Windows 8 Trashed by Gabe Newell (Again)

    August 17, 2012
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

Much has already been said about Windows 8 and its new tile-laden interface. Moreover, much has already been said about Windows 8 gaming and how game developers are worried that the OS could damage the PC gaming market. Valve co-founder and Managing Director Gabe Newell last month stated that Windows 8 will be a “catastrophe” for PC gaming. Microsoft has defended Windows 8 gaming, but concerns still remain that the OS will lock PC games behind Xbox-like licensing walls.

This week in an interview with Game Trailers TV, Newell went even further with his criticism, saying that customers will “hate” Windows 8 and are “going to basically rage quit computing after they use it.” He said, “things that used to be incredibly simple are very complicated and hard.”

Newell doesn’t want to bask in schadenfreude, though. He stated that he hopes his predictions are wrong, if only for the sake of Valve’s Steam platform, which runs primarily on Windows PCs. “I hope I’m wrong,” said Newell. “If I’m wrong, we’ll actually end up making more money in the 12 months that follow Windows 8 shipping than if I’m right. I’m just worried that I’m right.”

It’s easy to mistake Newell’s criticism of Windows 8 as malicious, but his reaction could very well come from a place of nostalgia. Newell once worked for Microsoft, creating software for over a decade before founding Valve. To see what he considers a terrible OS coming out of something he was once a part of could be disappointing.

Newell is putting Valve’s money where his mouth is, however. The company is currently hedging its bets and porting its Steam platform to run on Linux. So, whether Windows 8 actually is a “catastrophe” or not, Steam is positioned to either remain the most popular digital distribution platform for the Windows PC or become the vanguard for a new era of Linux PC gaming.

Check out the short interview segment below:

  • Joe

    I’m curious what Mr. Newell thinks is so hard about Win 8 that was so easy before. I have the release candidate running on my rig right now and I’ve have very few issues doing anything I was doing before with Win 7. In fact aside from the Start menu being missing everything is almost exactly the same as Win 7. With one click I can be at the desktop if I want, but with metro I setup all the things I do and pinned them to the start screen. With one click I can be where I need to be, instead of multiple clicks going through the start menu. In fact everything is there and MORE info is available for us IT types to look at our systems even more in depth. Telling the system what to start and not start is actually easier.

    Currently I have some freeze on boot up issues once in a while which cause me to have to reboot the reboot, but I’ve not had any bluescreens and all of my previous programs/drivers would perfectly fine. In fact I really enjoy the IE10 interface and I’ve been using Firefox and Chrome. I looked into Linux because the one thing about Win 8 I would be worried about is them closing up like Apple did. I agree with him that the platform should stay very open, that has always been it’s best point. If they go another route and make it hard on Indies (who you could argue are now driving a substantial part of the gaming market)then I think Linux could be the next great OS for gamers, but MS will always be the Enterprise OS.

    Still I’ve chuckled at so many people complaining about the start menu being gone when setting everything up on the start screen is not only easy but makes finding what you need much easier. Some of the apps don’t yet work, but some that do are interesting so far. Yeah it’s different, but not so different as to make it alien. The back end is pretty much what we are used to so we’re getting worked up over a spiffy new starting interface? One that actually makes it easier to click once and get to whatever you want? I guess people just feel good about complaining. But the new interface is not overly complicated and it’s certainly not rocket science. In fact with less than an hour of setup it could make things very easy for new users and less technical people to use. Again one click instead of searching through multiple menus to “get there”. *shrugs*

  • Paul

    What he means is that it is now hard for Steam to re-sell other people’s games for a profit because there is a new Sheriff in town – the Windows Store. He is scared of Windows 8 because if it takes off, then Steam will lose business to the Windows Store and cut into his profits. Poor Gabe.

    • tommy

      Good thing pc gamers hate M$ and there games services. huh? :)

      • paul

        PC gamers go where the games are, on Windows RT the app store is the only way to buy games, EA and other big publishers are already onboard. Poor Gabe.

      • Alex

        You clearly haven’t been following Steam’s philosophy. Gabe is outspoken for his opinions concerning third party restrictions and proprietary lock-ins. Screw you for insinuating that the only reason for Gabe Newell’s criticism of Microsoft is some king-of-the-hill grudge money grab.

  • jack

    This is nonsense. Why would someone kick up such a fuss over an OS that they say is something that customers will hate and won’t buy.

    Valve’s business model is clearly threatened as they must have known it would be one day. Innovate or die.

  • Me

    Who cares. I haven’t used Steam in quite a while. I purchase most of my games through direct sources, and now there is a centralized Windows app store I can purchase games, music, apps, etc… all in one place. No more scattered, bloated and useless third party software to download. Perhaps Gabe should join forces with Acer’s CEO and have themselves a grand pity party.

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    I don’t play computer games myself but cant see any problems here. All a person has to do is remove win 8 if it came with whatever and replace with win 7, a tried and tested platform that has drivers that work. The large mobile phone type desktop is not required to get to programs just install your own old fashioned icons. Its only useful if you have a touch screen and not the old one in use before the upgrade as it saves leaning across the desk to do things that have been done with the mouse since it was first in use. Keep it simple.

    • Jon

      You’re missing the problem here. Microsoft could easily drop all support for previous versions of Windows in order to shuffle more people towards W8. And though I’m an emphatic support of Microsoft and their work, I don’t like the way Windows 8 is drifting. Windows 7 is the best system out there, in my opinion.

  • John

    Linux is the way to go