Valve fires another shot in its war against Windows gaming dominance

In today's open source roundup: Valve releases an open source Direct3D to OpenGL translator. Plus: Ubuntu smartphone prices, and a baby becomes a Linux user

Ars Technica reports on Valve's decision to release an open source Direct3D to OpenGL translator. Valve is leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to insure that Windows will no longer be the dominant platform for computer gaming, and this will be a good thing for gamers over the long haul.

With little fanfare, Valve has published the source to ToGL, a translation layer to support a subset of the Direct3D 9 API on OpenGL systems. ToGL is a component of the company's Source 3D engine. Valve has broken it out and slapped a permissive MIT license on it in the hope that it might be useful to other developers.

Is this going to open the floodgates and bring a ton of Windows games to OS X, Linux, and, of course, Valve's Linux-based Steam OS?

Probably not.

More at Ars Technica

While Ars isn't very upbeat about how this would affect the development of games for Linux, I'm still very glad to see Valve doing this. And I think Ars might be underestimating the value of Valve's decision to release this translator. The Valve name alone commands an enormous amount of respect in the gaming industry, far more than the WINE project. So this translator could help insure more Linux and OS X games are made available to gamers.

Say what you will about Valve, they are quite determined that gamers have a real alternative to Windows for serious computer gaming. They are pulling out all the stops to put an end to Microsoft's control of computer gaming, and they are doing a very good job fighting on behalf of gamers and developers to create gaming alternatives to Windows.

Steam on Linux, Steam on OS X, Steam Machines and SteamOS are all geared toward ending Microsoft's dominance in computer gaming. Valve knows that it would be a very foolish thing for gaming developers to be too dependent on Windows, and the company has taken matters into its own hands in an extremely aggressive way.

Kudos to Valve for doing this. If anybody doubted their seriousness about taking on Windows then this ought to end those doubts. Frankly, it makes me wonder what other things Valve has up its sleeve to use against Microsoft and Windows. Valve is clearly working overtime to push gamers and developers away from the Windows platform in any way the company can.

Microsoft, of course, will not be very happy but I'm sure they realize that Valve is gunning for them and for Windows as a gaming platform. Then again I sometimes wonder if they are really aware of what's happening since they are so preoccupied with internal restructuring and their vain attempts at becoming relevant in the mobile market.

Wake up, Microsoft. Valve is coming after you with all guns blazing.

Ubuntu smartphone pricing

Ars Technica also reports that Ubuntu phones will be priced between $200 and $400.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth talked about pricing for Ubuntu smartphones this week, telling The Inquirer that devices "will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400."

Canonical raises an impressive $12.8 million, but it needed $32 million.

Assuming those are off-contract prices, they would make Ubuntu phones significantly cheaper than the iPhone 5S, which costs $649 to $849 depending on how much storage you get. The highest-end Android phones often sell for $600 and up as well, though the Nexus 5 debuted late last year at just $350 off contract.

More at Ars Technica
Ubuntu Phone Prices
Image credit: Ars Technica

I suspect the lower end Ubuntu phones will probably do better than the higher priced ones. Apple seems to rule the roost at the very high end, with some Android phones also able to command a premium price. I am not sure if Ubuntu will initially be able to do the same since the company will have to establish itself with mobile phone users in a way that Apple and Android have already done.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see exactly what the higher end Ubuntu phones will offer compared to the iPhone and various Android models. If there's enough value in Ubuntu's offerings then they could attract some of the premium Android and iPhone users.

A baby's quick conversion to Linux

As I was browsing Google+ this morning, I came across this amusing image and couldn't resist including it in today's roundup.

Baby Converts to Linux
Image credit: Google+

Heh, heh. Talk about a quick conversion to Linux! I love the wide-eyed look of the baby in the last photo. Priceless!

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

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