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  (Source: Valve)
Steam OS -- finally an open-source OS that's capable of serious Windows-compatible gaming

Valve Corp. is set for a packed week as it's rumored to be rolling out three major announcements -- perhaps as part of the "good", "better", "best" program that quasi-CEO Gabe Newell referred to in a January interview.

I. (Finally) a Linux Distro Capable of Serious Windows-Compatible Gaming

The first announcement was made today as Valve unveiled Steam OS, a new custom Linux distribution, with a focus on gaming and Windows compatibility.  Valve says that much of the recent Windows software and game catalog will be supported writing:

You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have - then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!
Access the full Steam catalog of over nearly 3000 games and desktop software titles via in-home streaming.

For the TV streaming Valve has partnered with Miracast, the WiFi coalition for wireless HDTV transmission.

Steam OS
Meet Steam OS, Valve's Windows 8 alternative.

Of course this is not the first Linux distribution to feature support for Windows apps.  The long-standing WINE project has been used by many and provides sufficient compatibilty layering for many older PC game titles.

Initially, this compatibility sounds like it will be delivered via pushing video off your Windows PC to your Steam box (and from the Steam Box to the TV).  But by next year Steam is promising "triple A" (premium) video game titles will be developed natively for Steam OS, removing the Windows crutches and allowing Steam OS to stand on its own.

In other words, Valve is betting this: most gamers have a Windows 7 PC capable of playing current high end titles, but they don't want a Windows 8 PC.  So it's giving them a wireless video-streaming media hub they can use with their existing machine.  And it's evolving that hub in a year or so into a full fledged Windows alternative, offering gamers a gradual path away from Windows 8 and its successors.

Presumably control of the game titles will be done via the mouse/keyboard connected to the Steam Box, although, it remains to be seen if this is indeed the case.

In the meantime gamers get modern 3D action titles for Windows running at reasonable framerates.  That is something no other Linux Windows compatibility project -- not even WINE -- can offer.

II. Tapping the Cloud

The new OS has a heavy cloud-based backbone for backing up your files, updating the operating system without manual management, and syncing gameplay among your various installations.  Valve writes:

Seamless content delivery, storage you don’t have to think about and automatic updates to everything. Switch machines and pick up your game where you left off, and don’t worry about saving your preferences. It’s all in the Steam Cloud.

Valve Half Life 2
Steam OS can run all your favorite Windows 3D Game Titles. [Image Source: Valve]

It remains to be seen how the distro performs in the wild, but Valve is boasting aggressive performance writing:

In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.

Steam hints at upcoming partner hardware -- the so-called "Steam Boxes" (likely to be announced later this week).  It writes:

SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers. Stay tuned in the coming days for more information.

Steam Box

SteamBox back
A reported Steam Box prototype [Image Source: Polygon]

A countdown page points to a Wednesday announcement of these systems.

III. What Can't Steam OS Do?

The big question at this point is what Linux can't do.  Recall that both Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Office is now available in Linux via Office 365 and Adobe System Inc.'s (ADBE) Creative Suite is already available via WINE.  So it's invalid to say you can't switch to a Steam Box because you "can't do real work in Office/Photoshop."
Office 365
Microsoft Office is fully available in Steam OS via Office 365. [Image Source: Microsoft]

Until now, it was true that high-end Windows games were unusable in Linux, but it appears that Steam has blown away that barrier as well.

Microsoft has to be more than a little nervous at this point.  While it's moving some of its business into either platform agnostic services (e.g. Office 365) or non-Windows content (e.g. Xbox), its revenue basis still hinges on Windows sales.

Windows isn't going to disappear overnight, but the top selling personal computers are now inexpensive Linux laptops -- Chromebooks which use Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome OS distribution more aptly.  That success illustrates that Steam OS has a lot of potential to achieve big sales if Valve and its hardware partners play their cards right, cashing in on user frustrations with Windows 8.

In that light, the big question -- once more -- is what can you do on a PC that you can't do on a Steam OS box?

Sources: SteamOS, Valve [countdown page]

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a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 3:41:21 PM , Rating: 5
Riiiight... just turn on your Windows 8 gaming PC before you use it.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 3:42:43 PM , Rating: 1
Riiight... by streaming them from your Windows Gaming PC

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By kattanna on 9/23/2013 3:47:55 PM , Rating: 5
yeah.. why not just plug your TV into your existing gaming machine and bypass another step?

thats a serious WTF??


Steam OS -- finally an open-source OS that's capable of serious Windows-compatible gaming

LOL.. i already have an OS that is 100% compatible with my windows gaming needs.. its called windows


RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By coburn_c on 9/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Guspaz on 9/23/2013 5:57:04 PM , Rating: 5
That's no entirely true. The goal is clearly native gaming on SteamOS (Valve says as much), but streaming will likely feature prominently until they can convince more people to port more content to Linux.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By gamerk2 on 9/24/2013 11:11:09 AM , Rating: 3
Which will never happen, if for no other reason then OpenGL being a horrid API to work with. Nevermind ignoring the OS (Win7) that 90% of all gamers use.

What reason would any company drop Windows support or switch to a harder to code and maintain OGL renderer?

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Jaybus on 9/24/2013 1:54:07 PM , Rating: 1
Which begs the question, why is there no native DirectX on Linux? Wouldn't that be the more general purpose allow porting existing games to native Linux in a much more straight forward way? Emulation will never be adequate. Virtual machines may soon be up to it, but then you still need a copy of Windows to install on the VM. Maybe there are patent issues, but otherwise a Linux DirectX would make sense.

By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 8:07:25 AM , Rating: 4
Uh...because Microsoft isn't going to develop a Linux port of DirectX?

That's the whole purpose of the Wine project.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 6:01:26 PM , Rating: 5
The page mentions AAA games coming natively to Steam in 2014 (we'll see), but more importantly Valve has done a lot of work optimizing their own games for the platform. The current version of DOTA 2 for Linux runs pretty poorly (about half as fast as Windows), but according to this NVIDIA engineer who has been working with Valve for the last year and change they now have internal builds running faster than on Windows:

TF2 performs ~20% better on Linux than it does on Windows.

DOTA2 is about 5-10% faster.

Linux has some significant but boring technical advantages when it comes to games, as compared to Windows.

