Valve's Gabe Newell predicts Windows 8 will be a 'catastrophe'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The co-founder of hit game maker Valve believes that Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system will spell disaster PC makers, some of which he believes will exit the market altogether.

Speaking at the Casual Connect videogame conference in Seattle, Wash., Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell said his company is interested in bringing its Steam digital storefront to Linux as a way of hedging its bets against a potential failure of Windows 8, according to All Things D.

"I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," Newell said. "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 eventually."

When Windows 8 launches on October 26, it will signal a major change in strategy for Microsoft, which will be building its own touchscreen tablets, called "Surface," to compete with Microsoft's own third-party vendors in the market. Some have also speculated that Microsoft's strategy of offering both ARM-based tablets and traditional computers running Windows 8 will confuse and frustrate consumers, along with the operating system's new Metro user interface.

Windows 8
The new Metro user interface in Microsoft's Windows 8.


Valve also expanded its reach beyond Windows in 2010 when it brought its Steam storefront, as well as some of its most popular games such as "Portal" and "Team Fortress 2," to Apple's OS X. Going forward, Valve plans to simultaneously release all of its games on both Mac and PC, including "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive," which is set to launch on August 21.

While Valve has embraced the Mac, Newell's comments this week at Casual Connect suggest he isn't a fan of Apple's less open platform strategies. He said Valve wouldn't exist today without open platforms that encourage innovation.

"There's a strong temptation to close the platform, because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors' access to the platform, and they say, 'That's really exciting,'" Newell said. "We are looking at the platform and saying, 'We've been a free rider, and we've been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the Internet, and we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms.'"

Newell also revealed he isn't sold on the long-term viability of touchscreen-driven platforms like Apple's iPhone and iPad. He called touchscreen interfaces a "short-term" trend that will be "stable for 10 years."

In what he called a future "post-touch" era, Newell said he believes users will wear bands on their wrists that will enable complex gesture-based controls on future devices.

"You'll be doing something with your hands, which are really expressive," Newell said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 160
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Everything that Microsoft has changed in Windows 8 is wrong.




    Someone correct me. I don't want to be right about that, but I can't seem to remember anything I preferred over earlier versions.

  • Reply 2 of 160
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member


     



     


    I've heard that comment a number of times from different sources but nobody ever goes on to say why it's so bad. Not sure if it's just MS bashing or if Metro really is that bad. Perhaps someone would care to explain what's wrong with the Metro interface. I use Mac and PC with my work so I'm genuinely interested to know.


     


    It's a shame there isn't a 15" iPad or a Mac laptop for £500 - Apple would probably clean up and double their market share if Metro is so bad. 

  • Reply 3 of 160
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,522member


    Win 8 may very well be doomed, but this guy has an agenda. 


     


    He's mostly ticked because app stores that come with the OS compete with Steam. 


     


    The notion that Steam is "open" is laughable. It's a DRM'd app store, just like Apple's or Microsoft's. 

  • Reply 4 of 160
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,608member


    This is the same guy that said this about Apple last year:


     


    "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."

  • Reply 5 of 160
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member


    Valve's Gabe Newell predicts Windows 8 will be a 'catastrophe'


     


    Well is sure as clown-vomit *looks* like one . . .

  • Reply 6 of 160
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    This is the same guy that said this about Apple last year:


     


    "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."



     


    Which is essentially true. 


     


    But folks like it that way. And the also-rans are copying it (or having a helluva time trying.)    

  • Reply 7 of 160
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 650member


    The biggest issue with Windows 8 is how Ballmer and company crudely bolted on the Metro UI and desktop users have to jump through hoops to get around it.  It would be like if Apple updated OS X to show the iOS like Launchpad on boot up and you had to run a Finder app to get the normal desktop back.  Having used Win 8 for months, it's still very annoying.   

