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There are only 1,000 spots available in the current registry

Valve has announced that it is allowing users to apply for the Steam for Linux beta.
Valve is specifically looking for experienced users that are familiar with Linux and are running Ubuntu 12.04 or above. This is likely because it's in the way early stages and needs a good debugging. Users that are newer to Linux are being asked to wait until the next beta release to apply. 
There are only 1,000 spots available in the current registry, so those who fit the bill can sign up through their Steam accounts. Valve will follow up with users afterward. 
Steam is a digital distribution, multiplayer and communications platform that distributes video games online from small developers to larger software companies. 

Source: Joystiq

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RE: I am in favor of this...
By Paj on 10/30/2012 9:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
At least Linux still understands what an OS is...and isn't. An OS isn't a GUI. It's not a web browser. It's not a media player. An OS is the logic necessary for the hardware bits to talk to each other, and a framework for other applications to run on. That's pretty much it.

That way, if you want a different GUI, you can use a different GUI. Etc. ad infinitum. We've let MS and Apple move the goalposts on what an OS is to essentially be a whacking huge bundle of dizzying numbers of applications, 99% of which have nothing to do with being an operating system.

I think that is one of the reasons why Apple and Windows have been more successful in the consumer space. They create a common GUI and libraries for use by developers. The GUI becomes inexorably linked to the platform, so developers dont need to worry about what custom shell people are using.

Its this freeform nature that is one of Linuxs strengths, but also a weakness. Different Linux GUIs can differ so much that there isnt really anything like a consistent experience beyond the command line. In order for Linux to succeed as a consumer OS, consumers need consistency and a good user experience. They don't want to hear ' Yeah dude, Linux with the Burrito module running Springbok X13 is the most stable version yet.' It's intimidating at best.

Unfortunately, this will most likely mean that one distro, with one set of 'core' packages, becomes the norm.

RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/30/2012 10:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
I can't speak to Apple, but the GUI being firmly attached to Windows isn't necessarily true. Back in the day I used AstonShell for a while on an XP box...was kind of cool.

While you can paint that as a weakness for Linux, it also allows distros to differentiate, by selecting what GUI to use as their default. The average user probably would never be inclined to switch if they saw a PC at BBY running Gentoo with Gnome, and another running Mandrake with KDE (just pulling names out of a hat here), they can play with them and decide which one they like better.

The problem is you'll never see a Linux machine at BBY. Because there's no mainstream software support. And because there's no mainstream software support, there's no mainstream investment in it from hardware vendors. And because of all that, it's not a valid option for the regular consumer.

If Steam can get something started here with the gamer base...generally a more tech-savvy group than the population at large...maybe they can help put enough momentum behind Linux to get Microsoft, Adobe, et al to create Linux versions of their cornerstone software packages.

Linux will never be valid until it gets mainstream software like MS Office and Adobe products on it. Having more than one GUI available, at that point, would be icing on the cupcake.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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