Gabe Newell's already expressed his less-than-positive sentiments on the Windows 8 ecosystem. So it's really not much of a surprise that the Steam Box, Valve's own take on the game console, is going to be Linux-based.
According to Valve electronics engineer Ben Krasnow, who hosted a talk at a conference in December, Valve's got quite a few things to reveal in the coming years. Besides confirming the existence of the Steam Box and that it's going to be based on Linux—making it a lot more clear as to why Valve's taken such an interest in Linux recently, such as porting Steam to Ubuntu.
Besides the Steam Box, Krasnow teases that "the hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good gro[u]p of electronic- and mechanics-engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things."
German tech website Golem.de, which attended the conference, speculated that the Steam Box's release could come as early as GDC in March, allowing Valve the benefit of an early announcement before Sony and Microsoft's revealing of Orbis and Durango, respectively. However, a E3 2013 announcement in June is possible as well, though this would mean that Valve would be announcing a console along a slurry of other big news for the gaming industry.