  • Reply 8 of 160
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 383member


    I'm quite interested to see how Windows 8 does as well. I haven't used a WP7 phone but it looks like MS has some interesting ideas going on, and with Windows 8, it looks like they're trying to change the basic way we interact with a PCs.


     


    One thing that does bother me a lot about the Metro interface on WP7 phones is the giant waste of space down the right side beside the tiles that just has an arrow on top to show there's more to see. If I have a phone with a large display, I want to make the most of it, and using so much of it as either empty space of the edge of the following tiles seems like such a huge waste. Also, some screens have a Zune like feel where many of the options are in plain text. It might look good, but you still have to read what's there instead of identifying options quickly just by their colours. Regardless, I'm more and more tempted to get my hands on one to see how well it all work

  • Reply 9 of 160
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 530member


    Windows 8 is the best version of Windows ever. It torches Windows 7. But it's also going to infuriate Microsoft's customers, who cling to legacy for dear life. Look what happened to Vista. Vista was streets ahead of XP, but it was fundamentally different because it was by far a more modern OS than the one it was replacing. And so, despite its improvements, the marketplace hated it, because Windows customers are particularly resentful of change. It's entirely conceivable Windows 8 is too radical for its market.


     


    Now, as for Gabe Newell's idea that we will wear bands on our hands and use gestures. No. No no no no no. That is just hilarious. Firstly, people do not want to wear computers (This, incidentally, is also one of many reasons Google Glass will fail catastrophically). Secondly, gestures are cumbersome, inaccurate and inefficient. You'd think someone who spent his life making PC games which relied on the precision, accuracy and efficient of the mouse would know that.


     


    But I guess the crazed dreams of Kinect's engineers have claimed another victim.

  • Reply 10 of 160
    I disagree with Gabe. Microsoft spewed forth Windows Vista on the world, and no major PC OEMs left the Windows PC market for goddamned Linux. Microsoft's customers will simpy cling tenaciously to their Windows 7 copies, the way they wouldn't leave Windows XP back when Vista was released. My belief is that Microsoft will cave and extend the life of Windows 7 well into the 8 era. That's more likely to happen than Dell and HP trying to sell Linux PCs.

    As for the rest of Newell's predictions about Jetsons wristbands and stuff... Really?
  • Reply 11 of 160
    cinder6cinder6 Posts: 38member


    I used Windows 8 CP exclusively for a week, just to see how bad it is.


     


    Verdict: I liked it.  While Metro apps are silly on anything other than a tablet, the desktop is still there and just as usable as before.  I found I actually prefer the start screen over the start menu.  It's much more customizable and acts as a proper, fast launcher.  I don't think it will win over many Apple users, but nor do I think it will make Windows users jump ship in droves.


     


    It does have features other than Metro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8

  • Reply 12 of 160
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 650member


    Here's my prediction for the Windows 8 Launch 


     


    1.  Windows 8 is released for sale and the tech pundits will hail Microsoft for evolving the OS, deep mobile integration, etc. 


     


    2.  Consumers and Enterprise won't listen to the tech pundits, and will scrupulously avoid the Win 8 Metro UI mess.


     


    3.  Realizing that the shilling for Microsoft isn't paying off and to save face, the tech pundits will do an 180 and lambast Ballmer for laying a Windows Vista egg.

  • Reply 13 of 160


    In response to Newell's comments I'd like to quote Paul Thurrott's twitter comment this morning: "You know what else is a "catastrophe," Gabe? Your inability to finish Half-Life 2 Episode 3. Just a thought."


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post


    I'm quite interested to see how Windows 8 does as well. I haven't used a WP7 phone but it looks like MS has some interesting ideas going on, and with Windows 8, it looks like they're trying to change the basic way we interact with a PCs.