He follows up here:

Windows is more involved in some low-level things (GPU memory allocation, for example) than Linux is. This is unfortunate because surface placement is one of the first-order determiners of performance, and Microsoft is at arm's length from the GPU.

There are some other issues as well.

Overall, Linux is a pretty great platform for gaming. It just doesn't have a lot of market share and so it isn't typically targeted.

We'll see where this goes!

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Cartman Jones on 9/24/2013 10:50:46 AM , Rating: 3
We've heard about the impending takeover of Linux forever.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 6:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, its a huge chicken and the egg problem. Companies won't devote time optimizing games for Linux if it doesn't have customers, and customers won't go to Linux if there are no games.

We'll see if Valve throwing their weight behind it will help or not.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 6:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
This might be the first time in a great many years a large profitable company with the chops and motivation has invested THIS much in pushing Linux, though.

Personally I can't wait to see where this leads.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 6:38:27 PM , Rating: 3
They kind of have to in order to guarantee relevance on the desktop. Competing closed systems by Microsoft, Apple, and Google are all gaining share while open systems by Microsoft and Apple are steadily losing share.

Valve needs a space for their own closed system to exist, so they might as well spin off their own operating system just in case they get squeezed out everywhere else.

Its a genius move in any case: an operating system dedicated to selling you content as opposed to general purpose computing. Amazon has to be jealous as hell.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 8:04:21 AM , Rating: 2
I can't wait to see where it leads but currently it has no value. I can just plug my computer into my TV if I want to play games on my TV.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/2013 8:26:01 AM , Rating: 1
And you can just plug your PC into your TV to watch Netflix, too. But most people rather use Roku boxes or connected Blu-Ray players.

I don't think any approach where you have to run wires from wherever your PC is to your media center is EVER going to pass the muster with people or be considered a mainstream solution.

Hell I'm a pretty technical guy, handy around the house, and it was a complete bit#ch getting an HDMI cable from my PC to my TV. It involved cutting into walls, drilling through the 2x4 inside the wall, getting the cable under the house. Crawling around under the house (oh look, a big ass snake skin! wonderful) then repeating the process on the other side to get it into the living room. Then installing the boxes and wall-plates. To top it all off, the distance was so long I had to use a specialty HDMI cable that I don't think you find in stores: Redmere.

Can you see the average person doing all that? Hell no.

Personally I'm going to reserve my judgement and see where they go with this before I proclaim it has no value.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Digimonkey on 9/23/2013 4:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
What if your gaming rig is no where near your TV, or you have multiple TVs, or you can get SteamOS to work on a tablet. I think the idea goes a bit further than connecting a computer to a TV.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By inighthawki on 9/23/2013 5:00:10 PM , Rating: 4
Going with the article's mention of Windows 8, I would suggest getting the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 which will support wireless displays via Miracast/Wifi Direct, and you can just buy a receiver for your TV if it's not compatible. Cheaper and easier than buy a new man-n-the-middle box which will only introduce additional latency.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By SeeManRun on 9/23/2013 7:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
What about your mouse/keyboard/gamepad/5.1 surround sound?

By ClownPuncher on 9/23/2013 7:08:46 PM , Rating: 3
Other than third party 5.1 surround, Windows will detect and install drivers for the rest.

By inighthawki on 9/23/2013 8:57:05 PM , Rating: 3
Are you asking about where to plug them in? I would suggest wireless devices, unless you were planning on sitting 5 feet from the TV with a keyboard and mouse on the ground...

By Digimonkey on 9/24/2013 8:47:40 AM , Rating: 1
I suppose, but I'd imagine there will be some hardware that's as cheap as a wireless receiver that can run the SteamOS. It really comes down to how well the SteamOS works with controllers and how easy it is to get around in the interface.

The things I'd actually want to do with a streaming box is play games and movies. So I really don't need a full fledge portal to a complete Operating System, and I don't want to store a keyboard and mouse in the living room just to get around in Windows 8.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By SeeManRun on 9/23/2013 7:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
I have been wanting this for a long time. My powerful machine is downstairs in my office, and my HTPC isn't powerful enough to play these games. So looking forward to this.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By kyuuketsuki on 9/23/2013 9:44:23 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah but with Windows 8.1 you can do the same damn thing the Steambox will do -- stream games from your gaming machine to the TV. Unless and until SteamOS actually has a real catalog of games, it's just going to be an unnecessary man-in-the-middle.

Plus you're never going to fit high-end gaming hardware into those little boxes.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Mint on 9/24/2013 10:24:30 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I have my doubts about how much PC gamers (at least the ones providing the bulk of the revenue) will tolerate the input latency of SteamOS.

Miracast/WiDi via Win8.1 will be as good as it gets, and even that probably isn't good enough. They'll definitely feel the difference compared to consoles.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By SlyNine on 9/24/2013 8:52:10 PM , Rating: 1
I think there are plenty of areas people could cut down on latency to more than make up for that. unless your like me and already did everything to lower latency. But in my case I wouldn't be playing competitive fps games on the big tv, just casual games like tomb raider or dirt 3. Things I could play with a controller.

Besides this is an option, why are people so down on options. This is a great way to get PC gaming in to the living room, not all games have to be hardcore fps/rts games.

By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 3:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
Besides this is an option, why are people so down on options

It only adds fragmentation to an existing market that is working very well. Windows is already an open environment and has an existing library of tens of thousands of existing games.

While competition is usually a good thing, this will likely just lead to "exclusive" titles for PC gaming, something that has historically never happened, and will likely make most PC gamers unhappy while exciting a handful of hardcore Linux fanboys, laughing in the corner as they say for the millionth time how the era of Linux is upon us. Most gamers are perfectly happy with Windows and do not want to have to dual boot to play certain games.

On top of all that, the functionality of SteamOS already exists in Windows, and playing you existing game library requires you to not only buy a steambox, but has a hidden disclaimer that you'll also need a windows box on top of all that with a network connection that can only add additional latency on top of the network connection used to stream the video.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft then released a full Linux emulation layer on Windows to play these exclusives - Similar to WINE, except a lot easier to implement since it'll be an open source implementation - only furthering the lack of reason to actually use it.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By conq on 9/24/2013 8:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have been wanting this for a long time. My powerful machine is downstairs in my office, and my HTPC isn't powerful enough to play these games. So looking forward to this.

