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Productivity and Creativity Software Coming To Steam

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the infinite-app-stores dept.

Software 194

lga writes "Valve announced today in a press release that they are expanding Steam beyond games and will start to deliver other software. This means that Steam will compete directly with Microsoft's Windows Store and perhaps explains some of Gabe Newell's disdain for Windows 8. The ability to save documents to Steam Cloud space also brings Valve into competition with the likes of Dropbox and Skydrive. According to the press release, 'The Software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.'"

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194 comments

MS In-OS Store (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923039)

The problem is that Microsoft is basically screwing over everyone who has a popular application or game digital store, the same way Apple screwed over the growl team by implementing that in-OS and the Instapaper guy by including that functionality in the OS. They basically are undermining an entire eco-system that already exists (and, in fact, one which in turn actually supports the entire OS's existence, such as the 30 million gamers who may largely only use Windows because that's what is required to play their Steam games on).

Re:MS In-OS Store (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923139)

Ok, except the service and the cloud space and the applications etc. are being provided by Valve through the Steam platform. Microsoft didn't do anything but say "yes we think Windows is better with this". Any gripe you have about the way it works or what effects it will have should be directed at Valve.

I know you love to hate MS. I don't like 'em either so I don't use Windows (nothing to bitch and moan about is a good thing!). But this just can't be so hard to understand.

Re:MS In-OS Store (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923505)

I think he means with the windows 8 store. Valve is desperately (not necessarily correctly) trying to find something to keep them alive when the windows 8 app store rolls around. They are thinking (possibly completely wrongly) that people won't want to use steam when there's an official MS store.

I suspect they're wrong though, I suspect that the windows store will end up full of crap, including apps for webpages and that nonsense, and valve can own a chunk of the premium store market for windows (and linux).

Don't underestimate Microsoft (5, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923733)

Don't underestimate the energy that Microsoft will put behind squashing the competition once they roll out their own product.
They will put every single effort they can trying to kick Steam out of the business.

Yup, probably that the official MS store will be crap. But Microsoft has an history of successfully managing to destroy competition by bundling inferior products (As an example: real-time compression almost died during the Stacker vs. Doublespace saga).

Valve is completely right in attempting to get prepared for the worst.

Re:Don't underestimate Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923851)

No, realtime compression died because it totally sucked ass on the hardware of the day. (It's still in Windows, and I've never heard of anyone turning it on.)

Also the current group of drooltards running Microsoft are completely inferior to the ruthless business geniuses of 20 years ago, so please stop bringing up ancient history as if it was relevant.

Re:Don't underestimate Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923991)

No, realtime compression died because it totally sucked ass on the hardware of the day. (It's still in Windows, and I've never heard of anyone turning it on.)

Also the current group of drooltards running Microsoft are completely inferior to the ruthless business geniuses of 20 years ago, so please stop bringing up ancient history as if it was relevant.

It's relevant because other than Gates you still have the same personalities running the show as you did 20 years ago. Especially Ballmer.

Now maybe he's seen the Light or found Jesus or whatever but I wouldn't count on it.

Re:Don't underestimate Microsoft (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924371)

MS already has "games for windows live" which sold games you could download. I wasn't aware of that fact, which should tell you something about MS's ability to intrude on steam's turf. Origin is a bigger threat. I don't know of any hard statistics, but they're building up a lot of ill will among gamers as far as I've heard.

Anyway, this is valve moving into MS's area, not vice versa. I'd guess that Newell realizes that windows 8 app store is going to be a disaster and that he can position himself to replace it, like firefox replaced internet explorer. I don't think he's worried windows 8 is going to replace steam.

Re:Don't underestimate Microsoft (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924421)

I've had windows live bundled with various games for a while, but yes, MS has managed to seriously screw up pretty much every attempt at an online store for consumers so far.

Re:MS In-OS Store (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924351)

Valve is desperately (not necessarily correctly) trying to find something to keep them alive when the windows 8 app store rolls around.

This is the part I can't understand. Why would a Microsoft App Store make it less likely people will use Steam? Is Microsoft going to have distribution deals with every game developer?

