Gabe Newell: Windows 8 Was A ‘Giant Sadness’

Gabe Newell: Windows 8 Was A ‘Giant Sadness’

He’s rarely had kind words to say about Microsoft’s latest operating system, but in the same interview with The Verge in which he spoke at length about his company’s plans for a “Steam Box” PC, Valve boss Gabe Newell also talks about Windows 8.

Mainly, how it’s a “giant sadness”. And how he finds the OS “unusable”.

I look forward to the winning entries from the inevitable Giant Sadness Game Jam.

Exclusive interview: Valve’s Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming [The Verge]


  • Such blatent lies, he’s just worried it will hurt his bottom line, which it will. I just wish he didn’t try to coat it in such bs.

    This is the whole steve jobs vs flash thing all over again.

        • That’s what he said.

          But I understand where Gabe is coming from trying to use Windows 8 for his steambox. This could mean Windows 8 is not customizable and less flexible as the previous windows.

          • He does actually say in the linked interview that even though Steam Box will ship with Linux on it, you can certainly install Windows if you wanted to and they were “not going to make it hard”.

        • Not necessarily. I didn’t like it when I tried it. I respect that Microsoft put a ton of work into it, but 8 either stepped back or made too little progress for me to support it. With everything Windows, I find their software design to be often counter-intuitive, short on user requirements and old-fashioned. Everything seems to take three clicks too many. And 8 seemed to try and fix that but metro lacks enough utility to make up for it.

        • According to UI and UX experts, Windows 8 is an absolute shambles. Hardly what I’d call a positive response when the user interface is being panned.

          • Excuse me but you can’t say experts without sighting anything, okay for example I’m a brain surgeon. Expert want me to operate on you now?

            Ps gabe mc tubby tub tub is only concerned about one thing. MONEY! windows 8 is fine people need to get over it, it’s like whining when a social networking site changes their UI… It happens

          • The fact that you have a go at someone for insufficiently supporting their comment and then go straight to irrelevant character attack ” mc tubby tub tub” amuses me.

            Oh internet, how would I survive work without you?

    • You might be right, the thing that really annoys me however was the pointless gauntlet he made over it, this is a multi billion dollar company who spent millions developing Windows 8, does Gabe Newell really think Microsoft cares what he thinks?

      • He was asked in an interview what he thinks, and gave his opinion. I don’t see where he’s expecting MS to care what he said.

    • Was gonna say the same thing.

      The new Windows store is in direct competition with Steam. Therefore, Gabe Newell doesn’t like it, and tries to cover that up by using phrases like “unusable”, “giant sadness” and “catastrophe”.

      • The problem as I see it, is that its not truly in competition with steam – its been set up to make it difficult for competition.

      • Its annoying because all these equally fat nerds on the Internet rally to his side for no apparent reason without even trying a full legit win8 release and take this fat geeks words as gospel

          • Windows is an operating system, steam is a dedicated gaming medium Juggernaut. There is hardly any competition between the two. Microsoft may have a gaming service, where you can purchase games and software, but in comparison to Steam, it’s a brain damaged, limbless, inbred second cousin.

            Windows – “So you want to patch your game Mr Developer? That’s okay, we’ll give you an answer in three months”.

  • As much as I like the guy, this smacks of one company trying to maintain their monopoly – nothing more or less.

    I wish there were more critical analysis of industry figures when the downtalk their rivals, as well as their motivations.

    Fairly and equally applied, of course.

    • Yeah, I’m still a little dazed when people respond with “How could you do/say this Gaaabe?”. At the end of the day it’s a business downplaying their competitor. I consider that entirely normal.

    • I would be surprised if they did. Last time I checked the Windows 8 store didn’t allow “alternative distribution systems” and that is what Steam is.

      • I love the irony of this situation. Since the boom of iTunes and their very stringent terms of use and inability to ‘play nice’ with other distribution systems (like Steam, Origin, etc), each newcomer to the market has adopted increasingly draconian/rigid measures for using their respective systems (though I don’t know if Steam has done this).

        Apple predicted this increasingly ‘dystopian’ future waaaaaay back in the early eighties. Who knew they’d be the progenitors of it!

      • Wherever you got this piece of information that ‘they dont allow alternative distribution systems’ is horseshit.

        You need to get some facts, Windows Store doesnt prevent it – you can redirect to your own site if you wish, you could even setup your own store WITHIN the store.. Theres no problem with Windows Store, there never has been. They addressed this in pre-launch press coverage.

    • My Brother has Steam and Win 8, no problems what so ever.

      I’m still running XP, if I built a new computer I’d probably run Win8, I don’t like Linux as most of my stuff doesn’t run and I’m not cashed up enough to afford a new computer let alone an Apple.

  • I love Gabe as much as the next guy, would love to meet him. But he needs to get the @#$% over Windows 8, to me it’s perfectly fine, I’m content with the new (‘updated’) OS.

      • Wow, you really need to get past this guy’s weight issues. You’ve mentioned it in several comments on this page now. Is that the only problem you have with him?

      • If you’re going to launch into character attacks make sure you are squeaky clean yourself. I’ve now read 3 comments by you attacking Gabe, all with atrocious spelling, grammar and punctuation.