Just do what you've wanted to do all your life, plug in your damn gaming PC into the TV! You won't regret it! Along with wiring up your home theater to take advantage of 5.1 (if you have it). Go big or go home, 2nd best is no fun :)

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By SlyNine on 9/24/2013 8:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
you must not live in the real world (wives, kids) most people simply do not have that option and would still prefer the streaming solution.

It gives you MORE flexibility, why are you against that?

By talonvor on 9/27/2013 6:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
What additional flexibility does it give you? At best its cool for a few weeks and then reality sets in and you realize that you spent $200+ for a box that you can replace with a long enough cable and a wireless keyboard and mouse.

By Wolfpup on 9/25/2013 1:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm baffled by this. I thought SteamOS was actually running any Windows Steam game, which would make it a useful OS for some people, for some situations. If all it does is stream from a Windows PC, it deserves a gigantic "huh?"

I'd also like to know if it includes or offers the ability to install say Firefox and OpenOffice/LibreOffice.

If it had those programs, AND full Steam game compatibility, it would actually make for an interesting PC for some things.

Regarding the article...umm...Office 365 web access is presumably the best web thing like that, but is obviously not Office...

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By SpartanJet on 9/23/2013 3:51:44 PM , Rating: 3
Its funny what they call an OS these days. This is a streaming front end to Windows. Since Windows is so amazing and can use almost every device under the sun I can actually plug my machine into the tv as and play that way skipping the middle crap...I mean linux.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 3:53:41 PM , Rating: 3
It's also interesting that an obvious open-source zealot would applaud the inclusion of proprietary code like miracast into the OS

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By kleinma on 9/23/2013 4:45:13 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know how much of an open source zealot game is. I mean he did make all his money the first time around working for a company called Microsoft. He just felt that he was going to be shut out of the PC market by the windows 8 app store, which obviously we know now he was wrong about.

What I find even more interesting about how this whole linux console steambox is going to work, is that I have a handful of games that I got from steam, but I have to play through another service, like uplay. So what happens there? I am sure they want steam to always be running in big picture mode, but the reality is not all games work well (or at all) in this mode right now, and I can't see developers running to patch entire back catalogs of games just to make that happen.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 2:45:24 AM , Rating: 2
Gabe isn't an open source zealot. If he was then DRM wouldn't have ever been a consideration with Steam instead of the whole point.

FWIW, the open source zealots HATE this. They see Gabe as opportunistically co-opting their open platform for his own gain. Just look at how Mozilla handled the whole issue with h.264 codecs a few years back, crazy. This is all ridiculous IMHO, getting on another operating system is a pragmatic hedge against whatever bad things may happen with Windows.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 3:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
They see Gabe as opportunistically co-opting their open platform for his own gain.

He absolutely is. He sits there day in and day out praising Linux and how open platforms are the future, but then uses it to expand their very own closed environment. Steam is just a third party app store, no different than the iOS app store or the Windows 8 store (I don't know much about the Android stores, but from what I've heard these are less similar?) Sure it has a few extra features, things like the workshop that supports custom user content. And I think that that's great and a lot of people could learn from it. But the end of the day is, they have a digital market, they control the content that goes through, and they make a margin on every sale (~30%, higher than Apple or Microsoft).

He is simply using Linux as a way to piggyback on the hard work so they can release an OS and make a few enhancements to the graphics kernel/runtime without writing an OS.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/25/2013 5:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
Its basically an operating system whose main focus is selling content.

As for their split with publishers and content creators, it is definitely on the high end. Valve's cut ranges from 30% all the way up to 70%, much higher than Apple or Microsoft's.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Digimonkey on 9/23/2013 4:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
You mean like when Mac OS X came out and was using a FreeBSD kernel along with a lot of pre-existing unix user land utilities?

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By frozenassets on 9/23/2013 4:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
My impression is that the streaming from Windows is just a quick fix to getting the library working for the new OS. New games would be coded for Linux and not require the Windows PC.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Motoman on 9/23/2013 4:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
...I don't get exactly WTF is going on here.

First of all, I'd be stoked to see a serious push on Linux. Kinda sounds like that's what this is...

...but I'm not sure about the Windows-Steambox-TV thing or whatever. That doesn't help anything. If you have an HDMI cable, you can play your Windows games on TV.

And what is this business about the cloud? Is it a proper machine in it's own right, or not? If all the rendering for a Steam game happens in the cloud, then for the tens of millions of Americans without access to real broadband, it's a non-starter for sure...and I'm still not sold on that concept for people who *do* have good broadband.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By coburn_c on 9/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By kleinma on 9/23/2013 4:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
You can say whatever you want about Jason Mick, but the articles I have read from him, he actually seems pretty pro microsoft to me...

You want to see anti-microsoft writing, go read arstechnica or wired.

By troysavary on 9/23/2013 5:15:07 PM , Rating: 5
Mick just uses inflammatory language as click bait.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2013 5:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ars Technica? They're probably one of the best tech websites out there, right up there with Anandtech.

Anti-Microsoft? You must be joking! Can you link an example?

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By kleinma on 9/23/2013 6:10:45 PM , Rating: 5
One broad example I could give you is that when they did their last site redesign, they got rid of One Microsoft Way, which was their section for Microsoft news. They didn't get rid of Infinite Loop, which is their section for Apple news. When I asked why, they told me that Microsoft doesn't have an ecosystem, and news about microsoft is just general tech news, versus news about apple, which is likened to the second coming of Christ when that news hits. They don't even have a Microsoft tag for their articles. If you notice on any article there, they have tags at the top of them. These tags help ground the stories into relevant areas. If you are reading an Apple story, you could click the "Apple, Inc." tag at the top and it will bring you to a listing of stories with that tag, of course all apple based news. There is no "Microsoft" tag though. There is no place on that site to go and get a list of Microsoft news. There isn't parity with their coverage of Microsoft articles versus Apple ones. Google doesn't get one either. Apple is the ONLY company that I know of that has it's own article tag on the site, and it's own main section.

I am not saying its a bad tech site, just a biased one. It's owned by conde nast. So is wired. The parent company itself is biased, so I expect it.

