As somebody who was briefly caught up in the "convert-all-the-things-to-Linux" evangelism of the early 00's to the "fsck it, I don't care who uses it. I like it." attitude, I sincerely hope this makes an impact. Forget the FLOSS ideals and morals; if this means more 'power users' realize there's a viable Windows alternative for gaming (and more), everybody wins.
I know a lot of 'purists' will inevitably complain about the influx of 'noobs', but, fsck it. No matter what beliefs/philosophies you follow, it's always a good thing to be able to show people that there are other options.
As a long-time follower & sometimes contributer to the free/open Unix scene, this makes me proud.
I can see here that many people want to change this, and make expletives a common part of daily usage; but I don't see being a good thing overall. A lot of people hold to former way of thinking (that they're bad), and if you get into the habit of using such words it might affect you ability of form relationships with the majority of people who think they're bad.
In addition I think, even internally, it's hard to get that idea from years-of-training (and one that's held by the majority of society) out of your head. I know I'm probably going to be criticized for this, but using myself expletives gives me a "dirty" or "uncivilized" feeling. Finally, I also don't think they really add to a conversation in any significant way. There are much better words ou there (and more eloquent sounding ones, too) to imply emphasis (I presume this is the primary use-case of expletives), and a conversation does sound more "intelligent" and "cultured" like so.
Essentially, when you say 'fsck', I interpret that as 'fuck'. If you want me to think the word 'fuck', then take the responsibility and say it.
Cursing is like salt: judicious use can improve a well-made dish, but overuse doesn't make bad food into good.
A (long) view on the subject by Stephen Fry that basically points out we shouldn't lament language change and other ways of expressing ourselves.
I bet most of us here on HN use expletives quite a lot in their everyday conversations among friends. It's just part of expressing yourself and your feelings.
Besides, the most vocal opponents of expletives tend to be religious. It's kind of sad when even the word "cursing" is so horrifying that you have to call it "cussing" instead.
Cursing is just another difference between the ways you speak in different situations. Imagine you're discussing the global recession with one of your friends. Which one of these sounds more natural:
- "Those rather reprehensible individuals at Wall Street
bear the brunt of the blame for this rather dreadful
economic predicament we're in."
- "Those fucking scumbags on Wall Street caused this mess."
(Edit: couldn't type an asterisk without it wanting to italicise the rest of the line!)
How do you know? There might be kids reading here...
I would increase my consumption of video games from a non-zero amount if I could play CS on Linux.
Make it happen Valve. You got me, I'm now nostalgic.
Oh... how I miss those nights wasted playing CS!
YMMV of course.
There is a chance that the rumours of a console could also be true as well though. There's no reason why they couldn't have a Linux console /AND/ desktop Linux support.
Without any real knowledge of the industry, extrapolation to back up my point seems fraught with error. How much of Intel's progress has been the low hanging fruit, and is that last 10% going to take 90% of the time? And what measures would you actually use to measure progress?
IMO the question is not 'will more Linux users buy games', but rather 'what percentage of games-playing Windows users will decide they no longer need a Windows box'.
I believe though, in the evolution of gaming and game makers, that the "brains" at Valve have taken one look at the "Windows Roadmap" and bet against it. Remeber that Windows 8 is the foundation of the "future" for microsoft. We going to see a massive shift in it's laws/legalities/processes for both gamers and game makers.
The change won't be over night, yes, but it's inevitable. Given a "free", open platform is now realitvely stable, why not move to it and not have the headache of having to "conform"?
I love linux. I don't mind Windows. If i have the option... it's an easy decision.
Valve doesn't make business decisions out of kindness. They make them when it makes fiscal sense. Preparing Steam for Linux is a huge endeavor costing millions of dollars in salaries and an even larger opportunity cost.
This isn't just to make a few extra bucks from a handful of current Linux users. And don't be mistaken, the only extra money they'd see is from current Linux users who refuse to buy non-Linux games. If by some chance this converts large swaths of Windows users to Linux they wouldn't be new customers, just the same customers on a different platform.
1/1000? That's just plain ridiculous, at the very(!) most OS X has 10 times the number of users(probably a lot less). Also Apple plain doesn't care about desktop gaming, the only reason they care about ios gaming is that it became extremely popular without them and now it's such a big draw they have to care. I would assume most Apple users don't care too much. OTOH linux users are exactly the sort of geeky audience that tends to be gamers or potential gamers.