Right now, the number of games that I'd be interested in that are NOT on Steam is extremely small. In the past year, there's been only one game I wanted to check out that I couldn't buy on Steam. Fortunately I was able to play it before I bought it because it didn't turn out to be any good after all.

Steam covers my PC gaming needs. I really don't see myself suddenly deciding I'm only going to buy games from Microsoft, especially since the only time I think of "games" and "Microsoft" in the same context is whenever I get angry at how horrible Windows Live for Games is. Every time I go to play a game and see "Games for Windows Live" my stomach sinks because I know it's going to be an extra layer of hassle, such as Arkham City.

If somebody gives me a choice between MS and Steam, I'll pick Steam 10 times out of 10. If Microsoft decides I can't have that choice, I'll go to whichever platform supports Steam. Hell, the only reason I use Windows at all is to play PC games. If those games move to a different platform, so will I.

Re:MS In-OS Store (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924523)

Microsoft going to have distribution deals with every developer

having had the unfortunate 'pleasure' of working with a team of people doing business with valve, valve very much builds deals with individual developers. It's basically the same deal for everyone, 30% steam cut, but they do talk to you individually, sometimes not very nicely (and sometimes deservedly so). I suspect MS will have to automate everything and not really build individual relationships. This gives them an advantage in volume, and ease from a developer perspective, but it's worse from an end user perspective.

And ya, steam has everything except blizzard and EA's top tier games, and a few MMO's (because if you're an MMO maker steam is really not something you want to be on if you can avoid it). I see them as continuing to be the premium game and online service provider. I wouldn't be surprised if they lose out on their indie business largely - but even there they can pick up the premium versions.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft bans bundling steam into games on the windows store. Gamersgate did that for a while, but had to give up on that plan.

Re:MS In-OS Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923731)

Actually, the windows app store will only support new WinRT style programs. The entire installed base of Win32 programs will not be available. If those software vendors want "app store" connivence, they can deal with Steam. It's a very smart move on Valve's part.

Re:MS In-OS Store (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923987)

windows store will only support WInRT style programs til cold hard reality comes up and bitch-slaps them in the face. then they will support them and screw over valve. that slap may come in the form of seeing valve rake in money, or people calling them up and screaming them out because their win32/win64 apps won't restore, or any of number of other causes or combinations of all of them. valve stands to gain a whole lot from this in until ms pulls the rug out from under them. they will probably have a metro app for their own store as well as a traditional version. the metro version would on a system restore reinstall all of your programs probably the win 32/64 apps as well.

Re:MS In-OS Store (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924205)

The problem is that Microsoft is basically screwing over everyone who has a popular application or game digital store, the same way Apple screwed over the growl team by implementing that in-OS and the Instapaper guy by including that functionality in the OS.

You're comparing the wrong things here, Apple did that with iOS and Microsoft is doing that with Windows RT but neither have done that on their desktop operating systems (Windows 8 and OSX).
There's been enough negativity surrounding Windows 8 that i can't imagine Windows RT is going to overtake Android or iOS so i doubt there's any worry about that becoming ubiquitous.

Great! (5, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923043)

Just do it after you create and release Half-Life 3.

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923143)

Half-Life 3 has been re-imagined as a suite of image editing software rather than a first-person single player action game, and will ship with this release.

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923275)

I see that they're following the example of Master of Orion III, which instead of creating a sequel, they released some tax software with an alien interface.

Re:Great! (3, Funny)

toejam13 (958243) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923397)

So then, the new method to kill your foes in HL3 will be:

Select the wand highlight tool
Click on your opponent
Select the Gaussian Obliterate tool, with pixel radius set to 50px
If foe is not obliterated enough, select the Obliterate More tool

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923567)

Of course, it'll be a first-person image editing application.

Single pixels gets done by your 9mm, spray effects gets done by the mp5 or shotgun while the gravity gun with various implements takes care of cutting, filling etc. Wanna fill? Take a barrel of the stuff. Of course you'll get your obligatory Portal Device to for managing layers/navigation, etc etc.