By superstition on 9/29/2013 12:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
Apple articles are used to generate clicks there just as they are here.

Microsoft news is more general. Their point is correct, unless you want to argue that OS X is the most popular OS in the world.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By Headfoot on 9/23/2013 8:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
Ars Technica is a garbage website. Completely and unabashedly biased. They are only marginally better than the Verge in that they don't seem to even bother making a poor effort to seem impartial.

Neither of them even get close to Anandtech, not even in the same league

By superstition on 9/29/2013 12:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
Anandtech leaves a lot to be desired.

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By CaedenV on 9/23/2013 4:55:43 PM , Rating: 1
The issue is not that new games WOULD be released for Liunux, but that they WOULD HAVE TO BE released for linux... and that just is not happening. XB1 is going to (hopefully) making writing for Windows that much easier, and the PS4 is not going to make coding any more Linux-like than any previous gen console.

So the question will continue to stand: Will Linux ever have enough market share to make true Linux ports profitable?
More important is that the Linux crowd is already (appropriately or not) viewed as a bunch of hackers, and so game designers are always going to ask themselves that even if linux sales were possible... how many would be sales, and how many would be charity? Software developers have already made their answer clear: It is much easier to sell software to uneducated masses who use Windows, Xbox, PS4 and iOS than it will ever be to sell software to more specific and educated groups.

By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 8:12:44 AM , Rating: 2
Because everyone on Windows and who plays on consoles is uneducated...

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By stm1185 on 9/23/2013 5:26:47 PM , Rating: 3
It you have to use Windows to play games on Steam OS then OBVIOUSLY IT IS NOT A GAMER'S ALTERNATIVE TO WINDOWS 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE: a Gamer's Alternative to Windows 8!!
By rpsgc on 9/23/13, Rating: 0
By stm1185 on 9/23/2013 6:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
If you still have to use Windows it is not an alternative to Windows 8,7,V,XP...

Like Duh Steam fanboy.

By BifurcatedBoat on 9/23/2013 7:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well I think the idea here is that they want developers to help them build a stable of Linux-compatible titles, but the reality today is that most games are only compatible with Windows. The streaming is a stopgap solution until they can get the native game support.

By palmira_friend on 9/25/2013 3:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
my parents inlaw just got a 2013 Audi TT Convertible by working part time off of a computer. additional info..........

By Da W on 9/23/2013 3:35:34 PM , Rating: 3
Will people buying this thing will be the same anti-MS people who pissed about Xbox one DRM policy???
Just asking.

-i am not anti-MS so i am not cool

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 3:46:16 PM , Rating: 5
"-i am not anti-MS so i am not cool"

Right... Because the millions and millions of people that complained about MS's moves lately did it to be cool, not because they have a valid point about the god awful Windows UI and XBO's restrictive policies.

By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 3:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much, it's clear from the sales and preview downloads that very few of them have tried it.

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 4:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
Those that tried it mostly agree is totally sucks. They broke Windows.

Whatever man, you guys can defend it all you want. You dont need to convince me, or anyone else here at Anandtech/Dailytech. You need to convince the purchasing public. Good luck.

By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 4:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to need to convince people it is bad.

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 4:23:22 PM , Rating: 1
The $900 million dollar loss MS just took on Surface would tend to agree with my point. If you think this latest model changes anything you are dreaming. Sure its spec'd better, but so is the competition... That is a given in this industry.

Today's Surface2 and Surface Pro2 are exactly the same in comparison to the competition as last years Surface and Surface Pro.

By kleinma on 9/23/2013 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 3
no that is nonsense. The writedown on surface was because they made way too many ARM based versions. There are way too few ARM based apps for the surface to be a great device at the moment (not the pro, the pro is probably the best device for what it is that exists right now). I had a customer who got a surface RT and loved the thing, until he found out there was no logmein app so that he could remote into his work machines. He had to return it for an android tablet that did have an app for it. That was the one thing that was the deal breaker, and it makes sense. The problem is the app developers don't want to write for a platform unless it is doing well, and the platform can't do well without the developers writing the apps. Pretty tough spot to be in.

The reason MS doesn't want to give up on ARM yet, is because the plan is to have their phones, tablets, xbox, and desktops all be able to run the same RT apps. Phones arent going to go x86 fast enough (or ever maybe) so MS knows if they make a push with arm based tablets, those apps can also be made for the phones. Right now the APIs aren't unified, but that is coming.

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 5:10:07 PM , Rating: 3
"The writedown on surface was because they made way too many ARM based versions. "

And they made way too many because... no one wants them. Hello!

There are alot of reasons for it, and apps is certainly one of them. All I am saying is that MS needs to wake the f$%k up.

By inighthawki on 9/23/2013 6:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
An overestimate in supply doesn't necessarily translate to low demand, just lower than expected demand.

By althaz on 9/23/2013 7:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
But demand WAS low. The Surface RT was close to being a very compelling device, but it was crippled by the poor app selection.

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 8:11:28 PM , Rating: 3
yes, microsoft overestimated the fact that no one wanted it LOL. its sales numbers were absolutely abysmal

By rsmech on 9/23/2013 9:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
So when your done trolling what do you think about the steam box?

By retrospooty on 9/23/2013 10:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
Done trolling? Go back and read the OP. This whole thread is a giant troll bait. Don't fault me for responding, the OP was kind of asinine.

as far as steam, I like the idea. I'll have to see how well it works in the real world.

By rsmech on 9/23/2013 11:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to nag I've fallen into it also. I like many of your posts but the back and forth with Windows and Google products is getting pretty heavy. Tony must love it. To be honest we both know MS has made mistakes but we may not agree on the severity of them we can assume they will be corrected. That's what gave us Windows 7. Google is on a fast rise they aren't perfect either but getting better. The way I see it MS and Google will both get to the point of providing their users platform unity from phone to desktop. Where either will be better than Apples closed environment.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 2:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is going way down the rabbit hole with Win8/RT with no indication of turning around. iOS goes without saying, the App Store is the biggest closed storefront around. Google Play and ChromeOS are yet more closed platforms that compete with Steam, so no help for Valve there either.

