Valve's Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a "catastrophe"

Posted by Mark Raby

Valve chief Gabe Newell has some tough words for Microsoft's new operating system.

He said, "I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality."

Valve is known for creating some of the most popular hardcore PC games, but its reach has been vastly extended thanks to its digital distribution platform Steam. It acts as a centralized hub for PC gamers of all stripes to download and get instant access to games from all kinds of publishers across all genres.

The company has been recruiting people well-versed in the Linux operating system, and it may be soon ready to launch a native Linux port of Steam. Valve has apparently been working long and hard behind-the-scenes to allow its Source Engine run natively on the open-source OS.

Windows 8 will be unlike any previous version of Microsoft's operating system because it will have a dedicated focus on tablets that will be separate from the standard PC version.

Microsoft has a lot of ambition with Windows 8, and with a complete interface overhaul and functionality up the wazoo, it does have a chance to make a splash.

The most distinct aspect of Windows 8 is what's known as the "Metro UI," which allows users to have complete customization on their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.

In addition, since this is such a revolutionary new platform, Microsoft wants to scrap out all remnants of the "old-school" look and feel. Instead of a Start bar, hovering your mouse over that corner of the screen will allow you to swap between the Metro UI and the traditional desktop. For the mobile version of Windows 8, the Metro UI will be the default interface.