Hey, Readers! The other day I wrote an article about why Blizzard and Valve might have gripes about the new Windows 8. Unfortunately, it was misinformed, and while I strive to do my best reporting and be as factually accurate as it’s possible to be with the information available, with more research than I think typical writers do, I’ve failed you all, and Piki Geek, and myself. In an attempt to make amends regarding this shame and humiliation of mine, I’m here to set some things straight.
Many of you have pointed out that Windows 8 does, in fact, support dual screens and Steam. As for the dual screens, in a March Kotaku article, president and CEO of Stardock, Brad Wardell, wrote:
Multi-monitor user? Forget it. Metro doesn’t support multiple monitors, at least presently. Additional monitors can be the Windows desktop but Metro always reserves one monitor for itself.
If I had done more searching, I would have found the Windows 8 Release Preview Guide, which states:
If you’re one of the many people who use multiple monitors, you’ll find it more flexible than ever. With many types of hardware, you can display the Start screen on one monitor and the desktop on the others. Desktop backgrounds can be different on each monitor or can stretch across your screens. Windows 8 Release Preview all the corners and edges alive on all monitors. You can bring up Start, the charms, and app switching from the corners of any monitor. And you can launch and move full-screen apps to any monitor.
More recent news states that there have been new upgrades to multi-monitor support. It does, however, say, “Unfortunately, Metro felt a little awkward on multiple monitors in the Consumer Preview and Microsoft says the feedback on this ‘has been vocal and clear.’”
As for Steam support, I misinterpreted reports stating that Valve would not have full control over the Steam store to mean that the Steam store was currently incompatible with Windows 8. It’s not that Valve can’t important Steam and their games to Windows 8—it’s that they won’t want to. According to Time’s Techland:
Windows Store is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s App Store — a digital distribution platform for both paid and free applications that support Windows 8′s tile-like ‘Metro’ interface. The kicker: Metro-enabled apps will only be allowed over Windows 8′s guardrails by going through the Windows Store itself. And like Apple, Microsoft intends to take a 30% cut of any sales made through the store.
That, argues Newell, means some PC makers may be forced out of the market because of dwindling sales margins (in turn because, presumably, they’d depend on revenue from bundled apps or their own Metro-enabled apps, from which Microsoft will, under Windows 8, be taking a much bigger cut). And since Valve’s revenue model is currently driven foremost by the PC, the loss of PC makers could indeed be a huge blow to its own profits. Anything that threatens Valve’s ability to access its biggest audience is a threat to its bottom line.
That’s a good article to read if you want to know why, financially, Windows 8 would cripple PC game developers. The same would go for EA’s Origin—they’d need a Metro-enabled Origin app where all sales will be mediated by Microsoft, who takes a cut from any sales.
Those two points, about multi-monitor setup and Steam support, were the biggest mistakes of my shoddily researched article. I sincerely apologize and while it didn’t really damage Microsoft as a company at all, its lacking quality hurt Piki Geek, my name, and your time.