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Would You Like Steam RT?

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Would You Like Steam RT?

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Valve drops another bomb – Valve: Linux More Viable Than Windows 8 for Gaming [ubuntuvibes.com]. Quote:

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 not an open platform anymore.

First of all, Windows 8 is still an open platform. Last time I checked you can install Steam without any problems and two “app stores” can coexist peacefully. You cannot install Steam on Windows RT however, since there are platform limitations. You cannot, for instance, install or even run another application from the Windows Store application.

In one scenario, Microsoft could allow linking to an existing Store applications the same way you can link to Windows Phone Marketplace Content and you could then open Marketplace directly from third party applications. But this would then reduce Steam to nothing more than a gallery of apps and you would still have to push application to the regular store with 30% cut going directly to the Microsoft. This makes no sense.

Steam for WinRT would have to have special privileges to install applications and Microsoft would have to forfeit its cut if Steam publishes an application. If Microsoft would allow such thing for one company, what prevents them from allowing same API and same set of functionality for any store application wannabe? Sure, no one obliges them to do so, but think about the potential. You would have Desura, Origin and perhaps even some new store applications which could unleash entire new level of creativity on Windows RT.

But it would also compromise the basic tenets of Windows RT or Windows for Consumers – security, stability and guarantee of quality. Microsoft couldn’t simply let someone else judge what makes a good Windows RT application. On the one hand, they could “outsource” quality checking to third party providers and make sure that all hardships created from bad application fall on such third party store. If user downloads a game through Steam and it crashes, should he or she blame Steam for letting such application to the store or Microsoft, the underlying creator of the entire platform.

On the one hand you could import entire Steam ecosystem on the new platform, something that could boost Microsoft in many ways:

  • You could import your Steam friends directly into the People hub and still maintain friendship whilst playing same games
  • Your already purchased games could be recompiled for the new platform and with touch and location sensors, you could give an entire new dimension to the already existing games
  • Competing platforms could integrate directly through people’s hub and benefit from Share and Search contracts.

But you could also require Steam to give access to its underlying data. There is no API that can read all information from your Steam account and if given for naught, it could increase the value for all participants.

Proponents of open systems would love having everything on a single device. Microsoft could create strategic partnership(s) for mutual benefits. Maybe this is just a dream from a small percentage of the entire potential population and the entire idea is bad from the beginning. But maybe, just maybe, you cloud bridge ecosystems and instead of building yet another walled garden, you could coexist and create a beautiful harmony for the future.





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