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Microsoft's latest tactics show Gabe Newell of Valve was right to worry

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Gabe Newell from Valve was quite right to fear about the future when he starting talking up Linux, and now it looks like Microsoft will be trying to push their own store even more.

Microsoft are moving to combine Windows 10 and Xbox One into one platform, and with that the Windows Store will become a bigger thing for them. This is something Gabe Newell of Valve feared, and it looks like it really is starting to become true. While there's nothing wrong with having universal games that work on W10 and XBone, making sure developers have to stick to their store is a problem.

The problem here, is that Microsoft are using their money and their exclusivity deals to keep certain games only on the Windows Store which locks out Steam in the process. There may not be too many doing it yet, but you can be sure over time Microsoft will sign more of these Windows 10 exclusive deals like they have with Quantum Break. Ars actually put it quite well in their article here:
QuoteUnfortunately for Spencer, not only has the PC as gaming platform seen little improvement from Microsoft—bar DirectX 12—but the company's one-platform-fits-all approach simply isn't going to fly on PC. The PC community has its own rules and expectations. Forcing console-like restrictions on a group that values freedom was never going to end well. And now, with those people backed into a corner with Quantum Break—one of this year's most highly anticipated games—the backlash is only going to get bigger.


Steam isn't exactly a picture of freedom, but it is available on the three major operating systems. It's free to sign up for and use with no monthly fee needed. Developers can have their game on Steam as well as any other store. You get to buy once and play on any platform where the game is supported, and so on. Steam in these cases is the lesser of two evils.

Is history about to repeat itself with Games For Windows Live version 2? I doubt it, since the Windows Store is tied in with Windows 10 and with their universal apps it might actually be a success, which again, is trouble for Valve.

I can't imagine Windows Store games selling very well at all, but I'm sure Microsoft will find a way to make it look like it is.

As for me, I'm happy with Ubuntu on my desktop and SteamOS on my Steam Machine for my couch gaming. I personally dual boot with Windows 10, but I won't ever touch the Windows Store. Why would I want to lock myself in like that? I hope others feel the same.

How do you feel about all this? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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adolson 1 March 2016 at 10:10 pm UTC
QuoteHow do you feel about all this?
I don't use Windows so I don't care. I don't understand why ANYONE would want to move from something less restrictive like Steam or GOG, to something that is absurdly locked down like this.

Here is hoping that the developers and publishers push back from this, and stick to existing channels... And Valve needs to push Linux a little more. Taking months at a time to port a single game for another company (Rocket League) does not bode well.
berillions 1 March 2016 at 10:14 pm UTC
There are no reason to worry about developper/games which will cross-platform with a Linux version already planned.
I doubt too indies developpers will go only to Windows Store.

EA and Ubisoft have already their own launcher/store so i doubt they will use *only* the WS.
I'm not afraid about this.
amonobeax 1 March 2016 at 10:18 pm UTC
Well things are getting both scary and interesting as Microsoft make its moves.

Using that Gandhi saying linux users usually use:
1) First they ignore you
2) Then they laugh at you
3) then they fight you
4) then you win.

We're entering the war part boys and it's going to be ugly.

What concerns me is that this speed things up and as I said before I believe our platform will need more time to be ready (I'd say 1,5 year). With Microsoft pushing their software store this hard, forcing ppl to switch to windows10 AND stimulating Dev's to make their games on their store to have XBONE/PC compatibility the pressure on Valve is going to skyrocket.

On the other hand, it seems that we can ALWAYS count on Microsoft to do work for us... Their early Microsoft Store feedback is pretty much TERRIBLE, maybe there's something to do with all the retarded limitations they're imposing. What to say? Microsoft being microsoft, in the end, can make it fall.
I'd enjoy that irony very very much.


Last edited by amonobeax on 1 March 2016 at 10:26 pm UTC
micha 1 March 2016 at 10:18 pm UTC
I think the typical PC games isn't happy about that announcement. I mean it means a few additional titles which would otherwise would be XB-One exclusives. On the downside they lose a lot of freedom.

