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Thread: Why is Gabe Newell afraid of Windows 8?

  1. #1
    [Level 2: Human] LiquidSolstice's Avatar
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    Why is Gabe Newell afraid of Windows 8?

    Okay, this is a very serious question that's not intended to troll whatsoever, but why is everyone taking Gabe Newell's doomsday predictions about Windows 8 into even the slightest amount of consideration?

    Windows 8 did not stop me from installing and running Steam (which I have right now and am currently playing CoH for the first time thanks to the HIB). So it can't be that he thinks Windows 8 won't "allow" Steam.

    Is it just his assumption that Microsoft will eventually make the whole operating system locked down? If so, on what basis? It's been several revisions since OS X and iOS began to mold together, and even then OS X still does not bar you from installing apps outside the app store. So why the hell would he have reason to believe the most used operating system on the planet that got where it is by being installable on a wide range of configurations and having the ability to run a wide range of applications will suddenly and abruptly (or even gradually) lock it down to the the point where "outside" software can't be installed?

    I have poured over articles about what he thinks and the strongest fear I seem to be able to find is this vague idea that soon Windows will not allow applications outside the Windows store to be installed (which in itself is quite ridiculous). Some sites even speculate that Newell means he thinks Desktop mode might be removed altogether.

    He also seems scared that users will be influenced to buy from the Windows Store rather than Steam, to which my response is "What the actual fuck?" Steam users have been proven to be extremely loyal to their platform. They're not going to go "oh look, Windows Store, I should just get games from there". Does he not have even the slightest faith in his own users?

    Yes, there's a Windows store. Microsoft wanted to do it at some point, and there was no better time to do so than now. When a company like Valve builds their livlihood inside someone else's kitchen, they really shouldn't be surprised if there's a bit of competition. What Valve needs to do is trust that its users (who obtained Steam by downloading it manually and installing it just as they always have been) to stick with them.

    The amount of monumentally colossal backlash that would smite down upon Microsoft if they locked out external applications is far too big of a risk and Microsoft is not stupid; they are very aware of this. Until I see hard facts about how on a technical level Windows is literally preventing the installation and usage of external apps, I hate to say this, but Newell is out of his mind, and for some reason, people seem to be licking up his words as though they're the truth sent straight from god.

    It seems to me that internet users tend to get so riled up by "potential outcomes" that they begin to take predictions to be reality, and that quite frankly is terrifying.

  2. #2
    Well I don't know exactly what he was referring to, his comments seem a bit vague, but personally I've found the interface pretty cumbersome and unintuitive; seems like they've moved from a layout that worked well on desktop to one that works on a phone or some other sort of small-screen set-up and looks pretty but makes a lot less sense on a desktop PC. Also, the idea of moving more towards a closed system when it comes to getting games or any sort of software is disconcerting.

    Pretty good Eurogamer article explaining possible contentions - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...-a-catastrophe

  3. #3
    THE MR.E BIRD
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    I personally dislike how the OS is aimed at touch devices, as I was reading this thread an advert came on showing a kid using a tablet device with 'apps that inspire' for Windows 8. I don't care for any of that. I run applications and use a tower, motherfucker.

    I can understand the apprehension echoed between industry figures, it's not so much where Windows 8 is as where it appears to be heading.

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    [Level 2: Human] LiquidSolstice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzadolphin56 View Post
    Well I don't know exactly what he was referring to, his comments seem a bit vague, but personally I've found the interface pretty cumbersome and unintuitive; seems like they've moved from a layout that worked well on desktop to one that works on a phone or some other sort of small-screen set-up and looks pretty but makes a lot less sense on a desktop PC. Also, the idea of moving more towards a closed system when it comes to getting games or any sort of software is disconcerting.

    Pretty good Eurogamer article explaining possible contentions - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...-a-catastrophe
    I should clarify. I don't like Windows 8 all that much (at least not yet) either, but there is literally nothing that stopped me from installing Steam and I have no hard evidence to believe they ever well.

