Valve’s Stance on Linux
During the Ubuntu summit in Copenhagen, Drew Bliss from Valve has explained Valve’s interest in Linux and the issues they have with Windows 8. Microsoft allows only one way to get Modern UI (Metro) applications in Windows – through Windows Store. Valve feels that it’s a start of the move from an open platform to a “walled garden” similar to Apple’s iOS, which would leave no place for Steam and other software distribution services. Linux provides a guarantee of remaining an open platform in the future and Valve sees it as a safe haven for traditional, unrestricted and customisable PC gaming platform.
Details of initial Steam launch on Linux were also mentioned. Ubuntu was chosen as one of the most popular and well-supported Linux versions. There won’t be any hard restrictions on running Steam on non-recommended configurations, but there won’t be any guarantee of correct work. Valve won’t force any developers to use DRM in Linux games they distribute over Steam, only recommend using standard Steam protection measures. ARM support isn’t in plans for launch, but there may be an option for developers to distribute games for ARM architecture on Steam in the future.
The closed beta itself has gone live after the summit. It includes Team Fortress 2 and Ubuntu 12.04 is the supported version of Linux. Unlike earlier reports, Linux beta also includes Big Picture mode.