Console gamers will look very much forward to it. For them it's only good news since they are locked in anyway and MS promises better backward compatibility and more as a result..

My hope here is also that Valve adds up a notch in getting AAA titles to SteamOS. Let's see.
Maokei 1 March 2016 at 10:22 pm UTC
This is a good thing for non linux users to think about as well as developers and publishers. What it means for them when Microsoft is trying to change the game and how valuable it is to have access to another viable platform(osx does not count) rather than allowing Microsoft to set the rules.
Beamboom 1 March 2016 at 10:24 pm UTC
QuoteSteam in these cases is the lesser of two evils

I don't see Steam as evil at all? It's a digital distribution platform - so what? It's even a platform for free software. And like it's said in the article: No exclusivity periods, it's free for the users, it's cross platform, it's proven to be a reliable service, they support Linux.
Where's the evilness?


Last edited by Beamboom on 1 March 2016 at 10:26 pm UTC
edo 1 March 2016 at 10:30 pm UTC
Only any good Halo game maybe would make me to buy games from there, and since Halo reach 2 is on the way I might take the bait if its cheap enough.
But still, thanks to this initiative is than we are finally seeing their exclusive games coming to pc, crippled by the xbox limitations (like lack of .exes to play with and to mod, as happen on xbox and mobile) but its on pc anyway, and of course they wont release it on steam, just like EA and blizzard does with their games.

And related to Quantum Break, that game was supposed to be an xbox exclusivity, so it wasn't going to come to windows at all, not at least until they decided to make it available on the windows store as well. Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo has been known for making exclusive games for their consoles, but at least microsoft is the only one trying to support windows too, I cant see this as a bad thing, remembering than they could just make their games available only on xbox one and not supporting windows at all.
Kimyrielle 1 March 2016 at 10:31 pm UTC
It was inevitable. Apple's success is to no small degree based on the vendor lock-in on the App Store. It allows them to control every single aspect of the market for extra profit, as they gain revenue from every single piece of software sold for their system. I am sure whenever they met for a coffee, MS executives went "Gah, why didn't we lock down our OS while we had the chance? People take that crap from Apple and every gaming console ever made, they would have taken it from Windows as well!". And since ever then they are looking for ways to move in that direction. It doesn't take a crystal ball to foresee the future of Windows, which will be just as locked down as iOS one day. Win 10 was a great step in that direction already. They took away people's control over their systems and can remote patch whatever they want now without people having a chance to decline. With Secure Boot, they technically control what OS a PC can still boot. Gabe Newell isn't a seer and doesn't need to be, he's just a guy who understands how corporate CEOs tick, because he's one of them. The "Open PC" was a fluke of history we need to be grateful for, and it happened only because IBM didn't realize that who controls the OS controls the platform's entire ecosystem. No corporation these days would do it that way again, and if the PC doesn't survive as a computing device, we will never see an open technology platform ever again either. We will have locked down computers, locked down consoles, locked down phones, locked down tablets and locked down cars. In such a world there is no need for companies like Steam and Gabe knows that.
sarmad 1 March 2016 at 10:42 pm UTC
On the other hand, Microsoft probably is doing what it's doing for the same reason that made Valve create SteamOS which is to protect their customer base. With mobile devices growing bigger than ever and Linux maturing Windows is set to lose more and more customers every year and so Microsoft is trying to move into a different model similar to that of Apple, because otherwise it will be hard for Windows to compete if they don't lock their customers into a complete ecosystem that goes beyond just Windows.
Pecisk 1 March 2016 at 10:45 pm UTC
It was quite obvious Microsoft will move forward with their intentions about united store. Interesting however is exclusivity bits. It seems to be a direct hit aimed at Valve. I suspect that Gabe even had insider info regarding this, so that explains Valve calm behavior and not suddenly assuming Microsoft has changed their stance. Turned out, Microsoft really doesn't change their plans. What's good though that this pause in decision making and implementation has given time for Valve and vendors to make Steam Machine a reality, and slowly moving towards improving it step by step.
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