    All due respect, that Eurogamer article (which I had already read) is full of shit and plenty of holes .

    Just look at this.
    Windows 8 marks a significant step down the road to a closed environment. The new Windows Store is built into the operating system's Metro-style desktop. It's the only way to download apps on Windows RT devices, which exclusively run games bought from the Windows Store.
    ....what? It's a step down a road that no one can see the end of. There are no hard facts on there. While they are technically correct about Surface RT, there's a bloody good reason why you only get software through the Windows Store on Surface RT; it's an ARM-based tablet. It will not (and never will) run x86-based code (basically, every single application you've ever used on Windows). It's Microsoft's "iPad", with the difference being rather than using Windows Phone OS as its primary OS, they're using 8, which is a horribly stupid idea.

    The hard facts are as follow concerning this "can't install outside apps" nonsense:

    A) These tablets are ridiculously expensive, offer very little in the way of value due to small memory capacity (yes, 64 GB is fine on an iPad running iOS, but on a full blown Windows PC? Are you kidding me??), and as of now are very hard to find.

    B) No one is raving about Surface RT. Although they're trying to aggressively advertise it, reliable trends are showing that people just aren't interested, whether due to lack of understanding or just plan lack of interest.

    C) On a touch-screen based device (a medium that Valve has NEVER made games for), Valve is concerned about not being able to sell games? ....what??? Is Gabe expecting that people with a touchscreen RT tablet are going to be playing TF2 on it? PC gamers can't even handle the thought of playing a game with a controller most of the time, why on earth would they want to play their games with a touchscreen or a crappy case-integrated keyboard?

    D) The tablet market is reserved for casual games such as the Angry Birds series. For control mechanisms, people have shown that they don't like console or PC-style games on their touchscreen devices.

    E) It will be an extremely long time before the Surface RT gains traction in the already over-saturated tablet market. Valve has plenty of other platforms it can create Steam on, most notably (and idiotically, because they still haven't done it yet), where is Steam for Android? If he's concerned about the touchscreen market, where are the news articles about Steam for Android being worked on? If they were concerned about widening their platform base, they'd hit already popular platforms such as Android. Instead they are wasting their time away on a living room console and a Linux client beta. This is just incompetence on their part.

    That article is just so utterly poorly written and full of speculation that I get actually angry reading it. "Windows 8 is going down a bad path.....maybe. This one developer is worried.....sort of. But this other developer, he's okay with it and wants other people to try it. Also, Windows 8 has a lot of white space and omg you browse horizontally instead of vertically".

    The only accurate line in that entire article is the following:
    However, was Gabe Newell right to declare Windows 8 a catastrophe? It is far too early to draw any firm conclusions

  5. #5
    Yeah... but isn't the problem more that they're taking the desktop PC in that direction aswell as tablets? I don't think anybody has a problem with the system working on tablets and phones, it's how that affects desktops that's the problem.

  6. #6
    THE MR.E BIRD
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    Pretty much. What works for one does not work for the other.

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    Personally I love Windows 8. It boots really fast, and I get better performance out of my system. Sure, it's a drastic change and there will be a lot of resentment. People don't like change.

    Windows has been the same forever, and this is the biggest change in the UI it has ever seen.

    I'm OK with the change, but I'm used to using a lot of different OSs. I started out with the Amiga, switched to a power mac, then to windows, and I still use linux on my laptop.

    Just because it's not like older versions of windows, it doesn't mean it's bad.

    And the marketing is geared towards touch screens and people connecting. Windows has always had dumb ads that don't apply towards power users.

  8. #8
    [Level 2: Human] LiquidSolstice's Avatar
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    While I'm enjoying reading the feedback, my question actually has nothing to do with how much someone likes or dislikes Windows 8. That's a different discussion. The point I'm making is that Gabe Newell (the head of Valve) for some reason believes that Windows 8 will be the death of PC gaming and I can not find any substantial evidence to back that up.

