Steam for Linux has been in the works for quite a while now, although it was only recently that Valve launched a dedicated blog where the detailed its progress. If you’re wondering what’s with the sudden increase in effort in creating Steam for Linux, well according to Valve’s boss, Gabe Newell, Steam for Linux is considered to be a “hedging strategy” in the event that the upcoming Windows 8 does not take off the way that Microsoft originally intended (think Vista). Speaking at an industry dinner in Seattle last night, Newell was quoted as saying:
“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior […]
We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. 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. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”
Whether you agree with Newell’s sentiments on Windows 8 or not, Steam for Windows and Mac is still going strong and the eventual port to Linux is probably going to welcome by many Linux gamers around the world.