Over the past few days, several major players in the games industry have criticized Microsoft for Windows 8. These names include Gabe Newell of Valve Software and Rob Pardo from Blizzard. For those of you who may not recognize these names, Newell’s Valve manages Steam, the largest digital distribution platform for PC games on the market and Pardo represents Blizzard, the company behind the massively popular World of Warcraft MMO.
Ultimately these representatives are critical of Windows 8 because of how it will affect their businesses, but perhaps the thing Microsoft should be worried about is OEMs ditching the software company for open source pastures. Microsoft finally acknowledged that the release of the Surface tablet will strain its relationship with OEMs.
“…our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.”
The fact that Microsoft is acknowledging this issue has people like Newell worried.
“I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, it’s going to be a good idea to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”
So what’s the alternative, then? Well, Valve recently announced that its Steam platform could be coming to Linux. As major players in software begin to shift away from Microsoft in preparation for what they see as a terrible move, will Windows 8 ultimately cause Microsoft’s downfall?