They don't allow developers to self-publish, and Valve is privately owned by a benevolent dictator who won't be prone to public investor pressure for short term quarterly profits. People trust Valve to do the right thing.
Microsoft on the other hand has a history of just shutting down their DRM servers without making it right for the customers who bought into their DRM'd products.
Source? Microsoft is incredibly well known for supporting products int he long term. They only shut down Xbox Live for the original Xbox in 2010. And Windows XP is still infamously supported.
"The news will likely upset a number of Microsoft's customers, who bought music from MSN Music before the company launched the Zune Marketplace and decided to ditch the old store. Microsoft's decision to turn off the MSN Music authorization servers serves as a painful reminder that DRM ultimately severely limits your rights. Companies that control various DRM schemes, as well as the content providers themselves, can yank your ability to play the content which you lawfully purchased (and now, videos) at any moment—no matter what your expectation was when you bought it. Some Major League Baseball fans learned this the hard way last fall."
I wouldn't trust anything from Microsoft where in order for it to keep working, it would have to phone home to MS DRM servers. MS will eventually shut down those DRM servers without giving their customers a solution to use their DRM'd products post-shutdown.
I sometimes play games that are many decades old, and as anyone that collects games knows, consoles tend to live shorter than physical game copies.
So what am I going to do with a Xbox One in 20 years after the DRM Server were turned off?
Hope that the console never fails so I don't lose my complete collection? (If the failure rate for the last two Xbox generations is any indicator, chances are slim)
Thats one thing steam is actually pretty good for, its got lots of older games (some from the early 80s!) that generally just work on pretty much any modern PC.
Also, it's probably much easier to backup and play your Steam games on a PC, even if Steam wont be there forever, than it would be with such a locked up system like the Xbox One.
This isn't Microsoft's first rodeo.
Edit: I don't accept a solution where I just have to hope that they will do something that enables me to play my games once the authentication servers have been decomissioned.
If I buy something, I want to know upfront what they will do, and it has to be guaranteed, not just a PR statement.
It has to be part of the TOS and I should be able to hold them accountable if they do not deliver.
And how is it a bad business decision to ensure that a customer can use his collection even if all auth/DRM servers are decomissioned?
This is the "bad business decision" that was made for every single big mainstream console since the invention of video games, and it seems obvious to me that the customer demands this, and MS understood it.
The Kin is partly Verizon's fault, really.
This can happen to provider, and is one of the reasons why I stay away from Steam games.
Many times within the last couple years, I've been ready to purchase a game, then walked away when I saw Steam is required.