Sunday, July 29, 2012

Valve calls Windows 8 "a catastrophe"

Valve's co-founder last week called Windows a "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space" while speaking at a gamer's conference in Seattle, WA. Gabe Newell said that he thinks the market is going to lose some OEMs, and that "margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people." The full interview is located here at VentureBeat.

And Valve is not the only company worried about Windows becoming a closed platform. Shortly after Newell's statements, a Blizzard executive chimed in on Twitter to show his support. Both companies are rumored to to be hedging their PC bets with Linux development.

My own thoughts on this are mixed. I've been a Microsoft developer since the day the original IBM PC was released with the first version of DOS. I have been there for every major Microsoft milestone since, and if it's true that Windows is going to become a closed platform, then I might just jump ship to Linux myself.

Many folks don't realize that it was the openness of the Operating System as well as the hardware which helped spark the computer revolution. Since day one, Windows has been mostly documented and mostly open. As a developer I can build and deploy whatever the heck I want to, without asking permission from Redmond. People have built millions of Windows applications: some good, some bad, and virtually all of them free from interference by Microsoft.

Does Windows 8 signal the end of a corporate culture of openness by Microsoft? Is it going to be as hated as Vista?

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