I'm not saying that Windows and OS X are going to close off to third parties, I find that highly unlikely. The real problem is the trend where sales of "open" platforms are in decline while closed systems are rapidly expanding. Mac sales declined for the first time in almost fifteen years, and PC sales have been in decline for about four years now.

It makes perfect sense why Valve is hedging their bets on the desktop this way. Everyone is moving farther in the direction of increasingly popular closed platforms while traditionally open desktop/laptop share continues to decrease.

Valve needs an open platform for their own closed platform to exist on. Linux is their only guaranteed bet when you expand the timeline over the next ten years.

By retrospooty on 9/24/2013 8:48:35 AM , Rating: 1
"To be honest we both know MS has made mistakes but we may not agree on the severity of them we can assume they will be corrected. That's what gave us Windows 7"

That is what I hope happens again. MS needs to attack Win9 with the same balls it attacked Win7 with. They took all the very vocal, very pointed complaints about Vista and came back fighting with Win7 and said, "how ya like me now bitch". Win7 was unanimously loved for the effort. I am really hoping they take all of the "very vocal, very pointed complaints " about 8 and do it again. The pessimist in me sees that after doing it with 7, it clearly didnt become a culturized thing, because they dropped every single lesson learned and on Win8 and went back to programming to their own agenda and not caring what the customers want.

By Schrag4 on 9/24/2013 2:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
An overestimate in supply doesn't necessarily translate to low demand, just lower than expected demand.

I have not dog in this fight, but I found this quite funny. Low is a relative term. So demand wasn't low? It wasn't low compared to what? I mean, it was lower than expected, but what was it equal to or higher than?

By Azethoth on 9/23/2013 4:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
I develop software on a Win 8 machine. Win 8 is no more broken than the retarded small start button menus were.

For my common programs that are arranged the way I want, launch is faster since I don't have to mouse to bottom left then futz around. Taskbar pinned programs launch the same as win 7.

I really do miss good right click options though. Also, it will be nice one day when installers don't spray 5000 new items all over the place.

Shutdown, sleep, restart are the three things that really piss me off though. Way too hidden.

By kyuuketsuki on 9/23/2013 9:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Shutdown, sleep, restart are the three things that really piss me off though. Way too hidden."

Erm, alt+f4?

By datdamonfoo on 9/24/2013 10:29:36 AM , Rating: 2
How is it hidden..? Right corner, Power button, done.

By coburn_c on 9/24/2013 10:37:14 AM , Rating: 1
Some people are just consummate bitches

they have nothing to contribute but need to be involved so they complain about bandwagon nonsense to seem important

every windows version has moved things about, and it takes a while to get accustomed, without it there would be no novelty to the new version and no one would appreciate it

and sometimes the zeitgeist turns toward it and sometimes away, it still carries the torch for the entire industry, and it still leads the pack

no matter, they will use the same kernel and increment the version and everyone will flock to it, just like with 7

By hildegain on 9/25/2013 5:12:51 PM , Rating: 1
New operating systems are not created to be novel and original. They're supposed to be faster, more efficient and more functional.

For many, Windows 7 excels in the functional department. This is NOT a good reason not to transfer to Windows 8 though. Anyone ever heard of the CLASSIC START MENU application? This turns Windows 8 (with all of its new features and upgrades) into a new Windows 7 with said features running behind it.

Now you can just use the computer the way you like and still have everything else at your disposal if you wish.

I personally dislike the Metro UI not because of the way it looks or because it is different but because for organizing my applications, files and settings it just is more hassle than the old way.

Maybe with Windows 9 or 10 they'll modify it further and it will just be Metro re-arranged somewhat so users like myself will find more merit in it.

Not everyone that doesn't like Windows 8 is some kind of "consummate bitch" if you even know what that means. People vote with their wallets when they see a product that they like or not, if the features in Windows 8 do not satisfy the consumer, they will not buy.

It's the same reason I use a PC in the first place and will never buy a Mac. It's the same reason why I still choose to pay good money for Windows over getting a free Linux Distro (though I still try them from time to time).

Steam OS is something I'm going to look into, I'm going to find out for myself if it really does what it says on the tin and then I'll decide if it's worth it or not. Not before.

By Mint on 9/24/2013 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
Bingo. Funny how people who actually do productive things rather than pretend to find no productivity issues with Win 8.

I remember when Vista was launched, one of the complaints was that the expanding start menu via mouseover was gone. You had to click and scroll in a constrained space rather than use available screen space to list everything quickly. MS's reasoning was valid, though (move the mouse wrong and you have to start over).

So now we get a large customizable 2D space with one-click access, and people claim it's less productive? WTF?

Anyway, it's pretty obvious that MS screwed up in not keeping the start menu as an option. Instead of forcing them to use the start page, I think they could have compelled people to use it by doing an autoarrange based on Win7 start menu usage.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 2:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
So now we get a large customizable 2D space with one-click access, and people claim it's less productive? WTF?

Of course it is, are you stupid?

If I'm doing something on the desktop and want/need to access the "Modern UI", I'm taken completely away from what I'm doing and a shi$ty Rainbow Brite full-screen nightmare is puked into my retinas!

For an OS called WINDOWS, this is a bizarre and unsettling dynamic that we've never had to deal with before. Metro should open up in a re-sizable Windows like EVERYTHING ELSE behaves on Windows since forever!

I should never EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER be forced from whatever I'm doing into an environment that completely occludes what I'm doing! Is that hard to understand?

Another way that Windows 8 is less productive? The settings are split! For the first time ever. For some bizarre reason, in Windows 8 the settings for various things are split between the traditional Control Panel and the Modern-style PC Settings. No longer is there a central area where you can find settings for everything, instead you must search in both these places to find what you are after.

Items such as Windows Update, Ease of Access, Users and Devices appear in both PC Settings and the Control Panel, although often PC Settings does not have the same range of options as the Control Panel. Sometimes, such as with user account settings, the Control Panel will redirect you to the PC Settings menu, and then from there it might even direct you to the web to manage some areas.

Search is also completely and entirely INFERIOR to Windows 7, it's broken! If there is a feature that has definitely become worse in Windows 8, it's the search feature. Which some idiots decided that Apps, Settings and Files would be separated in the search results even when there are no results found. If I search for "mobile" using the quickest method (Win key and then type) of course it doesn't find any apps, but you would think instead of displaying "No results found" it would display at least some of the 121 files it found - the files I was actually searching for.

