Linked by Debjit on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:16 UTC
Games A rumor has been going around for about four months now that Valve is coming out with a Linux version of Steam and had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. However Valve have officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear - there is no Linux version of Steam in development.
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RE: Does it have to be Steam?
by wirespot on Tue 24th Aug 2010 07:24 UTC in reply to "Does it have to be Steam?"
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I wonder what are all Linux distributors waiting for. There are commission money to earn + there is a chance to expand their market penetration if done right.

Not sure what you mean here. Linux distributions already have perfectly good software packaging and distribution systems in place. They are certainly better than anything on Windows (which is why individual software developers are forced to come up with their own DIY distribution mechanisms, on Windows).

Furthermore, there has been no lack of methods (see Linspire's CNR or Ubuntu One) to seamlessly insert commercial software in the normal Linux package management and allow users to download as well as pay for it easily.

Unfortunately, while such methods should be perfectly adequate, I suspect they will not see a lot of success. The fabled niche market that Linux supposedly represents is not it; there's reason enough to suspect that Linux "marketshare" is double that of Apple, and Apple has no problem spinning commercial apps. But their respective app ecosystems are wildly different.

Even more different is the Windows landscape. Lacking a sane software distribution system at OS level for so long, developers got used to creating their own methods of distribution and update. Hence, Steam. This is further complicated by the fact game developers are increasingly paranoid and have resorted to offering more and more content via download only and via protected "black boxes" that attempt to emulate the closed environments of the consoles on the PC.

That does not sit well with the way things work on Linux. I mean, let's think about it for a moment. As a Linux user, one is spoiled rotten into knowing that his or her system is secure, malware free, and all installed files are accounted for. Would I even WANT a rogue piece of software like Steam creating its own little black box on my hard drive? Maybe, if I was a hardcore gamer. But how many people are hardcore gamers? On the PC? On Linux?

So you see, I'm thinking this whole Steam thing is rather a non-issue. Too many implausible and incompatible things stand in the way of gaming on Linux. (By "gaming" meaning, the way big game developers want to do things.)

Steam is obviously interested only in the first part.

"Steam" is not interested in anything since it's a non-sentient piece of software. Did you mean Valve?

Ideally Redhat, Ubuntu and Novel should come up with mutually compatible binary formats so that they don't dig themselves into ever decreasing market niches.

Is there any reliable evidence to the size or evolution of their respective marketshares? Has it been unequivocally been tied to "incompatible binary formats", that allows you to state that?

What do you even mean saying those distros have "incompatible binary formats"? The ELF binary format is quite cross-compatible across the UNIX world, not only Linux.

If you mean "I want to take an executable from one distro and run it on the other" then that's not the term you're looking for. I don't know what that is, or why you'd want to do that. There are apps that can be dropped-in on any distro and they run (see Firefox downloads). But usually, isn't it simpler to install the app from the distro's own repository?

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