Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Oct 2012 23:34 UTC
Games I'm not 100% sure this is actually word-for-word, but alas. "In a presentation at Ubuntu Developer Summit currently going on in Denmark, Drew Bliss from Valve said that Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming. Windows 8 ships with its own app store and it is moving away from an open platform model." I feel like a broken record by now but here we go again: keep an eye on Valve, even if you're not into games. This is the company pushing NVIDIA and AMD to improve their Linux support, with enough clout and name to actually get stuff done. Valve doesn't mess around.
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I do realize that Gabe Newell is worried about Microsoft pushing for their Windows Store and thereby possibly making Steam less relevant/attractive to customers and therefore Valve has to try to bolster their presence.

Of course he is - but just because he has an agenda doesn't make what he is saying wrong...

Windows Store is not Windows and therefore complaining about it being closed is misguided in this context.

1. Microsoft has publicly and repeatedly proclaimed "the future is metro" to their developers every chance they get.

2. Metro apps can only be distributed legally through the Windows Store (enterprise deployment not withstanding).

3. Windows Store has many arbitrary limitations, the big one being no apps with a content rating above PEGI 16 are allowed. Note that it doesn't say they must be marked as adult, they are not allowed.

4. The vast majority of games that actually make money on Steam have a rating above PEGI 16.

I like Windows 8, and I like Metro. But I don't like Microsoft's policy here at all. They are making it virtually impossible to distribute modern games targeting Metro at this point. Sure, you can still do games targeting win32, but if "the future is metro"...

Just saying the best time to get pissed off about this is before it has time to establish itself. On top of that, Im sure Valve has already tried to convince Microsoft to pursue a different path - the fact that they are ready to jump ship and move to Linux doesn't give me any confidence that Microsoft is going to back down on this...

In short, there is nothing (imo) wrong with app stores in general. There IS something very wrong when the vendor of the OS that apps run on is running the app store... The rage over what the guys in Cupertino did with iOS is nothing but a mild hum - they didn't take something away from their users in order to give them the app store... On Windows the situation is strikingly different - users know the freedom they are potentially giving up.

Even the smell of developers possibly losing the ability to self distribute in the future is going to generate a shit storm, and soon. It has all been theory up to now - as soon as Microsoft applies even a single limitation on win32 apps (and they likely will) the uproar will be chaotic.

Also, I have not heard of side-loading Metro-applications/games being restricted

Yes it is. You can only sideload using one of two methods - you either need an enterprise deployment allowing you to sign the apps with your domain controller, or you need a special "side-loading enabled" product activation key. You also cannot, under either scenario, sideload an app that was acquired through the Windows Store.

Even if you have a side-load activation key, you can only side-load apps that are signed with a key you trust - meaning you can only side-load things you wrote. It is not a viable method for app distribution because the apps must be signed, and if they are not signed by your key you can't load them...

This effectively means that sideloading of metro apps is an enterprise only feature at worst and a geek only feature at best (assuming a way to get such side-load key becomes apparent). Normal consumers simply cannot side-load metro apps at all.

but Linux simply does not work for me for gaming; I want to keep my stereoscopic 3D and surround sound, plus I want to play the games I have already bought.

That may not be true if your favorite company releases a new version of your favorite game, and it doesn't run on Windows anymore... That is not a joke either - that is a very serious possibility. We are not taking about companies like Zynga - I mean real game companies like Blizzard, Valve, Bethesda, Id, etc.

If it comes down to the choice of making the next Skyrim for Linux or being forced to make the next Fruit Ninja for Windows because of Microsoft's Store policies... Well I for one would wager that alot of the guys at those companies will go their own way.

Im not some hysterical "omg the sky is falling" type, I am very pragmatic. There is a real possibility that Microsoft will make promises to leave win32 alone and not rock the boat for game developers - but they have not made that promise yet. They also may modify their store policies to make it more friendly to game developers.

The point is they wont do either of those things without a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of screaming about it. Pretending everything is fine and "trusting" Microsoft is just going to get us another walled garden platform like iOS. If you are a gamer, and you are ok with that, you are seriously missing the forest through the trees...

Edited 2012-10-30 01:32 UTC

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