Sounds a lot more exciting than Photoshop to me.

Interesting ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923051)

Their focus on Linux suddenly starts looking differently ...

Re:Interesting ... (2)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923119)

And if they start to move into streaming apps/games through steam, the OS you're using will be irrelevant.

I CAN WAIT !! #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923055)

Hardly !!

Single Point of Failure (5, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923091)

Valve has, numerous times, banned users from Steam for violating policies (such as cheating). When only games are affected this is draconian, but understandable. However, what about when your kid cheats, and that gets your copy of Office taken away? All the documents you created?

This is something that will have to be addressed in the TOS before I would be comfortable putting too much in their care.

I should note the same issue affects Google... this is not unique to Steam.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923153)

You are not allowed to share your account or credentials with another person. Why are your children using your Steam account?

Re:Single Point of Failure (4, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923357)

This may be in the ToS, but it is not a practical requirement. Most parents would not want to buy 3 copies of a game for ONE COMPUTER just so their kids could play too.

Re:Single Point of Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40924359)

Seriously. This can't be modded up enough. I'm not going to buy a game three fucking times so three users of the same computer can play it.

Steam can take this requirement of theirs and shove it. I DO have two steam accounts, and I buy games twice, but only when I plan on playing them on two computers. The same users on 1 computer = 1 copy, and if Steam doesn't like it, they can be on the receiving end of my lawsuit.

Re:Single Point of Failure (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923185)

Valve has, numerous times, banned users from Steam for violating policies (such as cheating). When only games are affected this is draconian, but understandable. However, what about when your kid cheats, and that gets your copy of Office taken away? All the documents you created?

This is something that will have to be addressed in the TOS before I would be comfortable putting too much in their care.

I should note the same issue affects Google... this is not unique to Steam.

Wow so let's see now. If I pay for software and do it legitimately then I am beholden to some single vendor who could take everything away from me that I paid for, tell me how it's all allowed in the ToS, and I'd go bankrupt trying to sue them in court before I ever got close to a verdict that would probably not be in my favor anyway. ... or ... I can go to the Pirate Bay and make a couple of quick downloads and have the assurance that I can do anything I want with it and use it any way I want and never have any such problems. Hmm... Gee that's a toughie.

Just another example of the pirates having a better, more functional, more flexible, less restricted, more secure experience than the paying customers.

You want to put a serious dent in piracy, first change that. Treat paying customers like you actually value their business. Until then...

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923195)

I'm fairly sure that when VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) bans you, the ban is only for that specific game engine. If you get banned for hacking in Halflife 2, the ban is also for Team Fortress 2, but not Orcs Must Die.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

seepho (1959226) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924147)

You're also only banned from playing in VAC-secured servers. But let's not let all of this get in the way of FUD.

Re:Single Point of Failure (2, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923203)

I am not aware of a single instance of someone being banned from Steam for cheating. Banned from VAC servers, yes, multiplayer in certain games, yes, but not from Steam in general. Now, users have gotten banned for things like trying to activate a hacked game or phishing, but I've never heard of an account ban for cheating or other minor offenses.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923233)

They also get banned for credit card charge backs.

However you are correct that they don't ban your account for cheating.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923419)

They also get banned for credit card charge backs.

Really? Unless something dramatic has changed in the landscape recently, making any attempt to stop a credit card user doing a chargeback if they have legitimate grounds to do so is usually a good way to get your organisation banned by the ubergods of the credit card world for violating their own terms, which are about as fair and balanced for merchants as Valve's own heavily one-sided terms would be to users if they ever actually did what the lawyers have claimed they can in those terms. I don't for a moment believe that Valve are big enough to be an exception, so I suspect whatever prompted your comment was some sort of one-off oddity.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923639)

What?! You have something really confused.

1. Yes, you can't say, "you agree to never file a chargeback".. that is true. That's against the rules.

2. But if you file a chargeback, there's nothing in the rules that says the company must continue doing business with that person. In fact, they encourage you to maintain a ban list so that you do not process charges from high-risk customers.