     


    One thing that does bother me a lot about the Metro interface on WP7 phones is the giant waste of space down the right side beside the tiles that just has an arrow on top to show there's more to see. If I have a phone with a large display, I want to make the most of it, and using so much of it as either empty space of the edge of the following tiles seems like such a huge waste. Also, some screens have a Zune like feel where many of the options are in plain text. It might look good, but you still have to read what's there instead of identifying options quickly just by their colours. Regardless, I'm more and more tempted to get my hands on one to see how well it all work





    Windows Phone 8 (and the update to current phones Windows Phone 7.8) will not have the gulf on the right side.  It will also include more customizable tile sizes too.


     


    Side Note:  I'm loving ML so far on my Mid 2009 White MacBook.  I'm also running the Windows 8 on my main desktop.  Super pumped to get the final version installed.

  • Reply 14 of 160
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


    Come on Microsoft ! Why don't you invent the post-iPad era ? There is always room for innovation, you know ... (but you have to admit, you can survive without a keyboard ..( in iPad era (as well as post-iPad era ...))

  • Reply 15 of 160
    luxom3luxom3 Posts: 96member


     


     




     


     




    Personally, I'm pulling for Microsoft 8 to be successful. Apple needs competition. It didn't create the iPhone or iPad because it had nothing better to do.


     


    And per the MSFT haters... need I remind you guys... one of MSFT's biggest fans, is the OTHER Steve... Steve Wozniak.

     


     


    Per the Huffington Post July 10, 2012...

     


    These new products are so visually appealing, Wozniak joked, it's as though "Steve Jobs was reincarnated at Microsoft."




    Wozniak, who has noted his admiration for the Windows Phone operating system before, likes the Jobs-esque artistic vision coming out of Microsoft, marveling at what he perceives as a sharp turnaround in quality:


    "I'm glad that Microsoft is starting to show that maybe they're a different company than before," he said. "I don't remember this sort of thing happening in a long, long time from Microsoft."

  • Reply 16 of 160
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member


    Do not misinterpret him. By catastrophe he means what Microsoft is going to do to with Steam if they force all apps to be distributed via Windows Market Place.

  • Reply 17 of 160
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    I think Windows 8 has some “disaster” written on it AND some awesome innovation (Metro) as well. Even if it’s a partial flop, I hope it evolves into great things.


     


    Much of the disaster, for users, is in Microsoft STILL trying to make a tablet and a Windows PC be the same thing. But Newell is talking more about the disaster it may be for (some) Microsoft partners.


     


    That said, Newell is spouting a lot of things in defense of his own CLOSED platform :p (A platform I like—as I do the App Store!)


     


    He’s likely worried that Microsoft might shut down Steam. But I don’t even see Apple doing that (Gatekeeper in Lion is a big step towards showing they intend to keep non-App Store apps alive). Much less Microsoft. But you never know, I suppose.

  • Reply 18 of 160
    galaxytabgalaxytab Posts: 122member
    Total hogwash Gabe!

    After the immediate success of the Metro interface on the smartphone, Microsoft will continue to build upon the success of Metro by shoving it down Windows 8 users throats.
    This ethos continues on from the success of forcing people into Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and the worldwide popular Comic Sans MS font.
  • Reply 19 of 160
    mazda 3s wrote: »
    This is the same guy that said this about Apple last year:

    <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">"They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."</span>

    Gabe should grow a full beard, stop bathing, pick dead skin off his feet and eat it, then call himself Richard Stallman II, king of the Slashdotters.
  • Reply 20 of 160
    A catastrophe .... 

    Strong words from Mr. N. 

    And I agree. 

    XP is everyone's bread & butter -- stable & ubiquitous.  

    All of a sudden, out of nowhere, along comes the trainwreck that is VISTA -- merely meant as a placeholder ["Longhorn"] -- to be quickly replaced by 7, then, while people's head's are still spinning, the throw at user's something more diffrent from 7 than VISTA's diffrent from XP ....

    What else do they expect is gonna happen other than a catastrophe ? 

    In a rapidly changing world, it's comforting to know there will always be
    the dependable insanity that is Mi¢ro$oft ....
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