Windows 8 - is it really a 'catastrophe'

An authoritative figure in computing, albeit one you may never have heard of, has passed scathing judgement on Windows new operating system, Windows 8.

Gabe Newell (ex windows employee and co-founder of PC gaming giant Steam) voiced his opinion on Windows 8 at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle.

“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.’

Ouch. So what did Windows do to rile Gabe so? Well, it has something to do with Windows threatening  the open nature of the PC, especially PC gaming, an issue Gabe addressed.

“There’s a strong temptation to close the platform [making probable reference to the windows store],” he said, “because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say, ‘That’s really exciting.’”

So, Windows will be in direct competition with Steam come Windows 8,  something Gabe is none too pleased with; but is this the ‘catastrophe’? One would hope not – Gabe does seem to be genuinely concerned for the innovation open platforms offer.

‘In order for innovation to happen, a bunch of things that aren’t happening on closed platforms need to occur. Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform.’

So is Windows 8 a catastrophe for ‘everyone in the PC space’? What do you think? In my opinion, for PC gaming/gamers… perhaps; Steam is a gaming platform and his comments have to be considered in a gaming context, even if Gabe would would have you believe otherwise:

“This isn’t about video games,” he claimed. “It’s about thinking about goods and services in a digital world.”

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