The Death of Windows Gaming

Tags: Windows 8, Linux, Gaming, Tablets

Don't be fooled by the propaganda and hype, Windows 8 is nothing but a marketing shift for Microsoft. And here's why...

Tablet Market

Since Microsoft has failed many times to create a standardized mobile device operating system and promote it to popularity, they are attempting to deliver one on the back of their biggest success: Windows 7. Windows 8 is nothing but Windows 7 with a tablet-esq UI baked in. (There are other minor tweaks to the operating system performance, but not enough to warrant a major software release.) Should you upgrade to Windows 8 for your personal PC? I think it's completely unnecessary considering that you aren't going to use the tablet UI, and the other features are trivial.

Taxing the Wealthy to Feed the Poor

Other than creating an embedded tablet friendly UI, Windows 8 was a marketing shift for Microsoft's software distribution model. They are creating a marketplace distribution platform akin to Apple's "App Store" where they take as much as 30% of each software sale from the software developers. This move was a strategic one to compete with Apple, who has been selling operating system upgrades for as little as $20. By pushing the cost of the operating system on the software developers, Microsoft will be able (and has already announced) a significantly cheaper price point for their future operating system titles and upgrades.

Revolt

Due to Microsoft's shift in distribution approach, game distribution companies such as Valve (Steam Platform), Blizzard (Battle.net platform), and EA (Origin) are in direct competition with Microsoft and have already voiced their dislike for Microsoft's move. As a result (or not, but I like conspiracies), Valve has created a team of developers to work on standardizing gaming development for the linux platform. If Valve's mission is successful, I see Linux becoming the new standard platform for gaming, removing (in my opinion) gaming as Microsoft's second largest asset.

Repercussions

This is where I make some assumptions and really run with them. Consider for a moment that Microsoft's #1 asset is business work stations, and that the majority of adult gamers are technical or related to software development in some way. With this in mind, consider that Linux's main drawback to home computing is their lack of native support for major gaming titles. Given those two facts, I predict that Linux will become the new home computing platform, pushed by support from software manufacturers who refuse to bow down to Microsoft's new distribution model. This will then trigger these technical gamers to be more interested in developing business software for the OS they are familiar with at home, thus toppling Microsoft's last major asset: Business workstation computing. And I haven't even mentioned enterprise servers because they are already dominated by linux for many reasons which I will not address here.

I, for one, welcome our new linux gaming overlords.

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