Valve Reaffirms its Commitment to Linux

I’ve come to expect a bit of… shall we say… derision from media outlets and your garden variety PC gamers when it comes to anything Linux. So I wasn’t surprised to see headlines reporting on the removal of Steam Machines from the Steam navigation menu.

But what I didn’t expect was to see Valve respond. Hi, I’m Gardiner, the Linux Gamer, and let’s talk about this.

“While it's true Steam Machines aren't exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven't significantly changed. We're still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications. We think it will ultimately result in a better experience for developers and customers alike, including those not on Steam.”

I would say that that’s a pretty interesting comment. Valve is working on making Linux a great operating system for gaming and applications because... why? Well, they believe that it will result in a better experience for everyone, not just their customers. And hell yeah! That’s true and it’s refreshing to hear from Valve, especially when they can be pretty quiet and slow moving. I’m filled with warm tinglies all over after reading that.

The post goes on to say…

“Through the Steam Machine initiative, we've learned quite a bit about the state of the Linux ecosystem for real-world game developers out there. We've taken a lot of feedback and have been heads-down on addressing the shortcomings we observed.”

I’d say there’s evidence to back that up. Valve have released both a beta and a stable version of SteamOS so far this year. And for a project that many proclaimed dead three years ago, that’s a rather healthy showing, I’d say.

“We think an important part of that effort is our ongoing investment in making Vulkan a competitive and well-supported graphics API, as well as making sure it has first-class support on Linux platforms...”

“We also have other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we're not quite ready to talk about yet; SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements to our customers, and we think they will ultimately benefit the Linux ecosystem at large.”

Pierre-Loup Griffias - Steam Community Post

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m quite interested in what Valve are up to. Especially when it comes to the “other Linux initiatives” he was talking about. If you haven’t seen it, I made a video speculating about what Valve are up to.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that Linux is a collaborative effort. Thousands of people from so many companies all over the world contribute to the Linux kernel in order to make it better and more versatile. The interesting thing about Valve contributing to and pushing Linux forward is their motivation. They are one of a small group of companies who believe in Linux as an end-user experience and that push it as such. That’s something I find commendable.

Now I did reach out to Pierre-Loup (the author of the post) for further comment and unfortunately he wasn’t available to give an interview at the moment.

But I want to know what you think? Have you read the entire post? Are you satisfied with SteamOS’ progress? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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