Your point about the users who simply use steam games on a windows box/vm/wine now that wouldn't add much to the bottom line hits much closer(Although the convenience/reliability of being able to buy games for their main computer could help existing users spend more freely) but I think that it is missing some like those who might use consoles less or those who aren't currently gamers but have decent potential to become gamers and customers thanks to the convenience of buying games on their main platform/pc.
Steam itself is an app-store model too.
The first "Humble Bundle" got approximately 20000 Linux purchases. I'd imagine Steam would get significantly more than that at release.
Nobody every claimed that. Of course their support for Desktop Linux has nothing to do with kindness but is pure business.
Microsoft and Apple are forcing Appstores on their computers and naturally Valve sees this as a danger to Steam. That's why they want to support an alternative.
Remember that the idea of Steam on Linux was itself just a rumour mere months ago.
Regards the "Linux users pay more" meme on the humble bundle, bear in mind you are still talking about people only paying something like $10 for about 5 games. I assume that Steam prices will stay the same across OSs as well rather than charging more for a Linux version.
It's obvious that they are getting more interested in hardware such as the Oculus Rift, also with hardware getting cheaper there seems to be a growing market for people buying hardware/software integrated solutions.
Whatever it is they are planning to do, they want to become a first class player in the gaming market rather than being whim to Microsoft who look like they are wanting to produce their own hardware.
The best way to do that is to take an already proven kernel with good performance and no licensing and work on from there.
My guess is that porting Steam to Linux gives them an eager powerbase of vocal power users to use as a test market. It's the same principle Apple uses by marketing to the "fanboys" first and letting it trickle out from there.
Hopefully they will continue to support "normal" Linux distributions however, it would be nice to be able to hook up their controller and a headset to my PC and run everything that way if I don't want to buy a "steambox" or whatever.
Gabe definitely mentioned at one point that there was a possibility of putting some basic biometric hardware into a controller, and they've also spoken about experimenting with new forms of input before (and have supported 3rd party novel input devices such as the Novint Falcon).
It's very clear they want to experiment in the controller space, and they have stated multiple times that they do not want to be in the console business, and would rather provide the software for other companies to build their own "Steam Boxes" - yet for some reason everyone fixates on the baseless rumour that they will be making a console, rather than the play that's right in front of them.
It's either that or they are predicting a sharp upsurge in Linux usage after Windows 8 which seems like a very scary predication to make.
Assuming such a steambox does exist, what remains to be seen is whether they make it easy to turn it into a proper Linux PC.
That would effectively stealth install Linux desktops in millions of homes worldwide.
-adding a massive complication/cost in the form of a complete hardware division
-dropping a billion into upfront R/D, marketing and production
only to lose money per unit and only maybe make a profit in the end, when they can just charge Dell/Asus money for "Big Picture Certified" stickers and call it a day. Doing so on Linux just means they don't have to worry about the MS roadmap.
If Valve a company that EA tried acquiring at a valuation of something in the vicinity of one billion dollars sometime ago isn't a major player, then you must have very high standards. Valve have produced so many cult classics and well-known titles that even years after being created are still played, modded and purchased — Counter Strike and Half Life anyone?
I doubt it. Right now Valve only sells software. To get into the console business is to radically change the nature of the organization. Just marketing a new console enough to give it a decent chance to break even would cost enough to require Valve to raise money. And since consoles are not a growing market, there is little potential financial benefit to the move. (In fact, the market is probably shrinking because of competition from tablets and smartphones.)
No, what Valve is trying to do here is make the Linux desktop a more attractive platform for games in order to give Steam a better chance to survive if Microsoft makes its survival on Windows untenable. Valve is worried by Microsoft's creation of an Apple-like app store because, well, Steam is an app store.
If they are sane, Valve does not want the hassle of creating and maintaining their own platform: they just want to be able to continue to deploy Steam on existing gaming platforms. They probably hope Steam will continue to be able to thrive on Windows and probably see their porting of Steam to Linux as an aid in negotiations with Microsoft.
I agree that valve isn't a hardware company, but there are plenty out there for them to partner with. They could be taking the Windows/android approach to set top boxes. That would certainly be refreshing.
And so far the console are just rumours and support for Desktop Linux is going Beta.
What about id Software?
They have a long-standing history of support for the platform, including John Carmack's philosophy and advocation of OSS that has driven his contribution of id Software game engine source code to the community, up to and including id Tech 4.
