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It's Official: Steam Expanding Beyond Gaming

Last month, users of the Steam app for Android discovered a new batch of categories when using the Search function to find games on Valve's digital distribution platform. Under the "Genre" section, the new listings included Accounting, Animation & Modeling, Audio Production, Design & Illustration, Education, Photo Editing, Software Training, Utilities, Video Production, and Web Publishing. Valve unsurprisingly made no comment about the new discovery.

Until now, that is. The company announced that its Steam platform will offer its first set of non-gaming "Software" titles starting September 5, 2012. Ranging from productivity to creativity, many of these launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save files to the user's personal Steam Cloud space for on-the-go productivity.

"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at 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."

More Software titles will be added in an ongoing fashion following the September 5th launch, and developers will be welcome to submit Software titles via Steam Greenlight, the company said.

As we indicated last month, this could be Valve's assault on Amazon. The two companies are seemingly going head-to-head on the PC gaming front, fighting for the consumer dollar with rock-bottom prices in various promotions. It only makes sense that Valve wants to tackle Amazon on the non-gaming front while also bundling software with its Steamworks features.

Valve may also be gearing up to compete directly with Microsoft. Bossman Gabe Newell has clearly made his feelings public about Windows 8, joining other big-name developers who feel that Microsoft is creating a walled garden with the new Windows platform. Currently Valve has not indicated what software products will be included in the initial launch, or if they will be compatible with the new Windows 8 UI.

Expect to see Valve release details of its initial software lineup soon.

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  • teaser
    It was only a matter of time......
    Reply
  • jahmekan
    Now, do you understand why they were bitching about Win8 and the the Win8 store?
    Reply
  • nullifier
    Very interesting, Steam has (mostly) been a great product for me; I think this is a good direction.
    Reply
  • kcorp2003
    jahmekanNow, do you understand why they were bitching about Win8 and the the Win8 store?
    i think TotalHalibut covered it... http://youtu.be/REC4xwpX26g?t=12m29s

    skip to 12:30
    Reply
  • guzuta
    as long as we keep getting Steam sales on this stuff too, this is awesome
    Reply
  • classzero
    I am very excited, Steam has saved me a lot of money with their sales. It is also great if they offer dobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium and stick with their buy once for all platform stance (Buy and you can use on both mac and pc). This has the potential to save me $1899.00. For those who don't understand $1899.00 for my Wintel and $1899.00 for my Macbook pro vs. only $1899.00 for both platforms. An extra $1899.00 in my pocket makes me a happy guy!
    Reply
  • cscott_it
    classzeroI am very excited, Steam has saved me a lot of money with their sales. It is also great if they offer dobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium and stick with their buy once for all platform stance (Buy and you can use on both mac and pc). This has the potential to save me $1899.00. For those who don't understand $1899.00 for my Wintel and $1899.00 for my Macbook pro vs. only $1899.00 for both platforms. An extra $1899.00 in my pocket makes me a happy guy!
    Unfortunately, I think that in situations where you move from one OS to another it is up to the developer of the cross platform title to okay/approve this. I don't see Adobe green lighting something that like in the near future sadly (I know quite a few graphic design guys that are in the same boat)
    Reply
  • Netherscourge
    Even more reason to stick with XP/Vista/7
    Reply
  • cscott_it
    Now it all makes sense, they don't like having first party competition. Can't blame them either, as it may turn out to be a lucrative software development platform for Microsoft.

    Though I still don't understand the "Even more reason to stick with " You make it sound like because Microsoft is offering an app store directly in it's operating system that won't compete with Steam regarding its game capacity but will (at least initially) trump it's productivity suite is "even more reason"? I get that you aren't switching, I don't get how this is any part of the decision maker...
    Reply
  • Nakal
    guzutaas long as we keep getting Steam sales on this stuff too, this is awesome
    Photoshop CS6 Steam Summer Sale $99!? One could dream I guess.. heh.
    Reply