Besides, if you file a chargeback and win, then the service was never paid for. So why are you using it?

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923787)

Besides, if you file a chargeback and win, then the service was never paid for. So why are you using it?

Really? It doesn't occur to you that there could theoretically be one fraudulent transaction on an account that is actually used?

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

billcopc (196330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923235)

Agreed 100%. In fact, I find the notion of banning an entire account absolutely vile. Banning users at all is vile. Protect the non-cheating population, sure, but cheaters paid for the damned game/app, let them use it. Cheating has been a part of gaming since the dawn of home computing. They should deal with it far more gracefully, like segregating cheaters to play against each other in a separate lobby (can't remember the company that did that). Even with MMOs, they could shift cheaters to a different server - that would nearly kill gold farming since they could only trade with other farmers.

To now mix in productivity applications, they're going to have to tread very lightly. The day someone gets locked out of their business records due to some draconian lockout, will be the day Valve gets sued into the ground, EULAs be damned. After all, where is the distinction between a game and an application ? At their core, they both move information in response to user input. The difference is, gamers don't tend to sue for lost wages or name publishers in tort cases.

Re:Single Point of Failure (2)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923381)

Users don't get banned for cheating, you don't lose access to your account or games, you are simply banned from servers that use valves cheat protection.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923243)

I should note the same issue affects Google... this is not unique to Steam.

I have local copies of all my google docs, thanks to google drive. And they're backed up (using time machine), so even if google nuked 'em before removing access, I'd still have copies.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924159)

I hate to break it to you, but Google Drive doesn't actually copy the docs down to your machine; the files you see are just metadata that references the file in Google Docs.

When it comes to syncing Google Docs office files, the Google Drive software only downloads a link to your documents and spreadsheets. Click on one to open it and you're taken to the browser to edit the online version. If you're offline, you're out of luck. The actual file isn't downloaded to your computer, so it's useless as an offline backup option.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/hands-on-google-drive-20120429-1xsun.html [smh.com.au]

Files created in Google Docs get their own file type â" .gdoc and .gsheet, though these aren't true local copies of the files. Instead they're links that open files in Google Docs, making them useless when you're offline.

http://www.zdnet.com/google-drive-4010026028/ [zdnet.com]

Re:Single Point of Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923259)

Bans in steam are handled via engine. I seriously doubt they will have a policy for bans on these suites. Plenty of their titles allow for outside user modification and steam has no problem with single player cheating, they only have a harsh stance on multiplayer cheating. Gabe is former Microsoft I have faith he can pull this off.

Re:Single Point of Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923527)

Do they actually do this though?

My understanding was if you got VAC banned (its the anticheat, so you got banned for cheating) then you get locked out of VAC servers, but can still play games without the anticheat enabled or in single player.

Now there may be other reasons they lock accounts (such as you stealing them, or selling them), but I've never come across this example.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923687)

The OP is wrong.

Bans for cheating only result in you being banned from servers protected by Valves anti cheat system.

Bans for any other odd reason result in your account being locked down, you can still access all of your games (soon to be apps as well) however you can no longer purchase new games/apps, you can't redeem gifts, you can't trade.

Re:Single Point of Failure (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923827)

When Valve bans you for cheating, your account isn't taken away. Your ability to play on VAC secured multiplayer servers is disabled. Sometimes it's only for the one specific game, too. So you wouldn't have your copy of Office taken for your child being banned for cheating.

In order to get your account shut down, they would need to do something particularly bad, like defrauding another user.

Not to say I agree with what Valve is doing. I really think this is a stupid idea. The idea of Steam being a general purpose app store seems inappropriate. I would not want to tie my productivity software to Valve's servers, being unable to open Word for example, when their servers are too strained. It doesn't matter as much when we're talking about entertainment software.