He even cares so deeply about the topic that he worked to keep id Tech 5 free from the shackles of proprietary code, because he wants to eventually release it as open source. He said (italic emphasis is mine):
"'Do we want to integrate some other vendor's solution, some proprietary code into this?' And the answer's usually no, because eventually id Tech 5 is going to be open source also. This is still the law of the land at id, that the policy is that we're not going to integrate stuff that's going to make it impossible for us to do an eventual open source release. We can argue the exact pros and cons from a pure business standpoint on it, and I can at least make some, perhaps somewhat, contrived cases that I think it's good for the business, but as a personal conviction it's still pretty important to me and I'm standing by that." 
I think the reality is that id Software has attempted to build the market-space, but the base just hasn't been there. For example, John had this to say recently at QuakeCon 2012:
"Other interesting sort of PC-ish platforms, we have... the Mac still remains a viable platform for us. The Mac has never required any charity from id, all of those ports have carried their own weight there; they've been viable business platforms.
Linux is an issue that's taken a lot more currency with Valve announcing Steam for Linux, and that does change, factor, you know, changes things a bit, but we've made two forays into the Linux commercial market, most recently with Quake Live client, and, you know, that platform just hasn't carried its weight compared to the Mac on there. It's great that people are enthusiastic about it, but there's just not nearly as many people that are interested in paying for a game on the platform, and that just seems to be the reality. Valve will probably pull a bunch more people there. I know absolutely nothing about any Valve plans for console, Steam-box stuff on there; I can speculate without violating anything.
So, it's enticing, the thought there that you might have a well-supported, completely open platform that you could deliver content through the Steam ecosystem there. It's a tough sell on there, but Valve gets huge kudos for having the vision for what they did with Steam, sticking through all of it. It's funny talking about Doom 3, where we can remember back in the days when they're like, 'Well, should you ship Doom 3 on Steam, go out there, make a splash?' ... I'm like, 'You're kidding, right?' That made no sense at all at that time, but you know Valve stuck with it and they're in a really enviable position from all of that now.
It still seems, probably crazy to me that they would be doing anything like that, you know, but, it's something that's not technically impossible, but would be really difficult from a market, sort of ecosystems standpoint." 
This makes even more sense if one supposes that Valve ultimately intends to release a "Steambox" console. In such a condition, the question emerges: at what point does Microsoft feel WINE is damaging its profits sufficiently to revoke the free pass its enjoyed for a long while and bring out the legal banhammer? I think a Steambox that relied heavily on WINE would be excellent provocation.
I'll bet CodeWeavers couldn't be happier right now.
Let's hope GOG will follow with shipping native Linux games. With their DRM free stance - they'll be very well received by Linux users.
If you are interested, you can vote to show them that there is a demand for it:
I think it's established that gamers will be appreciative to have Steam running on Linux officially. Do you think we owe Valve something more than that, like pretending like potential downsides don't exist and that everyone's problems will be solved permanently by drooling at the Steam/Linux window for ten hours a day?
OTOH that seems unlikely, hopefully it will be more like OSX with a healthy commercial ecosystem and an open source system living side by side on the same OS.
I guess it could become a disadvantage if an influx of good commercial software means that effort on open source stuff is diminished because there is less perceived need.
Steam is DRM, of course, and it definitely causes hassle for some users. Where Steam is different however is that it does actually add value, and for many users (myself included) the trade-off is worth it. I wouldn't dismiss software out of hand because "it's DRM" - there's a whole spectrum of good and bad software within that definition.
The way I see it - DRM never adds any value, and it's a two fold problem. The practical aspect of it - it degrades usability for legitimate users as you pointed out. And the ethical aspect of it - it's a preemptive policing technology that treats users as potential criminals by default. In my opinion it doesn't have any reason to exist at all. And actually you can dismiss it just for the fact of promoting DRM, since DRM means disrespect to users by default.
The core DRM in Steam (if we ignore the flakiness of offline mode at least) is clever, consumer-friendly, and unbeatable: You simply do not deliver the executable to users until the game is out (but they can pre-load assets, which can optionally be encrypted to stop any pre-release leaks from them).
That's not to say Steam might be marginally improved without that, but in my day to day it has never caused any problems that wouldn't exist without it - in contrast, CD ROM based DRM such as Securom has caused me several headaches.
It's also worth mentioning that the DRM on Steam is opt-in: While the big publishers see fit to ship extra DRM on top of Steam, many of the games I have installed through Steam will actually run fine if I launch the executable directly, without starting Steam.
Lose internet unexpectedly? Your downloaded games are inaccessible.
