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back to article Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

First it was Gartner, now Gabe Newell, the former Microsoft executive and billionaire computer games baron behind Half-Life, has laid into Windows 8. Newell, who oversaw the first three versions of Windows under Bill Gates among other roles during his 13 years at the software giant, has reportedly called the touchscreen-friendly …

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FAIL

I see what you did there!

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy,” Newell is reported to have said.

Means that Valve are dropping all support for Windows?

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Mushroom

Re: I see what you did there!

You know...there are some of us who don't give a rat's arse about computer games...at all.

No...REALLY.

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Megaphone

Re: I see what you did there!

You know...there are some of us who don't give a rat's arse about what you care about...at all.

No...REALLY.

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FAIL

Re: I see what you did there!

Funny...just thinking the same about you Marty Boy.

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Mushroom

Re: I see what you did there!

Catastrophic only for those with a vested interest in their own online app / game store...

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Re: I see what you did there!

Yes, i'm one of them. And i can run windows or linux and i don't care (aside from netflix which i can watch on smart TV).

Thing is - gamers so far been largest group of PC users that HAVE to run windows. If most games start supporting linux, windows may loose at least some of those users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I see what you did there!

Then don't read articles about games, and complain when they're about games, maybe. You're really not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you?

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Re: I see what you did there!

The problem with linux is fragmentation. It's both linux's strength and weakness. Valve can make games for linux but which flavour and distro?

It's almost like linux need a java/emulator type solution. Build a game engine platform and give it to the distros to get running and include, then release the standard engine/platform to the game developers to make the games.

I have enough problems trying to get android software working between version let alone trying to get stuff to run on my PC. Most users expect to install the software and just have it work.

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Re: I see what you did there!

The joke isn't as funny if you make it again. Well said Audi. Absolutely true too.

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Facepalm

Re: I see what you did there!

I've just recently installed, and am now playing Diablo II (II not III) on Linux Mint 13 using Wine. Funny thing is, it plays a lot better now than when I used to play in under Windows, on the exact same machine.

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Re: I see what you did there!

The only reason I run Windows on my home PC is so I can play HL, CS & TF2. If I could run them on Linux then the last hurdle to ditching Windows would be removed. Any other Windows s/w I have that don't run on Linux would be fine running in a VM.

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Pint

Re: I see what you did there!

... there are some of us who don't give a rat's arse about computer games ...

I don't give any part of a rat about computer games ... but I do appreciate that the wants of computer gamers have an impact on the PC industry, so I find articles of this kind interesting even though I don't play games myself.

Beer -- or "first person drinker" as I believe the gamers would have it -- 'cos it's Friday.

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Holmes

Re: I see what you did there!

It's not even will be catastrophic, it's could be catastrophic to some people maybe theoretically. Even if Microsoft could seriously lock people into a you can only buy from us with a massive markup model (i.e. people were Apple-customer levels of stupid) they'd have all sorts of competition issues up the ass.

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Linux

Re: "Fragmentation"?

You mean "fragmentation" such as:

1. somegame-alldistros-1.0.0-i686.tar.bz2

2. somegame-alldistros-1.0.0-x86_64.tar.bz2

Wow! How will Valve manage to cope with building their games for such a "fragmented" range of targets?

Other than architecture (i.e. hardware) differences, which would equally apply to any other multi-architecture capable OS, a static elf binary is a static elf binary, and will run on any Linux distro. In fact they could even get away with producing just the x86 binary, since that'll run just fine on x86_64 too (with 32-bit support libs).

So that's a total "fragment" count of ... one.

Or did you have some other sort of "fragmentation" in mind?

"Fragmentation" my arse.

I'm so sick of seeing clueless Windows dilberts peddle FUD about Linux "fragmentation".

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Re: I see what you did there!

yep, i have no interest in games

but i do have a great interest in security and Linux makes windows look like a festival of fools

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Linux

Re: I see what you did there!

