alone program. Otherwise, yes, I agree...Valve would never grow anything in that garden...
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August 30, 2012 3:09:20 PM

Also, there is a bit of a Catch 22 with Windows 8. If Microsoft does like they seem to always do, they are going to release DirectX 12 in the next year so. This means that game developers will be forced to develop in the Windows 8 environment in order to fully utilize DX12 since Microsoft will likely withhold compatibility from Windows 7, at least for a while.
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August 30, 2012 3:10:08 PM

dalmvern said:
Also, there is a bit of a Catch 22 with Windows 8. If Microsoft does like seem to always do, they are going to release DirectX 12 in the next year so. This means that game developers will be forced to develop in the Windows 8 environment in order to fully utilize DX12 since Microsoft will likely withhold compatibility from Windows 7, at least for a while.



I agree BUT... we've all learned our mistakes (at least those who upgraded to Vista for DX10 only to get a huge performance hit while no visuals were that apparent). So if DX12 is anything to DX11 as DX10 was to DX9...then people won't fall for it this time around, especially not developers (me thinks).
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August 30, 2012 3:17:43 PM

Sakkura said:
There's no reason to do so. Metro isn't optimised for PCs, it's for touch devices really. Valve has no reason to make a worse interface.


I disagree. Valve is pushing Steam on Mobile devices as we speak (chat). It's got every reason to make an "alternative" touch friendly design. I'm not saying they should change Steam...just add the features.
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August 30, 2012 3:17:53 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
I didn't express myself correctly. What I mean was creating a design mimicking Metro (Steam with touch options in their own Steam App) but still be an independent or stand alone program. Otherwise, yes, I agree...Valve would never grow anything in that garden...

There's no reason to do so. Metro isn't optimised for PCs, it's for touch devices really. Valve has no reason to make a worse interface.
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August 30, 2012 4:28:21 PM

It sounds to me like W8 is DOA.
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August 30, 2012 4:46:12 PM

dalmvern said:
Also, there is a bit of a Catch 22 with Windows 8. If Microsoft does like they seem to always do, they are going to release DirectX 12 in the next year so. This means that game developers will be forced to develop in the Windows 8 environment in order to fully utilize DX12 since Microsoft will likely withhold compatibility from Windows 7, at least for a while.


That's possible. It's also possible if MS does that, they'll end up with another DX10 on their hands; developers largely ignoring DX12.
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September 7, 2012 12:22:24 PM

Best answer selected by Alex The PC Gamer.
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