I've had great success installing dos-based GOG games through WineBottler (http://wiki.winehq.org/WineBottler), diving into the package, moving the relevant files out, and stuffing them in Boxer (http://boxerapp.com/) and they run pretty awesome on my mac.
The proposal above is really more about giving an option of native Linux games when they are available. Often GOG offers a Windows version, while Linux or Mac OSX variants aren't offered even if they exist.
Having a DosBox / ScummVM games packaged for Linux is good, but that's not the main point of that vote.
Boxer makes this especially trivial on OSX, there's no reason similar (or even the same) game containers could not be created for Linux.
Source: http://en.thewitcher.com/community/entry/296 about a Special Event on the 18th of October
Though, that will probably be OS X.
We don't have games because we don't support games. We don't have hardware support becuase we don't have anything that requires hardware support.
Seems that game developers have an incentive to do this since, according to my latest glance at the Humble Bundle website, Linux purchasers give much more than average ($10.13, as compared to $5.48 for Windows and $7.27 for Mac).
Even after all this time (it's been longer now since HL2:E2 than the gap between HL1 and HL2 itself), the hype is so strong that if they released HL3 for Linux so much as a few hours earlier than the Windows version, it would cause a significant spike in Ubuntu downloads.
Of course, if it failed, it'd look odd.
Of course, also, if they gave out Ep3 for free with a Linux account like they sometimes do Portal... Well, half the gamers with PCs would be swarming boards to get help booting Linux partitions. Then Steam would just have to get other publishers on board the "offer Linux too" train, like they did with the "one purchase for PC and Mac" strategy.
Er... unless Canonical is paying for the license, I can't see how that'd happen, Ep3 (if it ever exists) won't be a 2~3-hours side-game bundled with two "full-fledged" games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Orange_Box)
Of course, that's insanely unlikely. But I think it would be their strongest card in the "let's get everyone off of Windows" . I also think luring everyone to Linux (by filling in their catalog with "one purchase, all platforms" games) is probably cheaper for Valve than creating their own console.
But then, I may well attribute more good will to them (that they'd rather home computer gaming be on an open platform than another closed one, even if it was their own) than they deserve.
/edit: Ohhh, you mean "Portal wasn't a full fledged game, so... Unlikely." I get you. Sorry. Yes, I agree. Like I said here, insanely unlikely. But, as a tool to get more people to get away from Windows and the Win8 store... It would be irresistibly strong bait. And that's definitely in their long term interests.
I suppose making it a Linux exclusive for some period of time might not be outside the realms of possibility. But I can't see what that would do apart from piss people off. Especially people who have no idea how to setup dual boot or who have hardware that isn't very compatible with Linux.
There may well be some perks for new Linux users, but probably more along the line of some extra skins for multiplayer or whatever.
They wouldn't have to give it away to do that. Just offer the Linux version 12h before the Windows version at normal price (and pre-announce it) and they'll burn Canonical's server into the ground under the load of gamers trying to get HL3 a few hours in advance.
Now I need to bookmark that blog. :-)
Fragmentation in the Linux world is one of the major things that is stopping developers from jumping on board. Valve should focus on supporting one distro and supporting it well.
Now, Linux as a desktop... Maybe. We'll see.
Also the same day I wanted to install my old HP 4300C scanner, connecting it to Windows 7 and using some old driver for windows xp didn't make it work. There are no drivers for Windows 7. The ones for XP are also quite old and are some kind of a "remastered" Windows 95 version sometimes they don't work.
When I did the same on linux (Debian Wheezy, default kernel 3.2.x) both devices just work I didn't have to do anything apart from running an application that uses them (Skype or scanimage).
You and I may see the Linux desktop, but most people don't. Which is very sad, in my opinion. It'll come, I suppose. I just have to be skeptical.
It shouldn't be the goal or focus of Linux to win on the desktop, because the desktop is increasingly being relegated to a niche player. Winning on the desktop today would be a rather pointless victory IMO.
Linux is already right now, today, amazingly incredibly successful in all domains which I think are most relevant for the future: servers (a given) and mobile (Android, Firefox OS, Web OS, Ouya, etc, etc.)
I'm sure someone here heard it before then.
Feels kind of cute, in retrospect.
I also went through all sorts of hell with proprietary AMD/ATI drivers, and I needed them for OpenCL. To this day my Desktop is a pain to use but OpenCL works fine. Sadly they make the best cards for this purpose by far, otherwise I would get something else.