Re:Single Point of Failure (2)

jmerlin (1010641) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923895)

Even more at issue: Steam's "subscriber policy" implies that all software purchased in Steam is merely a subscription to Steam's license, meaning you have no license, no ownership, no copy ownership, and effectively no rights at all afforded to you by any Federal, State, or Local laws regarding licensed software, copyrights, or consumer purchases that do not apply to subscriptions. It is unacceptable in a general purpose software store to be required to bind all rights granted under law regarding the purchase of software. It's about time someone take Steam to court regarding the most probable illegality of its policies. WIth them ripping off people individually to the tune of $5-$50, selling software that they do not support that can potentially fail to run on your system, getting a "refund" is impossible, and at best you may eventually get them to refund you the purchase price in your Steam Wallet, but not the actual money spent. In the event of defective products being sold, in most states in the US, a full refund or a functional replacement is required. Steam blatantly violated this law and quite a few others in my own personal dealings with them, so I've asked the EFF for a legal opinion on whether or not their Subscriber agreement is even remotely legal and if it gives them the ability to completely ignore laws and nickel-and-dime US taxpayers.

In the end, we should completely refuse to purchase anything on Steam until Valve corrects this issue (yes, compliance with laws is expensive, boohoo), and until such time, simply purchase the games from the producers directly and merely use Steam as a game organizer.

Install locations (4, Interesting)

Xian97 (714198) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923093)

I hope that you can install the applications anywhere instead of only under the Steam directory without having to resort to symlinks like you do now if you want to split up your SteamApps directory to different locations.

Re:Install locations (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923401)

And along with that, fix whatever causes the steam apps folder to be marked as "all changed" from Time Machine's perspective every time you open Steam on OS X, causing unnecessary multi-gig backups. I had to exclude the steam apps folder for this reason. It can't be subtly changing every file?

Re:Install locations (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923619)

I configured time machine to ignore that directory entirely. If you even run into a situation where you have to restore, you don't need Time Machine to do that for you. You can just pull everything back via Steam anyway.

Re:Install locations (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923855)

You can just pull everything back via Steam anyway.

I'm not 100% positive about this, but I'm pretty sure that some games store saved games in the Steam folder.

(That said, I'm nitpicking here; it's not like most people consider saved games to be high-value documents.)

Re:Install locations (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924009)

And that's still Ok, because Steam syncs the save games with their servers. I just rebuilt my machine from scratch last week, and once I got everything back on, it's as if nothing had happened.

Re:Install locations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40924111)

You can just pull everything back via Steam anyway.

I'm not 100% positive about this, but I'm pretty sure that some games store saved games in the Steam folder.

(That said, I'm nitpicking here; it's not like most people consider saved games to be high-value documents.)

Okay except that save files are not "multi-gig" files. No modern backup program should be making "multi-gig backups" because a few small save files are changed.

I was considering Time Machine and now I severely question the competency of its developers. I mean, rsync is more advanced than this (using proper deltas) and has been around a lot longer.

Run locations (2)

phorm (591458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924253)

Also, when you're able to run them anywhere.
Steam needs to separate accounts from app instances. For example, I should be able to run Photoshop or Maya from computer "A" while my game is running on computer "B", despite them being on the same account. What should be blocked is running a copy of the same application simultaneously on computer "A" and "B".

At the moment, instance permission is account-level, rather than application-level. If they want to bring in non-games, that would be a deal-breaker for me as I often may have multiple things going on at once (say playing a game while something is rendering, etc)

And lose access to your files (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923097)

Please agree to the new Terms of Service of you will not be able to access your Steam Cloud locker, play your single player games, use any of your productivity software or turn your computer on again (Steam Linux version only).

captcha: deliver

SteamOS ? (2)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923103)

If they come out with an operating system to compete with Windows and other windowed environments, it had better be 3d and run on the steam engine. The whole desktop ought to be a virtual 3D desktop, and all office productivity can now be done via gaming joystick. That might be awesome.

Re:SteamOS ? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923175)

"That's not porn and I'm not jerking off; it's the SteamOffice tutorial and I'm working on my document navigation technique!" Would *your* boss buy it?

Re:SteamOS ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923205)

They dont need to create an operating system. There are already plenty of operating systems. They allow applications to interface with the hardware and provide api's for common needs. Thats the role of the OS. This idea that the OS has games, the OS has internet browsers, the OS has paintbrush or gimp or open office or microsoft office is all kinda silly.

