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Steam Adding Non-Gaming Titles

Valve announces plans to add non-gaming applications to Steam saying they are set to launch their first set of "software" (what does that make games?) titles to the service on September 5th:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the first set of Software titles are heading to Steam, marking a major expansion to the platform most commonly known as a leading destination for PC and Mac games.

The Software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.

More Software titles will be added in an ongoing fashion following the September 5th launch, and developers will be welcome to submit Software titles via Steam Greenlight.

"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

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73. Re: Steam Adding Non-Gaming Titles Aug 8, 2012, 22:24 WaltC
DarkCntry wrote on Aug 8, 2012, 17:18:
It's really no less a piece of crap than, say, Win7. What is a problem is Metro, but alas, that's easily fixed.

As I see it, Gabe's whole rant on Win8 had to do solely with the 'walled garden' issue he had with the store Microsoft intended on adding, and thanks to this announcement, it makes plenty of sense why he's upset, it's direct competition.

I agree--I've been running the Win8x64 RP released in May alongside Win7x64 in a dual-boot config--and so far, so good.(Release Preview is much newer than the Customer Release build Microsoft released several months ago.) What I think is great is that Microsoft knows it's going to have somewhat of a tough sell for Win8 simply because Win7 is so good and people are a long way from being "tired" of Win7, and Win7 still has *years* of usefulness left in it--so therefore Microsoft will be selling the *top* version of Win8 (the Pro version), including the Win8 Media Player, for $39.95 in a direct download! For Microsoft, that price for a brand-new OS release is history in the making, so I'm in!

As far as Metro goes--for me it's simply that Win8 provides a start page instead of a start menu, and playing around with it I've found it to be much more flexible than the Win7 start menu--which I only use about 5% of the time, anyway. But as you say it is a moot point since there is already a freeware Start menu replacement package available for Win8 that reportedly works just fine. There will be a lot more of those fairly soon I'm sure. The standard Windows desktop in Win8 is just as available and useful as it is Win7, imo.

Gabe's Win8 apocalyptic rant was really over the top, even for Newell (who is frequently over the top.) It's funny how development companies love to build their multimillion dollar businesses on top of the platform that Microsoft provides in Windows, but just let Microsoft stick its nose in there and offer them a bit of competition--which always benefits consumers--and watch 'em bitch & moan & complain and even sometimes run to the government, tail between their legs. Even the folks you would think would have plenty of confidence get really rattled by the possibility of Microsoft competition--or, at least they act like it.

I think Newell is dead wrong--I think Microsoft will use the Microsoft store to close off the Windows phone and tablet software markets, mainly for security purposes, but unlike Apple, Microsoft is not going to insist that its general Windows PC software also be run through the Microsoft store. I think that for PCs it will pretty much be business as usual.

If developers want to channel their PC wares through the Microsoft store they'll have the option of doing that. Or, I'm sure they can channel their wares through Steam and the Microsoft store and retail outlets and any other direct-download services they may want to use, simultaneously. IE, nobody will be locked into the Windows store on the PC side of the fence, and I doubt developers much mind who they give their 30% to, be it retail outlet chains, Steam, or Microsoft, or all three. So I think that what Newell's worried about is the chance that Microsoft is going to offer developers some very attractive perks that their 30% will buy them through the Windows store in terms of services that directly benefit their software--services that it's very likely Valve, and maybe nobody else, is presently offering developers. Microsoft is indeed a tough competitor, but as I say, that kind of competition always benefits the consumer in both the short and long runs, imo.

I can understand Newell being afraid of Microsoft entering Steam's market segment as a competitor--but geez--I don't think I would have told the whole world just how afraid of Microsoft's competition I am! I mean, if he becomes even more frightened, will we have to hear about Gabe peeing his pants, too?

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