Then there's some things it simply doesn't find at all. Search for "task scheduler" and nothing comes up, but if you search for "schedule tasks" and then click on Settings it finds the appropriate function which then opens the Task Scheduler. What?! This is in no way user friendly, and makes it harder to access and find things you're actually looking for!

I wonder if you've even USED Windows 8 to be so blatantly misguided about it.

By Mint on 9/25/2013 1:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
I should never EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER be forced from whatever I'm doing into an environment that completely occludes what I'm doing! Is that hard to understand?
Really? Then why does EVERY browser completely occlude the current page you're looking at when you go to open a new tab?

Besides, why would you go to the start menu to launch something if you aren't planning on going away from your other work? You can't interact with any window anyway if the start menu is open.

Most of your complaints are being addressed in Win 8.1. Instead of a colorful background, you can use your desktop wallpaper (not that anything was stopping you from removing colors in Win 8). I didn't notice the search issue because in win7 I only used the start menu to search for programs, and for files I used explorer. Win 8.1 unifies the search results, though, just like you want. The settings are better (again I didn't really care, and it wasn't much different than adjusting to settings post-XP).

But otherwise the start page lets me launch an array of programs without clicking on 'programs', scrolling/clicking, etc. The irony of your post is this is very similar to how you enjoyed win7 search without clicking on 'files', yet you refuse to acknowledge win8's launcher advantage.

By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 3:38:32 AM , Rating: 2
In fairness, I think a lot has to do with simple preference, and on top of that, the Windows 8 start screen does have a few distinct disadvantages for some people. Namely the fact that "all apps" has no hierarchical structure - it's one giant list. This is more of the more valid complaints I've heard.

Now personally I don't have an issue with it, as I rarely see the start screen for longer than 0.5 seconds as I type and search for what I want. And Windows 8.1 makes that even less of an issue. Win+Q and it brings out the search flyout without ever even entering the start screen. If I could remap the windows key to Win+Q, I'd probably never care if I ever saw the start menu again.

Regardless of the belief though, it's very clear that it was a completely stupid idea to actually remove it, and not give users the option. All previous versions of windows that contained large changes had options to use classic versions of things just to ease the transitions. Classic vs new start menu, control panel, etc. The change was too suddenly thrown on users.

(This all coming from someone who uses and has no issues with Windows 8)

By Da W on 9/23/13, Rating: 0
By rsmech on 9/23/2013 9:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
He was talking about Xbox DRM. What does Windows 8 UI have to do with his post. You could have made your point without the added agenda.

Wow, Gabe managed to make an alternative to...
By troysavary on 9/23/2013 4:11:25 PM , Rating: 3
the HDMI cable!!! Congrats, it will only cost 100x as much.

By Motoman on 9/23/2013 4:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
Depends. If you go out and buy a Monster Cable, the Steambox is probably cheaper.

RE: Wow, Gabe managed to make an alternative to...
By coburn_c on 9/23/2013 4:37:23 PM , Rating: 3
Now if he could only manage to make Episode Three

By inighthawki on 9/23/2013 5:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
If they spent this long and only came out with "Episode" 3 I think too many people would be way too disappointed. It's needs to be significantly longer than the first two episodes to justify the wait.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 5:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
I run an HDMI and USB cable from my home office to my living room. It works because there is a common wall in between the two that I drilled through. This is a specific case that doesn't work for everyone. This is why solutions like Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, AirPlay, and Miracast exist in the first place.

It isn't physically practical for everyone to run cable from their PC to their home theater, so this is the next best thing.

By masteryoda34 on 9/23/2013 4:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
WINE is not an emulator! Ugh.

By SPOOFE on 9/23/2013 4:57:06 PM , Rating: 5
It just acts EXACTLY LIKE an emulator. But it's not an emulator. It emulates an emulator. It's an emulatoror.

By Just Tom on 9/24/2013 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be pedantic. Besides, WINE oringinally stood for WINdows Emulator.

A new way to make gaming awkward
By ewhite06 on 9/23/2013 4:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
So now I can play all those games I've been hiding on my Win7 PC on my big screen? Awesome! Grandma will love watching me roll it in Borderlands and Walking Dead!

In all seriousness, it this can also handle basic HTPC functions and streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc..) it could be interesting. Not sure why I would play Civ 5 on my TV...

/PC weeps silently in the corner, neglected

RE: A new way to make gaming awkward
By Digimonkey on 9/23/2013 4:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
Rumor is they'll be announcing a new controller this week, with mouse like accuracy. So maybe playing Civ 5 on a big screen TV won't be such a bad experience.

By kleinma on 9/23/2013 5:00:20 PM , Rating: 5
you know what is a controller with mouse like accuracy... a mouse. you know what is a controller without mouse like accuracy, anything else anyone tries to sell you ever.

Good in theory but 3 years too late
By beefgyorki on 9/23/2013 6:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Valve needed to get to a reasonably sized Linux user base now rather than trying to build it from basically nothing over the next few years.

The Living Room aspect is the biggest fallacy of the whole thing. I'm sorry but PC gaming is built around KB/Mouse which is non-starter in the living room and I don't believe for a second a large portion of PC gamers will give up KB/Mouse just so they can play a game on the TV instead.

So in reality this move is to try & usurp Windows on the PC for gaming. Something that certainly could have been done if the movement had this kind of kickstart a few years ago.

But between MSFT seeming like their One Windows platform might actually see the light of day in the next couple of years, Apple/Google being just one leveraged move (say buying out Sony's entertainment division) away from becoming a major player in the Living Room as well, and the overall decline of desktop PCs I really don't see how Valve expects this to succeed.

Unless one of their announcements this week is that they are partnering up with someone (like Samsung) to make SteamOS phones that sync with SteamOS PCs with no fuss this is a dead-end strategy IMHO.

RE: Good in theory but 3 years too late
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 6:42:22 PM , Rating: 3
The Living Room aspect is the biggest fallacy of the whole thing. I'm sorry but PC gaming is built around KB/Mouse which is non-starter in the living room and I don't believe for a second a large portion of PC gamers will give up KB/Mouse just so they can play a game on the TV instead.

