Valve is one of the most successful – and influential – gaming companies around. Valve’s boss, Gabe Newell, has expressed his feelings about Microsoft’s upcoming version of Windows, and they are not good.
In fact, Newell is so worried about Windows 8 that he is predicting major OEM players will bail completely. And Valve is actively looking at porting its Source gaming engine and Steam client to Linux. The hugely popular Valve game Left 4 Dead 2 has already been ported to Ubuntu Linux.
Having Steam and Valve games on Linux might just be the push needed to get Linux gaming off the ground at last. Once Linux is seen as a viable gaming platform, Microsoft will be in serious trouble.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Windows 8 is the disaster predicted by Newell. But Gabe is a smart guy, and he spent some time working at Microsoft. If he’s right, we’re about to witness a major shift in consumer operating system preference.
Update 2012Aug01: Richard Stallman, an outspoken leader of the free software movement, isn’t happy about the idea of non-free games running on an otherwise free software platform. Still, he agrees that if you want to run non-free software, you’re better off running it on a free software platform like Linux.