Well with some other apps (take Skype for instance) they support the popular distros (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) which also covers some of the other distros based on the popular distros (yes, I'm aware Ubuntu is based on Debian :-D) and for other distros they can supply a .tar.gz with with statically linked binaries with all the libs compiled on or non-statically compiled maybe with the libs in the archive.

I think for a lot of gamers ditching Windows for Linux they'd probably go for one of the more popular distros anyway (maybe Ubuntu, Fedora etc) and for others on officially unsupported distros they might well know enough to make it work anyway.

I'm not really a PC gamer myself, but I think that might change judging by the prices in the Steam sale. Take Left 4 Dead 2 for instance, I was looking at getting that for the XBOX360 and it's about a quarter of the pre-owned price (from Game) on Steam in the Steam sale. The savings I could make could pay for a better graphics card (currently got some cheapo AMD Radeon card from around 2008 ish).

Rob

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Linux

Re: "static binaries"

That's one way of covering all the bases.

Another is to release the game code itself as Free Software, and just let the distros build and package it themselves, a la most id Software titles. That way they can still sell the game by keeping the data files proprietary, but no platform/architecture is excluded. This also relieves the vendor of much of the effort/cost of maintaining/bugfixing the code, since he now has an entire community doing it for him.

Problem solved.

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Re: I see what you did there! (@ ItsNotMe )

That's not the point. The point is that gaming has been one of the mainstays of the Windows OS at homes, and prevalence of Windows at home PCs has secured Windows as an enterprise OS. Giving a beachhead for Linux at home computers could well spell doom for Windows in the long term. IMHO this is not the best moment for MS to start performing risky experiments with their OS.

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Linux

Re: I see what you did there!

> The problem with linux is fragmentation. It's both linux's strength and weakness. Valve can make games for

> linux but which flavour and distro?

That's not really a problem at all. You can statically link your binaries (removing any lib dependency and version problems) and use LSB and package managers to manage installation. Seriously, this is a non-issue.

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Re: I see what you did there!

Fragmentation? Sorry, I'm sick of hearing that word thrown around. Its like the latest word to get Godwin invoked. :)

Most desktop distro's (by penetration) these days are built on Debian. Very little *effective* fragmentation at that point. Ubuntu has the biggest penetration, so support that (and you get Mint in the process). Done. (which is EXACTLY what it sounds like what Valve is about to do.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I see what you did there!

"Thing is - gamers so far been largest group of PC users that HAVE to run windows."

Lol, no.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I see what you did there!

Not even Nethack?

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Coat

Re: I see what you did there!

All this talk about rat's arses, but does anyone actually have a rat's arse to give, and does the rat get a say in it?

And does anyone actually give a rat's arse about it?

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@vgrig_us

If all Steam gamers switched to Linux, it would see less than a 4% shift in market share.

Serious gaming is a very small market, compared to business PCs, non-gaming home users etc.

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Re: arses (rat)

All this talk about rat's arses, but does anyone actually have a rat's arse to give, and does the rat get a say in it?

No one actually deals in real rat-arses any more, as a quick Google search or Wikipedia check would have shown you. The nominal rat-arse went off the actual rat-arse standard in 1874, since when it has been backed by the faith and credit of the International Rat Association (RatAss). When someone says they "don't give a rat's arse", they're talking about a virtual financial transaction between two accounts, denominated in rat-arses.

Of course, people might refer to exchanging rat-arses on the commodities markets, but those always deal in bulk, so unless someone says something like "I don't give 2000 barrels of rat-arses" they're probably not talking about a physical exchange.

There was an article about all this in the Economist just a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe it was in FT.

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Touch...

I don't know if its really ever going to be practical, but I've had in mind a 'glass' touch sensitive desk as a user interface of the future for some time. Its not really very clear in my mind, but something like a stylus rather than a mouse. I never find a mouse that great for really precise work. I think I'd be happier with an inkless biro that just wrote on the screen. Whether it would replace the keyboard is another matter though.

Perhaps something like docking your mobile device into a slot on the back of the desk and that enables a 3ft by two foot touch sensitive display built into the desk surface...

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Touch...