I disagree, living room ports of PC games have massively improved over the last year. I played Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite in my living room from my PC using a gamepad. Graphics on both were cranked allllll the way up and they looked much better than what consoles could offer.

This isn't 2007. Game companies have been doing a fantastic job making sure that games work as reliably on PC as they do on consoles. That is only going to improve now that consoles and PC have much closer architectures with one another.

Closer architectures was a deliberate move. Publishers and developers need it because its the only way to properly hedge against increasing development costs. Why target one platform when you can affordably and effectively target three?

RE: Good in theory but 3 years too late
By kyuuketsuki on 9/23/2013 9:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Both the games you listed were console-oriented games. So yeah, they work well with gamepads. That doesn't really address what he was talking about, though.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 10:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
The point is that lots of "console" games are also being played on PCs, and its currently being done better than their console counterparts. Making it easier to play these kinds of console games from your PC to your living room is only a good thing.

Not understanding the hate over Windows8
By CosmoJoe on 9/23/2013 4:51:01 PM , Rating: 1
I have been using Win8 on my main/gaming PC for the past year or so and I really don't understand all the vitriol. Yes, it is clearly geared as a touch OS, but once you learn a handful of windows hotkeys, it is very simple to navigate around Metro or whatever it is called these days. I spent most of my time on the desktop anyhow.

RE: Not understanding the hate over Windows8
By DennisB on 9/24/2013 5:57:57 AM , Rating: 1
The hate over windows in general was never really about the user interface, unless you count needless animation, fanciness and waste of screen spaces. If you want to work you don't need fanciness but as much as screenspace for displaying your data. It's fine if you just play or do no work.

Since win95 the user interface has improved gradually, but your rights as a user, owner, techi/admin-person has gradually shrunk. Once you got complete control and rights but now you have to rely on whatever MS/OS allows you to do. You can't fix things yourself when it crashes you gotta get into safemode (if that works at all). Malware have more rights than you. They can manipulate things you can't, and you can't fix it. Sometime in the future you as the owner may not even have any rights left.

RE: Not understanding the hate over Windows8
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 8:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if you're talking about access level rights or "rights" to own something.

By DennisB on 9/25/2013 2:08:39 PM , Rating: 2

Why Valve has to do this now
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 5:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
1) It takes years at best to develop platforms
2) The desktop market is in steady decline
3) Even laptop sales are slowing
4) Sales of closed platform alternatives such as iOS and Android devices are increasing every year
5) Steam cannot exist on the App Store, Google Play, WinRT, or any other closed ecosystem
6) Valve, as we know it, is contingent on Steam being successful
7) Steam cannot be successful if 1) through 5) are true
8) Valve must foster a platform it can exist on

This is all about hedging against if Windows ends up shutting out third party closed-platforms like Steam. It doesn't matter if it takes years for this to come true or if doesn't come true at all, Valve needs to lay the groundwork right now.

They did the same thing with Steam, a platform people laughed at and even hated which took five years to even begin realizing its potential.

If they don't get shut out of the desktop, great, and if they do then SteamOS is their get-out-of-jail-free card. Either way, they have to do this if they want to ensure viability over the next ten years.

RE: Why Valve has to do this now
By JoJoman88 on 9/25/2013 1:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Now the big problem is with PS4,XBO and PC gaming having the same base X86 code,will game developers want mess with a Steam OS. Face it, XBO will be a Windows device which will take almost nothing to port a game to PC.I think it will come down to how many people go for the Steam OS/Steam box as to will game developers go for Steam too.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/27/2013 2:33:55 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with what you're saying. That said, OpenGL is having a major resurgence for a couple reasons. One reason is mobile, games are huge on iOS and Android and they all run on OpenGL. Another is the popularity of the Playstation platform, and another the rise of ports on OS X.

Developers increasingly have the experience and capability of cross-developing for both DX and OpenGL. Unreal Engine fully supports OpenGL, and if rumors are true then Source Engine 2 will be OpenGL only. Then there are tools such as Unity, etc etc.

The difficulty of cross-platform development isn't as much as it was in the past.

This sucks
By flyingpants1 on 9/23/2013 9:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
This sucks. Miracast sucks. Linux sucks. PC games suck. Everything sucks.

Sure, let me just play my console-ported PC games, on the couch like I would with a console anyway, with a friggin' MIRACAST.

God, I wish someone would just make something good for once.

RE: This sucks
By retrospooty on 9/24/2013 10:11:58 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... There are good and bad sides to any product/method. What exactly is it that you want ?

RE: This sucks
By flyingpants1 on 9/25/2013 2:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well, how about a better version of Miracast with better throughput and less lag for one.

Some actual corporate backing for Linux to make it useful on desktop and get game devs onboard - seems to be finally happening after about a million years, although I'm not holding my breath.

PC games to stop being straight console ports (may get better or at least mitigated with the ps4/xbone launch).

Nvidia Shield to disappear and go away forever.

And a check for $1m made out to me personally in exchange for all this priceless advice.

By Ammohunt on 9/23/2013 4:15:31 PM , Rating: 4
This is their best idea yet! creating their own distro allows them to fully support game builds on a supported platform out of the gate at the same time returning any developments/enhancements back to Linux mainstream. lets hope the video card manufactures are on on board. One step closer to a Windows-less household.

RE: Genius
By xti on 9/23/2013 4:34:50 PM , Rating: 1
they wont be. they need to sell to the masses.

There's a better alternative to Win8
By sh3rules on 9/23/2013 4:41:17 PM , Rating: 3
Just install Windows 7.

By kleinma on 9/23/2013 6:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 has enough improvements to make that a silly suggestion. I am already running the 8.1 RTM version on my non touch desktop, and pretty much all my complaints from 8.0 are now gone.

adobe creative cloud
By kleinma on 9/23/2013 4:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, after looking at adobe creative cloud, I don't see how it in any way works at all on linux. So if you are going to include that in the article, I would like clarification. The way I see it, all the adobe software products still need to be installed, and the system requirements is still windows or mac. The "cloud" part of it the best I can tell is just adobe making you pay a subscription for something you previously didn't. That and you get some "cloud" storage (like you can't get that in 10 different places for free now).

