In an interview hosted by ex-Microsoft game publishing VP Ed Fries at an exclusive dinner function yesterday, Valve’s Gabe Newell slammed Windows 8, calling it a “catastrophe”.
Newell mentioned many other things during the interview, such as all but confirming rumours that Steam will soon sell non-gaming apps, and offering thoughts on wearable computing. However it’s his thoughts on Windows 8 that are particularly damning. When asked about Valve’s motivations for porting Steam to Linux, he replied
“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior.
“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. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. 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 eventuality.”
This is a pretty big call from a man who was once a senior manager at Microsoft, and who’s company has a reputation for being strongly tied to the Windows platform.