"Perhaps something like docking your mobile device into a slot on the back of the desk and that enables a 3ft by two foot touch sensitive display built into the desk surface..." -- You sir owe me a new touch-sensitive desk!

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Re: Touch...

I can't imagine sitting hunched over a desk will do much for your posture. Wacom have produced their Cintiq range of monitors with pressure sensitive stylus for quite a few years though. They've got a clever stand so that the screen can be set into a sloped position like a draftsman's desk.

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Re: Touch...

Where would I find 3 by 2 feet empty space area on my desk? Or is it meant for those state companies' CEOs whose desks are never touched by a lever-arch file or a printed document?

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Joke

Re: Touch...

Re: touch sensitive desk... "for some time" would be almost 30 years, then?

Hello, Mr. Dillinger.

...

END OF LINE.

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Re: Touch...

Why would you need to hunch over it? The reason desks are flat today is because things roll off them if they're not. But if it's all digital then there's no reason you can't have it like a drawing board. - they are much more comfortable to work at.

Sadly the cost of something like this will still be too high for the time being. But it would be awesome to have a drawing-board format device. Maybe an A3 version would be affordable.

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Facepalm

Re: Touch...

maybe something with labels representing the target action with colored backgrounds and connecting flows to more relevant data on that action? And have these touch surfaces all over the ship^h^h^h^hplace so anyone can use them. This means a login system known everywhere and maybe even a communications mechanism via voice. While we're at it, lets have a little comm pendant we can just talk to and ask "the computer" questions and get nice female voices answering us. Too bad nobodies thought of that before.

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Re: h4rm0ny

Did you only read the first sentence of my post or something?

http://www.wacom.com/en/products/cintiq/cintiq24hd.aspx

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Touch...

> I think I'd be happier with an inkless biro that just wrote on the screen.

You could have it light-driven. A light... pen

I'm sure there's a patent up for grabs if you try hard enough...

Vic.

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Linux

Re: Touch...

There is perhaps something to like about touch, but I think it's a bit wrong to compare it to a mouse and or a keyboard.

The thing that so easily is forgotten, is for instance, that with a mouse your hand rests, the movement your hand has to do is small and apart from that you have easy input from a least four fingers, and your hand does not hide your screen.

Touch is rather heavy work and very restricted, really, compared to a mouse, and the bigger the screen the longer your hand movement will become.

Touch is very old, (too) used, for instance, on monitors for those dealing with air control.

Right now I can understand touch only on very small handheld devices like cell phones or "industrial" screens used only now and then to define stuff, but not as a constant input.

Now, I did forget to mention the mouse less laptop I use right now, of course, and also Microsoft.

Then about Valve Software, why would they not be interested in a growing market like linux.

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Mushroom

Re: Touch...

Someone already thought of that first:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peSYlJlg14E

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Re: Touch...

I guess it is good for couple of things in air control but they also have big trackballs in use there.

This guy (random) in photo even uses a mouse which I wouldn't prefer.

http://www.sciencephoto.com/image/153337/530wm/C0090656-Air_traffic_controller_at_work-SPL.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: h4rm0ny

> Did you only read the first sentence of my post or something?

> http://www.wacom.com/en/products/cintiq/cintiq24hd.aspx

I think the idea's fine: something like that coupled with a keyboard for typing on when you need to. The 24" of that Wacom wouldn't be big enough though: it's got to be A1 sized or might as well go home. And the pitch would need to be a print-like 300DPI minimum, so overall resolution would have to start at 7k x 5k. And the screen would need to stay stone cold to the touch. So like @h4rm0ny says, the technology's not there yet, but with OLEDs on the way, it probably will be in the next decade or so.

I envisage something like a tablet with a screen that reaches right to all four edges and a stand which couples an array to them together. The on-board processors would seamlessly form a cluster when the individual segments were docked. (Oh, and the segments couldn't have roundy edges as otherwise there'd be annoying gaps - neatly side-stepping any patent abuse from Apple.)

Best get cracking on a decent UI/OS for it now. :-)

(I tried the Win 8 pre release and can tell that's definitely not it.)