Having steam be a sandboxed client where you have a portable cloud based environment has some merit, let's see what comes of it.

Re:SteamOS ? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923363)

Thats the role of the OS. This idea that the OS has games, the OS has internet browsers, the OS has paintbrush or gimp or open office or microsoft office is all kinda silly

Once their mind is cleansed of that falsehood, you get to do it all over again with "desktop environments" like kde, gnome, xfce.

why can't we just have xterm, or maybe xterm-version1356+++ and 30 other xterms, instead of afterstep's aterm, elightenments eterm, gnome's gnome-terminal, KDE's konsole, gnustep's terminal.app, xfce's xfce4-terminal

Re:SteamOS ? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924385)

Once their mind is cleansed of that falsehood, you get to do it all over again with "desktop environments" like kde, gnome, xfce.

And after that, they shove everything into web browsers.

why can't we just have xterm

No one is forcing you to use or install any other terminal. Personally I prefer urxvt, small and fast and highly configurable.

Steam Linux (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923141)

So Steam is going from being a games repository to being a general repo. Halfway to a Linux distribution of their own.

Disaster == Bad for my business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923197)

So now we know that when Gabe described Windows 8 as a "disaster", he meant a disaster only for Valve. How can Valve become the app store for Windows when Windows has its own? I have no pity for them at all. We stare like passersby at a car wreck when we see old industry companies get destroyed by new tech. Valve deserves no special pity.

non dfsg linux stuff? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923209)

expanding Steam beyond games and will start to deliver other software

On linux?

This means that Steam will compete directly with

apt-get install whatever

I'm having trouble thinking of a proprietary piece of software I need... depends on your hobbies I suppose.

One service they could provide is distributing stuff thats "free" in quotes but not really free. I have not checked lately but I though ye olde heekscad was not quite DFSG (would be glad to hear I'm wrong) and I'm almost certain that xylinx fpga software is "free" but not DFSG-free so thats why there's no simple apt-get solution to install those monsters. Its at the point where I assume if there is no Debian package of a cool piece of software its because its not DFSG free, for example the dropbox client might actually be DFSG-free but since I can't apt-get install it I assume its not DFSG-free. If it were, it would already be in Debian, or at least in non-free.

You know what I'd like to pay someone (a very small amount) to do for me? package emc2 for Debian. There's a binary ubuntu install but emc2 is a dependency nightmare (very specific versions of real time linux kernel extensions? seriously?). My milling machine would thank you. I've got a dozen or so linux boxes at home (more if you count images) and one lonely ubuntu box running my mill. A monoculture mught be a security headache but its a sysadmins dream...

Some other non dfsg linux software includes the microsoft fonts, acrobat pdf reader or whatever its called, maybe some other things.

Video on demand and 1040 other things (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923665)

I'm having trouble thinking of a proprietary piece of software I need... depends on your hobbies I suppose.

Apart from games [pineight.com] , a lot of people need proprietary video player software to stream rented non-free films and non-free TV shows. The software is non-free due to compliance and robustness rules imposed by the movie studios. And a lot of people need proprietary tax preparation wizard software to prepare income tax returns. This software is non-free because tax software publishers treat their machine-readable interpretations of annual tax law amendments as a valuable trade secret.

Its at the point where I assume if there is no Debian package of a cool piece of software its because its not DFSG free

There is a DFSG-free (zlib license) 6502 assembly language development toolchain called ca65, but it's not in Debian (and thus not in Ubuntu) because it's bundled with a non-free C compiler called cc65 [cc65.org] . I filed a needs-packaging request for ca65 [launchpad.net] years ago.

Re:non dfsg linux stuff? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924413)

You know what I'd like to pay someone (a very small amount) to do for me? package emc2 for Debian.

Sounds like it would take a real Einstein to do that.

