Valve and Linux may defeat Microsoft and Sony in console gaming

Today in Open Source: Can Valve triumph over Microsoft and Sony? Plus: Windows 8.1 lacks multiple desktops, and demanding open source developers

Valve Versus Sony and Microsoft

Expectations have certainly become high for Valve's Steam Machines. Softpedia thinks that Valve could indeed defeat Microsoft and Sony in console gaming.

The battle for the gamers' attention is slowly moving away from the PC desk to the couch in the living-room. The undisputed champions are now Microsoft, with its Xbox line-up, and Sony with PlayStation. Things might change a bit when a new “player” comes to visit, that is Valve's Steam Machines.

If prototypes, like the one from iBuyPower, manage to stay in direct competition (from a quality point of view) with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, while providing a huge array of games from the Steam library, Valve and its Linux-based SteamOS will soon rule the living-room.

More at Softpedia

There's definitely a lot of optimism in the writer's point of view, but I sure do hope that the article is right. It would be great for gamers to have a viable, thriving alternative to the usual stuff from Microsoft and Sony.

Windows 8.1 and Linux in Multiple Desktops

Softpedia also pokes a bit of fun at Windows for not offering multiple desktops.

One of the most useful and interesting features on Linux systems is the ability to switch between multiple desktops, an option that is still missing on Windows, even in the latest builds.

The beauty of it is that it doesn't even require a lot of resources. Given the fact that even Mac OS X has a form of multiple desktops, it's going to be interesting to see how long it will take Microsoft to have a similar feature on its operating system.

More at Softpedia

I must confess that I did not know that Windows still can't offer multiple desktops. I haven't really used it in years. The last version I played with was called Windows 7 Ultimate or something like that.

It's sort of freaky how Windows still can't do this. Once you get used to it in Linux (or even OS X) then it becomes something that you simply expect a desktop operating system to be able to do. I'm sure there must be some sort of add-on to Windows 8.1 that can probably make it work. Seems silly to have to do that just to use multiple desktops though.

Demanding Open Source Developers

ReadWrite takes a look at demanding open source developers.

Open source invites criticism by laying bare its strengths and weaknesses in a way proprietary software never did. Developers today have a level of accessibility to the code they use that previous generations of developers lacked, with a megaphone (the Internet) that allows them to broadcast complaints about that code.

But let’s not lose sight of just how blessed we are to have this code, or forget our obligation to apply it appropriately in order to be successful. In other words, read the documentation before you complain that open-source software doesn’t “work.” More often than not, it works just fine, but not for the ill-conceived purpose you have in mind.

More at ReadWrite

I suspect it's probably a minority of developers that are particularly cranky. Hopefully some of them will read the article and maybe chill out a little bit. Think of that line from Seinfeld where George's father chants "Serenity Now!" every time something aggravates him. Hey, who knows, it might work for some developers.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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