Saying you can be productive because of Office web apps is a little bit of a stretch, but I will at least consider that plausable, so long as the work is pretty basic in nature. However the adobe thing, I don't even see how you can make that claim here...

RE: adobe creative cloud
By troysavary on 9/23/2013 5:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, he doesn't know what Office 365 is. It is not just the web apps. It is full Office on a subscription model with cloud storage options. The web apps have no where near the full feature set.

By jvillaro on 9/23/2013 8:53:28 PM , Rating: 4
I really haven't been here in a while and today decided to click this link from the Anandtech site because the title seemed a bit odd to me...
Of course it did, Jason was at the helm of it and just skimming through reminded me why I stopped visiting this site, this moron...

Streaming to PCs
By tjacoby on 9/24/2013 12:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
I am VERY excited about this and have been waiting for this kind of solution for a very long time. I can FINALLY take a cheap-o laptop and use it for gaming from my ever-so-powerful desktop. PERFECT. Just dual boot that machine with the SteamOS and be good to go. NO MORE SITTING IN MY OFFICE CHAIR TO PLAY A GAME WOOT.

RE: Streaming to PCs
By inighthawki on 9/24/2013 1:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you're not sensitive to high latency.

All I can say is.
By SlyNine on 9/25/2013 1:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
XBMC support. Do it, do it now!

RE: All I can say is.
By flyingpants1 on 9/25/2013 4:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
XBMC sucks. It was amazing on the original Xbox, but it hasn't changed since then. Weird UI with all the unintuitive up/down/left/right you have to do, media scanning/library updates never works right, every skin is a bit off in some way, super buggy and outdated plugins system, and I've almost never been able to get it to sync the a/v properly.

At first glance Plex seems a lot better.

People need to slow down probably
By Breakfast Susej on 9/25/2013 5:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
There seems to be a lot of rage about how this is just a stream box that still requires a Windows PC. But I don't think anyone has all the answers yet.

To me the obvious assumption is that this is intended to be a standalone box and the Windows streaming ability is icing on the cake for the transitional phase, given the fact that there aren't a lot of games that support Linux directly.

Now, if the streaming thing works well, and it works as a media player that supports .mkv, then I would probably immediately replace my XBMC on my intel nuc htpc with this. Assuming a few more factors, such as it being polished, and having some manner of remote control option. Since I really like using Yatse on my android phone with XBMC right now.

Steam for Linux still needs time to gain traction if at all. I think people need to sit back and stop speculating so much until the exacting details of steamOS are known.

By Donkey2008 on 9/26/2013 2:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
It sounds like it is just streaming video, not decoding it on the fly via x264 or xvid, so it need not support certain codecs or file types. Windows does that for it.

As for MKV files; Just convert them to MP4 and just about anything will play it. MKV is just a wrapper so you don't have to re-encode the video (although maybe the audio if it is DTS or AC3). I plug a memory stick full of MP4's straight into my Samsung LED and they all play perfect. No HTPC needed.

Then out of the blue ...
By drycrust3 on 9/23/2013 4:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
The first announcement was made today as Valve unveiled Steam OS, a new custom Linux distribution, with a focus on gaming and Windows compatibility.

I couldn't find any mention of SteamOS on the DistroWatch website, e.g. release of a Steam OS beta version, and I couldn't find any mention of what type of licencing, e.g. GPL 2, SteamOS will use, nor if it is based on one of the popular versions, e.g. Ubuntu or Fedora.
It will be interesting to have a closer look at it once it is released.

Use Case
By Connoisseur on 9/23/2013 4:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure about Windows being supplanted but I can see a pretty cool use case for people who don't want a FULL high-powered PC in their living room. They can tuck away the beast in a bedroom or corner and have the equivalent of an Intel NUC hidden away behind the TV to play games. That's assuming that Steam OS basically just runs on a dumb terminal and doesn't require heavy graphics capability on the TV side. You could have one for every tv in the house and just play anywhere you want.

Over nearly.. huh?
By ummduh on 9/23/2013 4:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
"Access the full Steam catalog of over nearly 3000 games and desktop software titles via in-home streaming."

Maybe this needs to be reread a few times..

By chromal on 9/23/2013 5:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
I just hope that this isn't the harbinger of a swivel in strategy or emphasis away from the native PC steam port. I like that games developed for Steam are by and large games developed for progressive hardware standards; I down a $300 set top box will ever compete in specs or capability with a new $1500+ gaming rig.

Adobe Creative Cloud
By Moriicon on 9/23/2013 6:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Adobe Creative Cloud does not run on Linux. As a CC user, I would dearly love to run all my Adobe Apps on my Mint Box, but alas, I am tied to Windows for that.

But honestly, Steam need to strive forward with this OS.

By Moriicon on 9/23/2013 7:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
Adobe System Inc.'s (ADBE) Creative Suite is already available via WINE. So it's invalid to say you can't switch to a Steam Box because you "can't do real work in Office/Photoshop.

CC is not compatible with WINE, I know, I have tried many things to make it work! I quite happily have CS3 on WINE, but its not the same speed at all!

Changing one line to a link which shows this exact argument does not make the statement right, as you cannot do real Photoshop/CC App work or full MS Office work( less important as Libre Office covers that and some) on Linux!

5 years ago
By wordsworm on 9/24/2013 9:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
5 years ago Blackberry and Nokia were the undisputed champs. Today they're shells of their former selves. I'm sure this isn't lost on a company like MS. It can happen to any company.

By Cakemeister on 9/24/2013 7:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
What a disappointment. This box is useless.

By crimson40 on 9/25/2013 8:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a big fan of Steam, but aside from "sticking it to Microsoft", why should I as a consumer do this? I don't understand what this does for me that a Windows 8 machine doesn't. I totally get that Steam doesn't want to compete with the Microsoft marketplace, blah, blah, blah, that's Valve's problem not mine.

By unimatrix725 on 9/29/2013 4:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
I feel we have a major milestone here. I usually recommend Linux Mint editions to normal windows users, but always had to say Windoze for gamers! Not anymore I am rather happy to see this happening and can only be an investment for other distros if this OS fails.

Suprise Suprise Jason Mick
By cknobman on 9/23/13, Rating: -1
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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