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Windows 10 S might alarm Valve into boosting SteamOS again

Posted by , | Views: 33,854

You might have heard of Microsoft's latest plans (source) to keep people on their own store, with a locked down Windows 10 S mode to be available on all versions of Windows. This is easily a first step towards Windows 10 S being the first version of Windows that users see.

Windows 10 S is essentially a version of Windows 10 that's locked into the Windows Store with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, so you can't really run traditional applications like Steam and so on.

This goes directly back to how Gabe Newell of Valve and plenty of other developers felt about Windows 8. With Newell saying "I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.". There's also Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac who wasn't too pleased with it either, he's now tweeted about this latest issue from Microsoft to say " 'I told you so' doesn't quite cut it. :P". Ladavac also said in a reply "Think about it - if apps need to be adapted for UWP, it might be wiser to just adapt them for OSX/Linux instead.".

It makes sense too, if Microsoft is determined to make Windows more locked-down over time, that's not really good for anyone. Actually investing into Linux gaming, where you have far more control opens you up to many more opportunities.

Apparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.

I hope Valve is keeping an eye on this, and it should certainly make Linux and SteamOS quite attractive again for them. There's good reasons why Valve has kept SteamOS around and plans like this from Microsoft (even if they fall through) will happen again and again. If Microsoft fail, they will wait a while and try it another way.

How long will it be until you have to pay to upgrade to Windows 10 Home, how long before the Home edition doesn't exist? Many questions—questions which should probably alarm people.

Thanks for the tip kellerkindt. Note: Article intro updated after publishing to better reflect my own point.

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127 comments
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Samsai 5 February 2018 at 10:05 am UTC
QuoteApparently, Windows 10 S can be upgraded to a "normal" version of Windows 10 Home for free, but the problem is that Microsoft has said around 60% don't even bother to do the upgrade keeping them locked into the Windows Store.
This stuff right here is just Microsoft preying on the ignorance of its users. Just like the free upgrades to Windows 10, the free upgrade to Windows 10 Home will be gone eventually and all of the people that didn't know to upgrade their OS by then have accidentally locked themselves into using a technically inferior product for no benefit.
MaCroX95 5 February 2018 at 10:11 am UTC
It is on large companies to take a first step into providing Linux support (Ubisoft, EA, Blizzard, Valve) and the users will easily follow especially if linux gets some love by these corporations. The problem is though that they don't wish to invest too much but just take as much money from users as possible. I can also see these companies putting their games on UWP and give Microsoft a % rather than spending a lot of time and resources to port all the games to Linux and promote the platform.

Hopefully I'm wrong though.
Narcotix 5 February 2018 at 10:13 am UTC
[quote=Samsai]
Quote...and all of the people that didn't know to upgrade their OS by then have accidentally locked themselves into using a technically inferior product for no benefit.
Oh don't you know how much more secure a system locked down to UWP is? It's rly important to me, I`m even going a step further... I don't use PCs anymore, just regular non-programmable calculators, eat THIS evil hackers!

Meet Windows 10, the OS for people who think their beefy rig should become a console.
namiko 5 February 2018 at 10:30 am UTC
This is pretty egregious. I still remember how difficult it was to wrangle Windows into working the way I wanted on XP and 7, and every new development I hear about now sounds more and more like Microsoft wishing they'd done what the iPhone is doing: a Store the users can't leave.
barotto 5 February 2018 at 10:34 am UTC
Microsoft is trying to lock down Windows since Vista. They'll succeed sooner or later. Thankfully we have alternatives.
julespetrikov 5 February 2018 at 10:35 am UTC
I don't use Windows for production at all but I'm going to be that guy.

I can hardly think of any cases where SteamOS and Windows 10S could be competitors in any way. SteamOS is not designed to be an everyday-usage Operating System while Windows 10S was and still is nothing more than an embedded and/or mobile Operating System that is a direct competitor to ChromeOS. SteamOS on the other hand is designed to be a multimedia system for living rooms. This comparison is like putting Android in the same basket as BSD-like PS4. They are different.

Microsoft's next step is clearly the Polaris project and it won't be locked to only UWP applications and/or only Microsoft Store applications. That would be quite absurd in any situation. That is going to be the competitor to Desktop Linux, not SteamOS. SteamOS has no competitor, it runs PC games.

Look, I don't like Windows at all. It's a fine OS but less configurable, update system is a mess and is not something I would use for my everyday tasks. But let's not compare apples and oranges here. Windows 10S highly unlikely to affect Valve's vision of Steam Machines. If they have a slightest plan in their minds about SteamOS, it would be about home entertainment of all sorts, not exclusively gaming.
Zlopez 5 February 2018 at 10:37 am UTC
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I'm glad that I'm not using Windows anymore. I deleted it from my disk when Windows 10 upgrade became available.

If they lock themselves I hope this will be their undoing.
gnanini 5 February 2018 at 10:42 am UTC
I really doubt big companies will quit windows. It requires hardware makers (I'm talking about gpu's here) to apply their resources on linux...
liamdawe 5 February 2018 at 10:44 am UTC
julespetrikovI don't use Windows for production at all but I'm going to be that guy.

I can hardly think of any cases where SteamOS and Windows 10S could be competitors in any way. SteamOS is not designed to be an everyday-usage Operating System while Windows 10S was and still is nothing more than an embedded and/or mobile Operating System that is a direct competitor to ChromeOS. SteamOS on the other hand is designed to be a multimedia system for living rooms. This comparison is like putting Android in the same basket as BSD-like PS4. They are different.

Microsoft's next step is clearly the Polaris project and it won't be locked to only UWP applications and/or only Microsoft Store applications. That would be quite absurd in any situation. That is going to be the competitor to Desktop Linux, not SteamOS. SteamOS has no competitor, it runs PC games.

Look, I don't like Windows at all. It's a fine OS but less configurable, update system is a mess and is not something I would use for my everyday tasks. But let's not compare apples and oranges here. Windows 10S highly unlikely to affect Valve's vision of Steam Machines. If they have a slightest plan in their minds about SteamOS, it would be about home entertainment of all sorts, not exclusively gaming.
We're a gaming site, we're talking about a specific case here of gaming in relation to Valve's store. If you read the source link, they claim to have read a leaked document talking about it. I do suggest reading the source link, which clearly states how it will be locked down to the Windows Store.

A locked-down version of Windows, can and will eat into Valve's profits and share of the market.
wleoncio 5 February 2018 at 10:48 am UTC
I don't think this whole Windows S ordeal is going to be the disaster so many people think, but it can be a great opportunity for Valve (and anyone offering alternatives to Microsoft customers) to jump in and say "hey, take a look at what we have to offer". It's slip ups like these that make a company lose a big chunk of market share.


Last edited by wleoncio at 5 February 2018 at 10:49 am UTC
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