I am not sure steam is ready for non-games... (3, Interesting)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923221)

... software just based on how long it takes to launch things. If I want to play something it's not a big deal to wait the 10-20 seconds it takes to launch steam and waiting for it to connect to my account to allow the game to launch, but if I have some software I need to use for work and/or open/close several times that would get pretty annoying.

This said the steam advantages (and the inevitable steam sales) might make it more likely that people would overlook the speed issues, I am not sure.

Re:I am not sure steam is ready for non-games... (4, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923421)

Don't forget the achievements!

It will be awesome when Photoshop gets achievements.

Re:I am not sure steam is ready for non-games... (1)

Stele (9443) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923747)

Ding! You just opened a file! 40 Achievement Points!

Re: Steam startup time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923589)

Why not have Steam start on system boot and leave it running? If the various friend/group invite notifications bother you, disable them.

Re: Steam startup time (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923889)

The complaint isn't Steam startup time, it's the startup time of the individual programs that are launched from Steam. (When it sits there for a few seconds going "Preparing to launch Portal" or whatever, and you want to tell it what's with all the preparing and to stop preparing and just go. :-))

we want games (1)

lt.cyx (1376331) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923297)

Why ruin such a good thing with boring applications that are not games?

Come on! Next thing you know I'll be forced to see Corel Draw! next to Skyrim in the store screen - I don't think anyone wants that.

PaintShop Pro is a game (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923679)

If you think photomanipulation is not a game, then you don't hang out on Cracked's Pointless Waste of Time, Something Awful, or Worth1000.

Re:PaintShop Pro is a game (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924251)

That's not what's meant by "I'm going to go play with my PSP".

A fond farewell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923309)

One more step towards users having zero control over their computers.

Not everyone is a Slashdot geek.

Ironic CAPTCHA: kernel

Starting 05/09/2012 (4, Informative)

lga (172042) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923331)

I should have said in the summary that this all starts on the 5th of September.

Re:Starting 05/09/2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923545)

I should have said in the summary that this all starts on the 5th of September.

Yes but you failed. You could not be bothered to proofread. No, not even before releasing it publically to a very large audience. Not one proofreading. Jackass.

You are well on your way to being a Slashdot editor.

Losing focus (2)

AMDinator (996330) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923395)

I'm not sure what to think of this- by becoming a direct competitor to the Windows 8 app store, isn't Steam losing its differentiation as a specialty store for games? This might end up hurting them in the long run.

Re:Losing focus (1)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923495)

Not sure how much it would hurt them. Gamers won't suddenly jump ship because they offered something non game related, at most you'll pick some new users up, ones who have no interest in gaming. To a point they also need to diversify a bit seeing as how you'll probably see more publishers pushing their own distribution platform (such as EA with Origin). Steam can't compete with them if the publishers refuse to allow their games to be listed on competing services.

An Multi-Platform App Store (2)

Sean0michael (923458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923485)

I like the sound of this initially. One drawback to current App stores is they are locked to a single platform (ie. OS). Apple's App store only works on Apple devices. Android's various marketplaces only work on Android devices. the Windows App store apps will work only on Windows devices.

Here Steam has the chance to let the same apps work on any OS you want as long as the app developers will support it. Login to your Steam account anywhere and install that must-have-software on any machine no matter where you are or what you have. And if your application can be easily distributed through one channel to all your users, so much the better for you! I hope Steam finds success here.

Danger will! (4, Informative)

Splab (574204) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923511)

So, out of curiosity I decided to disagree to the last update to Steam EULA - you will lose *all* access, not just future updates, but everything you have or had with steam will be blocked unless you agree to their terms. Note, their terms and conditions specifically calls for a 30 days heads up for you to save your stuff, this is nice and all, except you don't get 30 days warning and you sure as hell don't get to access your offline items.

And they want us to trust them with our files?

Oh, and their support response to inquiries with regards to the illegal blockage of my applications. "We believe this update to terms and conditions are in your best interest".

Re:Danger will! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40923703)

Yep, same here. I'll just pirate all the games now. Hopefully I don't find that piracy is easier than it used to be, I remember the nightmares involved in doing in in the late 90s/early 00s. If it's too easy, feh, we'll see if I'm arsed to look for a new service or not.

