Impending Windows 8 'catastrophe' behind $3bn game maker’s shift to Linux

By Graeme Burton
27 Jul 2012 View Comments
Half Life 2

Furthermore, Newell implied that Microsoft may be tempted to charge a monopoly rent or even close its platform to outsiders. Indeed, this is the only way that software will be downloadable to the Windows 8 RT version for ARM-based tablets.

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This is the first time that a major software developer has articulated serious concerns about the forthcoming operating system.

Newell also added that touch screen will be an interim technology, giving way in as little as 10 years' time to gesture-based computing – but that the keyboard and mouse will endure alongside all of those input methods.

Newell founded Valve, developer of the Half-Life series of games (pictured), in 1996 after cashing in share options at Microsoft, where he had worked since 1983. Valve both develops and publishes its own games, as well as providing a distribution platform, which currently boasts some 40 million users.

Privately held, the company does not disclose financial data, but independent analyses suggest that Steam alone turned over more than $1bn (£640,000) in 2010, while the company has also been responsible for developing a number of hit games in recent years.

Newell claims that the 250-person company is more profitable on a per-employee basis than Apple, Microsoft, Google or any of the other giants of the technology industry.

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