  9. #9
    [Level 2: Human] Feral Kitsune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidSolstice View Post
    While I'm enjoying reading the feedback, my question actually has nothing to do with how much someone likes or dislikes Windows 8. That's a different discussion. The point I'm making is that Gabe Newell (the head of Valve) for some reason believes that Windows 8 will be the death of PC gaming and I can not find any substantial evidence to back that up.
    He doesn't think that. He just believes that windows will steadily become more closed to development as time goes on.

  10. #10
    ^ that.

    Also, what we were actually discussing was on topic. As I read it Gabe Newell wasn't really speaking as head of valve, he was interpreting how he thinks gamers/PC owners in general will react to Windows 8 - and all the things we've already talked about as problems.

  11. #11
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    I am a PC gamer, and I like Windows 8. That was the point I was making.

    My games run faster, and it's cool having another place to buy games.

    Gabe Newell is against the closing down of the system. He wants freedom, and that's not the direction that Microsoft is heading.

  12. #12
    [Level 9: Chuck Norris]
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    I actually just installed Windows 8 yesterday. For me, it's practically 7 but with a nicer shell and faster boot.

    First thing I did when I got it was to make my account local and install some doodad to get a traditional start menu back.

    As long as all the tablet and appstore bullshit is optional, I can't see anything to worry about. Yet.

    EDIT: One thing I do worry about, though, is the title bar's text being a dark grey. I'm sporting black and I can't see shit.
    Yet.

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    The last time I heard "Windows is dead!" was when Windows 3.x was replaced by Windows 95. Then when Windows 2000 was replaced by Windows XP (its candy-like theme? People hated that. Its new Start menu? People hated that, too). Same old, same old.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Kitsune View Post
    He doesn't think that. He just believes that windows will steadily become more closed to development as time goes on.
    Microsoft would kill one of their core business that way: Selling development services and tools. Nobody uses Windows because it is such a shiny operating system (at least before Win 7, when Windows actually became something I'd call 'not disgusting to look at'), but because there's bazillion of applications running on Windows. Windows always was, is, and will be a *platform*. It was one before people were talking about platforms.

    Microsoft bends over backwards to make software work on new iterations of Windows, even though they can just point to the Windows API docks and say "If you'd stuck with that, you'd've no problems." But that's hard to explain when MS's customer wants to play a game of SimCity 2000. MS was less than happy when Intel said that 16 bit mode will be impossible when their CPUs were in 64 bit mode.

    (To see how nuts MS can go on backwards compatibility, read Raymond Chen's The Old New Thing which is all about backwards compatibility.)

    Especially for MS's big customers (businesses), closing Windows would be really fucking bad, since almost all businesses have proprietary line of business applications that cannot, will not, or must not be ported to new operating systems, or that need to be written yet. If MS closes down Windows, suddenly businesses have no incentive anymore to use Windows (yes, Windows 8 Enterprise can side-load Modern UI apps, but that's only good for *new* software applications). The entrenchment of businesses is why MS is saying "stop using IE6, already", and why Windows 7 Professional included Windows XP mode for free to run applications that won't run on Windows 7 no matter what.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzadolphin56 View Post
    Yeah... but isn't the problem more that they're taking the desktop PC in that direction aswell as tablets? I don't think anybody has a problem with the system working on tablets and phones, it's how that affects desktops that's the problem.
    It enables two things: 1) People don't have to learn two user interfaces (Desktop and Modern UI), when people are already used to the Modern UI from Windows Phone 8. 2) Plug a Windows 8 x86 tablet into a docking station, and *bam* full blown desktop environment where you can write a business report in Office, and, once you are on the road again, review it. All on the same hardware. Businesses will lap that up, since it cuts down hardware and administration costs.

    Newell wants to see Windows 8 die because of the app store: Integrating a Windows account with a Microsoft (web) account is trivial, and using the Windows App Store is trivial as well. More casual, coffeebreak gamers will look there first, and can use the games on any Windows 8 platform they own, where as Steam has to be downloaded, installed, logged into, updated, and games downloaded. Repeat for all of your devices. Fun, this is not.

