Valve's Steam Ditches Internet Explorer for WebKit

User interface overhauls isn't anything new. After all, Facebook users should be accustomed to a ridiculous amount of change. Now it's Valve's turn to give Steam a fresh coat of paint.

An opt-in beta today went live for all Steam users who wish to participate in checking out the new-look Steam.

"We made hundreds of changes to the Steam client as a result of customer feedback on the interface, performance, and functionality," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development at Valve.

The folks at Valve also saw fit to change the rendering engine for the UI, ditching Microsoft for an open source solution.

"We swapped out the Internet Explorer rendering engine with WebKit, which gives us a bunch of size, stability and performance benefits," explained Cook. "This release of Steam leaves us well prepared for another year of strong growth."

Major features:

  • Complete overhaul of Steam client UI design to improve discoverability of features and to better expose all the information related to games in your library
  • Complete overhaul of in-game overlay UI design to create a richer in-game experience exposing context sensitive information related to the game you are currently playing
  • New game details view, presenting a detailed view of all the information for a single game in your library
  • New grid view, presenting a graphical view of your game library
  • New news page in the store/client/overlay which aggregates from Valve related news sites, official community groups, and third-party gaming news feeds
  • New downloads view in the client, making it easier to track your progress downloading new games or game updates
  • New Steam store design, including more integrated community features, improved recommendations, and improved video and screenshots viewing (and much more!)

Click here for more details and to opt-in to the beta if you're a Steam user.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • the_krasno
    I tried it, it crashed. Had to uninstall steam, lost all my games and now have to re download them.

    So fat I'm the only one that had that problem. Oh well, it teaches me this:

  • chrisjust98
    Yeah, I installed it and it runs fine. In fact, it runs faster then the old.
  • kresso
    WebKit is great. I am glad to see steam moving to an open source alternative, I just hope they don't make things more complicated. Added functionality doesn't always equal better functionality.
  • theubersmurf
    Effing finally, but my skins don't work :(. But webkit ftw, now I don't have to install that activex version of flash!!!!!
  • elel
    Open source FTW!

    I'll bet Richard Stallman hates them saying open source, lol
  • randomizer
    Now I can surf the net while waiting for respawns twice as fast and without having to reload pages to get them to render properly (thanks to IE).
  • dheadley
    I really like the new interface and love the much faster start up times and lack of lag in the screens compared to the old UI.
  • JohnnyLucky
    Did someone say open source? That is an interesting turn of events. I wonder how many open source coders are going to play with it.
  • doc70
    the_krasnoI tried it, it crashed. Had to uninstall steam, lost all my games and now have to re download them.So fat I'm the only one that had that problem. Oh well, it teaches me this:BETA = NOT QUITE READY FOR RELEASE, PROCEED WITH CARE.Also, remember this: always do a hdd back-up of the game files; this way you don't have to re-download it all.
  • brother shrike
    So far I love it. Looks great and there're loads of new features. Everything's really elegant, especially the detail view for games and the custom categories for games.

    Couple of things they need to work on, though:
    -seems a little laggy moving the window and scrolling
    -no way to delete categories for games
    -no more slim view for the games window
    -the artwork for games is great, but all of my mods are looking a little bare. Maybe some way for mod devs to add their own custom artwork or for me to do it myself?