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Re: h4rm0ny

"Did you only read the first sentence of my post or something?"

I actually read the first two. I got excited before I reached the third one though and went and posted. Sorry - but we're in agreement so it's okay. ; )

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Re: Touch...

I currently use a touch mouse and a touch keyboard. Its much easier.

I touch the mouse and move it. I touch the keys on the keyboard. Works wonderfully.

Why didn't they think of this 25 years ago?

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Re: Touch...

RINE ENDS HERE!

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WTF?

Misunderstanding

"Certainly Microsoft’s new requirements for future computers could act as a deterrent to new entrants "

Seriously, don't these people read the specs? If your computer runs Windows 7, it will run Windows 8. So at current count, there's over 600 million of them around (MS figures at WPC a few weeks ago). For slates / tablets / things, the hardware is baselined, its a new option for new devices - how is that an issue for compatibility?

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Re: Misunderstanding

I believe they also said that if your machine runs XP it will run Vista, and look how well that worked out.

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Re: Misunderstanding

Well I can say this. My 2002 Windows XP machine is running Windows 8 right now. However unfortunately my Dell Inspiron 1501 wouldn't run Windows 8. In fact its having issues running Windows 7 as the built in Radeon Xpress 1150 chipset is not able to play hulu and netflix shows and movies without freezing up. It works fine on Youtube videos and what games it can run though. And I can use the Aero glass theme with it also.

Wonder if my Windows Vista Compaq would have a problem with Windows 8. It runs Aero Glass also, and seems to be more compatible with Windows 7 than my Inspiron is.

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"Radeon"

Well, there's two-thirds of your problem right there! Go get yourself a proper nVidia adapter, with drivers not developed on the "infinite monkeys banging keyboards" model, and you'll likely find much better results.

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Re: Misunderstanding

I downloaded and installed the first Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I installed it on a rather old computer that is this very minute running Windows 7 very successfully. That was, obviously, a few months ago.

Week before last I downloaded the latest Windows 8 Consumer Preview because I'd couldn't find the first installation disk I'd created and I wanted to try i8 again after a period to see what the changes amounted to. Well young Jedi, guess what? That same computer that is running Windows 7 as we speak, and ran Windows 8 a couple of months ago will not even install the latest Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Seems there's a little thing called PAE, and the machine on which I tried the second download of the consumer preview doesn't have it and the installation fails for that reason. It does however, run Windows 7 beautifully. You see I have a system image I restore when I'm done playing.

BUT ... I found my first Windows 8 Consumer Preview complete with the original key and it did install on the old PC without PAE that runs 7 so well.

Funny thing how what we often know we know we don't really know huh?

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Re: Misunderstanding

"I believe they also said that if your machine runs XP it will run Vista, and look how well that worked out."

I think you have false memory syndrome. Plenty of computers that were running XP could run Vista. And plenty couldn't. It had to do with the age of the computer. I don't believe that MS ever said that just because XP ran on your machine that it met the requirements for Vista. Citation?

But anyway, we can see how well Win8 runs on a machine that runs Win7 because I'm doing it at home on my Desktop and my laptop. In both cases, I actually find Win8 faster. People have backed that up with various performance tests as well.

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Re: Misunderstanding

Yes if you have a computer that runs Windows 7 it will most likely run Win8.

But if you want to sell computers, just being able to run Win 8 is not enough to get you the Windows 8 sticker. If you want the sticker then you have to follow the new rules for stuff like secure boot.

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Gold badge

Re: If your computer runs Windows 7, it will run Windows 8

Broadly true, but there are actually some older boxes that don't have the CPU features (PAE, NX, SSE2) required for Win8 and there's no "non-accelerated-GPU" option anymore either.

But actually I think the article *was* talking about what you call a "new option for new hardware". It's not that it is technically difficult to build what MS are asking of slates and tablets but rather (as the article explains) it is politically a hard nut to swallow for would-be vendors to turn themselves into sub-contractors of "Microsoft Hardware Division", which is what happens if you build a WoA tablet.

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