Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th May 2010 15:07 UTC
Games "Valve Corporation has today rolled out their Steam Mac OS X client to the general public and confirmed something we have been reporting for two years: the Steam content delivery platform and Source Engine are coming to Linux. This news is coming days after we discovered proof in Steam's Mac OS X Client of Linux support and subsequently found more Linux references and even the unreleased Steam Linux client. The day has finally come and Linux gamers around the world have a reason to rejoice, as this is the biggest news for the Linux gaming community that sees very few tier-one titles." This means Linux users can finally enjoy two of the best games in recent years: Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. BOOMER!
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RE: Great Job Valve!
by wirespot on Thu 13th May 2010 07:12 UTC in reply to "Great Job Valve!"
Member since:

Gaming is probably the last reason for many users to still use windows over linux.

Gaming is a poor metric for what people desire in a desktop. Not an irrelevant one, sure, but incomplete.

I've googled around for some figures and from what I can tell (2yr old results), in America about 40% of computer users play computer games BUT only 1 in 7 of these do so on the computer. The rest are on consoles. (Some figures go as far as 1 in 10.) That means that in America PC gamers are roughly 5% of PC users.

[Please note that by "gaming" I mean actual, fullscreen, "shrinkwrap" games which are played at least 4-10 hours a week, not Flash games or Solitaire etc. played casually. And that the above figures come from sales figures, so they don't account for piracy, which is obviously very hard to measure accurately.]

I would venture to say that in fact Linux does not, anymore, lack anything in particular to be actually useful to the average PC user. It has Open Office which covers the needs of most users, it has a very decent desktop offering (the actual experience, the design, the hardware support, the applications), it is more secure than Windows (yes, even 7).

The users who absolutely must have specialized software which is only available for Windows are borderline cases. Please note that I mean it in the sense of, for example, actual graphical designers who absolutely must have Photoshop on their home PC, not the casual user who pirates Photoshop, only uses 1% of its capabilities and can't be arsed to look for a legal alternative.

What Linux lacks is marketing. Apple and Microsoft spend megabucks in various types of media on maintaining awareness for their operating systems. Linux is reduced basically to word of mouth and perhaps seen as a "techie" term in specialized articles. The average non-geek person is hardly aware of its existence.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Great Job Valve!
by google_ninja on Thu 13th May 2010 12:16 in reply to "RE: Great Job Valve!"
google_ninja Member since:

as of dec 2k9, world of warcraft had 11.5 million subscribers. A casual MMO player is probably 15-20 hours per week, and that is just one MMO (albeit, the biggest)

Linux marketing is totally there, it is just grassroots, which is actually way better then traditional marketing. A lot of people have asked me about it before, because some guy that was at a computer store/in a cafe/fixing their computer/at their work/ etc told them about it and that it was better then windows.

The problem is that its not enough to be "good enough", "as good", or "better". The problem is that only computer geeks actually enjoy learning how to use computers, normal people hate it, and have no problem paying the 130$ or so required for an OEM windows 7, if it means things work more or less the same as they are used to. They also will not use something different from everyone else, because they don't know (or want to know) enough about computers to make an informed choice. A lot of people also have a financial investment into windows, and probably won't want to just throw that away.

Lastly, people really are pretty happy with it. The way most people use their machines, it doesn't really matter what OS they use, windows does the job and they are used to it.

If you really want to be an evangelist, best thing to do is market to the kids and give the adults up as a lost cause. Kids don't buy software, they spend a LOT of time on computers, they are more willing (and better at) learning things about computers then adults, and they don't have to work at a job using windows. If you are successful, the landscape in the next 30-40 years will be different enough that most of the previous things wont apply anymore, and you won't actually be doing people a disservice by trying to push them on to something different.

Reply Parent Score: 3