Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Jul 2012 00:28 UTC
Games Valve's Gabe Newall on Linux and Windows 8: "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It's a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality."
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Gabe's sky is falling
by Lion on Thu 26th Jul 2012 11:01 UTC
Lion
Member since:
2007-03-22

"I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
I would love to see some explanation for why he thinks this. It's a great soundbite, but I would love to see it qualified.

"I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market."
I would like to see this explained too. Even dismissing the lack of qualification on the statement, I don't see how this is catastrophic? That reads to me like there is more room for smaller players to step up. Maybe a power shift with the rise of some (currently) second tier players?

"I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."
Here he's unlikely to be referring to the Windows app store and the shift towards a price driven market like that which has seen so many 99c games appear on iOS, as Steam has proven that there's real flexibility available there on the desktop.
If it's more to do with return on investment in specialised hardware like Surface then I guess we'll see. But margins have been shrinking in IT for decades so I don't see this as being a singular catastrophic event either.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gabe's sky is falling
by Chrispynutt on Thu 26th Jul 2012 12:09 in reply to "Gabe's sky is falling"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

I think he means margins in the PC business.

The great white hope of PC hardware has been the Ultrabook. They hoped to get away from wafer thin margins with that. It hasn't worked. Acer for example just had to make a few bad moves and they slumped down the rankings, like HP to an extent.

There is desperation for the PC business to get out of the race for the bottom. By hacking in touch and all that in the next great White hope is in Software, Windows 8. The OEMs are hoping against hope that they can get ahead by enhancing the market they already exist in. Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo have either failed or just not done well in the expanding mobile market.

They want some high margins to give them a buffer against the odd strategic mistake.

If Windows 8 fails, it will be another generation of Windows where the race to the bottom is still in place in a shaky global financial market. It is not unreasonable to think that an Acer or HP PC business could full on fail.

Yahoo was at the top once, everybody needed search and Yahoo was search. The desktop PC market doesn't owe any OEM or OS maker. It just has to do what people want.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Gabe's sky is falling
by kaiwai on Thu 26th Jul 2012 15:48 in reply to "RE: Gabe's sky is falling"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think he means margins in the PC business.

The great white hope of PC hardware has been the Ultrabook. They hoped to get away from wafer thin margins with that. It hasn't worked. Acer for example just had to make a few bad moves and they slumped down the rankings, like HP to an extent.

There is desperation for the PC business to get out of the race for the bottom. By hacking in touch and all that in the next great White hope is in Software, Windows 8. The OEMs are hoping against hope that they can get ahead by enhancing the market they already exist in. Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo have either failed or just not done well in the expanding mobile market.

They want some high margins to give them a buffer against the odd strategic mistake.

If Windows 8 fails, it will be another generation of Windows where the race to the bottom is still in place in a shaky global financial market. It is not unreasonable to think that an Acer or HP PC business could full on fail.

Yahoo was at the top once, everybody needed search and Yahoo was search. The desktop PC market doesn't owe any OEM or OS maker. It just has to do what people want.


Each of the vendors also ignore why Apple can command the margins they do - because they actually are different. What is the difference between a HP, ASUS and Acer? they all run Windows, they all pretty much have the same hardware inside, all their call centres are located in Timbuktu and serviced by a person whose 5th language happens to be English, there is nothing that really makes a user want to stay loyal to that company so is anyone surprised that the only aspect left of their product is price?

The great saviour to the PC industry is consolidation and each vendor developing their own in house operating system - with an ecosystem around that operating system which gives the customer a uniquely HP, Dell or Lenovo experience. When the vendor can control the experience they can ensure that the customers are happy and become repeat customers rather than viewing their products as interchangeable with any other product out there.

Edited 2012-07-26 15:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1