Re:Danger will! (1)

brit74 (831798) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923849)

Yep, same here. I'll just pirate all the games now.

You do realize that there are other ways to get software on your computer than "Steam", right? Just wondering because you sound like you believe that "Steam" and "piracy" are your only two options.

Re:Danger will! (3, Funny)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923921)

Because it is! At least it is when you're looking for reasons to justify pirating everything.

Re:Danger will! (2)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924051)

You do realize that there are other ways to get software on your computer than "Steam", right?

I'm sure he does.

Just wondering because you sound like you believe that "Steam" and "piracy" are your only two options.

Why would anyone explore any option other than piracy after they already paid for the game on steam?

Oh... you mean "new games that he doesn't already have..." sure, for that looking at alternatives is reasonable. But if I've got 100 titles on steam, and they up and change the EULA on me and hold everything I bought for ransom against me agreeing to whatever new terms they've imagined for themselves then piracy is really the only option I consider reasonable.

Well, piracy or a lawsuit.

Never will I use this for productivity apps (2)

pointyhat (2649443) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923573)

I would never use a system like this for business or produtivity (that includes all cloud crap like Office 365, Google Docs etc as well). The motivation is purely to stone-wall other app stores off (such as the Windows App Store) and take as much market share and control as possible rather than to provide a fair and reasonable service.

The moment you're a customer, they don't care about you as you're locked in. Also the motivations - sorry but:

easy installation - it's not hard to install anything.

automatic updating - most software does this.

ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you - I've got a fucking laptop with a hard disk dammit.

I hate saying this but you've got to be very lazy or stupid to trust one of these services.

Re:Never will I use this for productivity apps (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924233)

automatic updating - most software does this.

Java on windows. i have to go clean computers regularly and remove old java installs and then install the new java. not all software updates as nicely as linux it dose on linux

Re:Never will I use this for productivity apps (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924269)

For many people, it is hard to find and install stuff; more importantly, it's very hard to know what software you can trust not to copy your banking password and spam your friends. Steam is setting itself up as another "garden" just like the App Stores of mobile.

As for automatic updating, that's a bonus for the developer, not so much the user, 'though I do get annoyed that every single Windows application has its own updater. A centralized system like Apt (or in this case, Steam) is so much nicer.

As for the traveling files: good for you. Hope your disk doesn't die, ever. Oh, you got backups? Guess what, most people - even plenty of IT people who should know better - don't.

Steam's Ecosystem . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923761)

From a geek's standpoint, Steam is probably the best "ecosystem" out there but I find that every company these days wants to get into the cloud-based ecosystem business and I'm tired of it. The last thing on earth I want to do is store my documents in the cloud, in fact last week I completed migrating off of google's infrustructure - the headaches weren't worth the loss of convenience and lack of peace of mind. I love Steam and I just won't buy a PC game anywhere else if I can find it on Steam, but I'm fed up with cloud based storage offerings and productivity apps - there are better options out there for the techically inclined.

No thanks (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923811)

Stema may be one of the better game services but you still don't *really* own all your games and can lose everything by them taking it away, going out of business or someone hacking your account.

Why can't people just sell software that's not locked into their own product?

I for one welcome our Valve overlords. (1)

biochozo (2700157) | about a year and a half ago | (#40923833)

The idea of Valve expanding creates more competition which is great. However, I don't trust the cloud or any 'account' to store my files on. Maybe if it were marketed as a backup and sync instead of storage I'd be more comfortable with it. Owning a few trivial digital pieces of software is my limit of trust no matter what company. I can see Valve prepping to expand, taking the competition by surprise and by next year will have their own tablet, linux based OS, music store... So where 'should' Valve be headed? Have they lost focus or is it just what's good for business?

New homework excuse! (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40924073)

Nah, I couldn't print my paper because stupid Steam failed to connect to my account, so my office program locked me out.

I'll have it tomorrow when the internet's fixed, I swear!

free jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40924093)

as Kim implied I didnt even know that people able to make $5085 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this page makecash16.com

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