  • While he is definitely harsh in the interview – his explanation for why windows 8 is bad makes a hell of a lot of sense – namely that desktop and laptop sales have dropped 20% month on month since it was released. This is because MS is targeting tablet devices, which aren’t that great for traditional gaming.

    I’m also sure the closed metro environment is a big part of it – having to get MS certification to release a metro app in clearly the first step in an eventually closed platform.

    • You dont think the drop in sales was because of lower than expected consumer confidence? The poor Global economies? Everyone everywhere is doing it tough, even in Aus. Anyone who’s drawing a line between a drop in sales for November and a product which was released on the 24th of November has rocks in their head. Its 6 days, thats not going to cause a 20% downturn that wasnt already coming.

      • You have a short memory – it was released in October – They have a full month of data. Normally the release of a new windows OS is associated with an increase in PC and laptop sales of 40% in the first month.

        The consumer confidence explanation makes no sense. There were no sudden drops in consumer confidence in November. Sales were just down.

  • you gave to get ms certification is the big thing here as it hurts alot of indie dev’s.
    The interface is for tablets not for a KB/MOUSE
    Everyone i know has put the classic menu pack on so…. Win8+classic menu pack is fine.
    Win8 without menu pack = garbage.

    Plus it takes more time and is harder to find system apps. e.g. windows update.

  • His argument about windows 8 is so stupid. He only talks about the lesser version of windows 8 which can’t even run any games on steam but the Pro and other versions are perfectly fine which can add any apps. Just shut up and make Half Life 3.

    • …the lesser version of windows 8 which can’t even run any games on steam…

      What are you talking about?

      Just shut up and make Half Life 3.

      This I agree with.

  • Is anyone else tired of Gabe Newell? I hate people who arrogantly come out and think their opinion is really important. How about you stop concerning yourself with everyone elses development and develop some new original IP that isn’t a FPS?

  • Is Gabe himself ignorant of the river of tears he creates each time Half Life 3 is not announced at E3 each year?

  • His comment really echoes a sentiment that many share.

    But his point is that Windows 8 has not boosted sales in the PC market like he expected. In fact, there has been a 20% decline (NOTE: these are his words. I haven’t checked the facts)

    As a developer who relies on the growth of a platform, this would be a little concerning

    Sure, it’s not Windows 8’s duty to rescue the PC market, but I think that’s where his comment was leading towards

  • He’s just stating his opinion, based on fact.

    And he’s goddamn right too. Even if he wasn’t, he’s in a position to make that kind of claim – considering how steam has essentially saved PC as a gaming platform.

  • Plus, just reading the interview, he’s at least focused on making a good user experience, and not just adding a gimmick then trying to sell it with marketing. For example, his quotes below:

    “The internet is super smart. If you do something that is cool, that’s actually worth people’s time, then they’ll adopt it. If you do something that’s not cool and sucks, you can spend as many marketing dollars as you want, [they] just won’t”

    “In one of the designs that we’re building on the controller side, it has this touchpad and we’re trying to figure out where that’s useful. We don’t want to waste people’s money by just throwing in a touchpad. Once we understand what the role is of multitouch in these kind of applications then it’s easy to say you can use your phone for it”.

    His thinking is right. It comes down to the experience. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

    • “The internet is super smart. If you do something that is cool, that’s actually worth people’s time, then they’ll adopt it. If you do something that’s not cool and sucks, you can spend as many marketing dollars as you want, [they] just won’t”

      He nailed it with this comment. Microsoft have spent more than $1.5 billion marketing Windows 8 and it’s adoption rate is lower than Vista. They ignored feedback from their customers using the developer previews and consumer previews for more than a year, and now they are seeing the results of their hubris. Their shares (MSFT) have dropped nearly 9% in value since the launch of Windows 8 – if Office 2013 doesn’t fire for them, they are in serious trouble.

  • Personally, all of my benchmarks and framerates in my PC games have improved on Windows 8. I don’t see what the problem is?

  • What reading Kotaku and The Verge has made me feel: That insignificant comments are overblown by the media and in turn affects the audience that follows them since supposedly his interview was all about Windows 8 “again”.

    Imagine a modern day Romeo and Juliet play had a scene where Juliet is looking for a dog via Windows 8 OS and makes a comment, how crap is this OS.

    Next article: Romeo and Juliet and the Unusable Windows 8 OS.

    While it should be: Romeo and Juliet, a better love story than Twilight with Ninja’s.

  • Valve sells games and software, the windows store sells games and software. Just for more, with a heap of xbox branding and less selection.

    On the win launch there was less competition, as the windows store originally wasn’t carrying anything M rated, which would probably be a fair chunk of the steam library.

  • “Valve’s long development times and poor community engagement is like this giant sadness. It just hurts everybody in the PC business.”

  • A lot of people are talking about how he hates windows 8 from a business standpoint which is probably true, but don’t you think he might be hating on it also because he legitimately hates it for other reasons? There are a lot of other people out there who share the same gripes described in this article. As much as it does things right, it also does as many other things wrong.

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