When it comes to PC’s, Gabe Newell is a man who knows a thing or two, having worked at Microsoft, only to leave and co-found Valve, makers of the ultra popular video games Half-Life, CounterStrike (sort of), Portal and Team Fortress, not to mention creator the online video game content delivery system, Steam. Typically when Newell speak, people, even veterans in the field, take note and listen. In an interview that’s posted over at VentureBeat, Newell, who’s interviewed by another former Microsoft vet, Ed Fries, talks about the upcoming Windows 8 operating system by Microsoft that is due out this October.
While he starts out complimenting Windows and the PC environment, saying that it’s partly responsible for the success of Valve and that of other large companies like Facebook, Zynga, Epic and Id. Each of these companies and hundreds of others, all owe Windows and it’s open environment for their success. That being said, when it came to talking about the new Metro infused Windows 8, Newell wasn’t as praising or as optimistic.
“I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people,” Said Newell.
One of this bigger gripes is how Microsoft is closing Windows 8 off to the developers, essentially following in Apple’s footsteps, to a degree. If users want to install Metro based apps, they’ll only be able to do so via the Windows Store, a store in which Microsoft will curate, deciding which apps will make it and which ones won’t. While users can still install practically anything they want via the normal desktop mode, all of Microsoft’s attention is on the Metro portion of Windows 8, so developers could be in a tough spot on how they want to submit their games/applications.
Another reason Newell could be upset, is at the idea of lost revenue, with Microsoft pushing the Windows Store and the inclusion of XBOX Live in Windows 8, both offering gaming titles and apps to consumers, Valve’s own Steam service could be caught like a deer in the headlights. Average consumers won’t need to download third party software like Steam, seeing how the Windows Store is built in and will offer a large library of titles, which we presume will be priced aggressively.
What do you all think? Could Windows 8 be a catastrophe as Newell claims or are these the words of man who’s worried about his own service and revenue?