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    [Level 6: Robot]
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    I'm not a PC gamer but I upgraded to Windows 8 from XP and it's been great. I can see how having a touch screen would be a little more useful with the Start screen but I don't see any other change from the previous OSes. You can use scroll bars to move over, like in any other OS, and after about 2-3 days with Windows 8, I don't even notice a difference. I think the change is so dramatic people are calling it out, saying it's doomed, but I don't think too many people have really given it a chance. Windows 8 is at 2% market share now. I highly doubt all the naysayers have used it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    Newell wants to see Windows 8 die because of the app store: Integrating a Windows account with a Microsoft (web) account is trivial, and using the Windows App Store is trivial as well. More casual, coffeebreak gamers will look there first, and can use the games on any Windows 8 platform they own, where as Steam has to be downloaded, installed, logged into, updated, and games downloaded. Repeat for all of your devices. Fun, this is not.
    That's a bit slanted, isn't it? The platform, whether Windows or Steam, has to be installed once, both require authentication and updates, and games still need to be downloaded or copied between devices. Windows isn't magically enabling cloud gaming here. The only difference is Windows Store comes with the operating system.

    As for the original question, it's a simple matter of business. Microsoft has launched a digital distribution storefront built into its operating system, with preference for any software shopping given to that service. Anyone remember Netscape Navigator? Gabe Newell does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aequitas View Post
    That's a bit slanted, isn't it? The platform, whether Windows or Steam, has to be installed once, both require authentication and updates, and games still need to be downloaded or copied between devices. Windows isn't magically enabling cloud gaming here. The only difference is Windows Store comes with the operating system.
    Which makes it not slanted at all. Yes, Win8 has to be installed. If, and only if, somebody upgrades their OS. Most people don't. They get a new OS with a new PC. And that includes Steam users, or potential Steam users (which is what Newell's concerned about).

  17. #17
    [Level 4: Cyborg] arglactable's Avatar
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    In general, I find that people that have complained about Windows 8 are people that have never used it. Sure, the interface has been changed a bit to make it more in-line with their new Metro theme, but it works fine once you've gotten used to it and you can very easily make it work almost exactly like Windows 7 with the improvements of 8 with third party software (you even run metro apps windowed if you feel the need). It has better performance, essentially everything that made 7 great, minimal compatibility issues that I've encountered, and the option to integrate it with Microsoft tablets, phones, and game consoles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    Which makes it not slanted at all. Yes, Win8 has to be installed. If, and only if, somebody upgrades their OS. Most people don't. They get a new OS with a new PC. And that includes Steam users, or potential Steam users (which is what Newell's concerned about).
    I agree with you, principally. I only took issue with your wording...

    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    More casual, coffeebreak gamers will look there first, and can use the games on any Windows 8 platform they own, where as Steam has to be downloaded, installed, logged into, updated, and games downloaded. Repeat for all of your devices. Fun, this is not.
    ...which seems to imply that the listed inconveniences of Steam are not inherent to modern PC gaming generally, and specifically not applicable to Windows Store games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aequitas View Post
    ...which seems to imply that the listed inconveniences of Steam are not inherent to modern PC gaming generally, and specifically not applicable to Windows Store games.
    And they aren't. A Windows account can be turned into a Microsoft during the Out Of Box Experience (first time setup), and then it's a matter of using the Store *with the same account you use to log into Windows*, which deals with downloading and updating, even logging you into the Microsoft web apps (including the Windows Store).

    Principally the same that Steam does, granted, but Windows Store is for *all* Modern UI applications, from Cut the Rope to OneNote MX. Additionally, you are guaranteed that Modern UI apps run on Windows and Windows RT (Windows for ARM), something which Steam cannot, since Valve can't dictate to EA to make Linux or Mac games.

    Really, Windows Store and Steam don't compare. Google Play does, though. (iTunes and the Mac App Store are not as convergent as the Windows Store is, AFAIK, since they are separate for iOS and Mac OS X, and thus don't compare).

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