08.06.12

Vista 8′s Catastrophic Arrival Will Make GNU/Linux a Superior Gaming Platform, Claims Creator of Minecraft, Not Just Valve

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Games season

Sports girl

Summary: After repeated improvements at the kernel level (including graphics stack) GNU/Linux emerges as the better operating system for gamers

TECHRIGHTS gave many links about the rather major news from Valve. That was limited to daily links, but we should really say a word about it.

Reports flooded like water, saying for example that “Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve, had recently talked about Windows 8 and how it would be a catastrophe for gaming. Some time after that, Blizzard weighed in on the discussion and agreed with Newell. Now, in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit, the latest game developer to share the same opinion is Markus Persson, better known as Notch. He is the creator of the extremely popular sandbox game Minecraft and head of game studio Mojang.”

“There is nothing to lose from having those games extended to support GNU/Linux; the only downside might be that they can steal attention away from FOSS games.”So Vista 8 is not working out so well, eh? This is also a major blow for DirectX, as some publications help emphasise. More games are now coming to GNU/Linux, a platform which gamers can download for free to enjoy good performance and improved security on. It can be seen as a recruitment tool for FOSS, but Richard Stallman begs to differ, with reservations. My own position is that it is strategically counter-productive to publicly berate Valve for being proprietary, especially at this time. There is nothing to lose from having those games extended to support GNU/Linux; the only downside might be that they can steal attention away from FOSS games. Anyway, major titles that come along nicely will help demonstrate to gamers that GNU/Linux is the better platform. For game developers it helps show that GNU/Linux support is doable, that it results in good performance, and that OpenGL has merit.

“For game developers it helps show that GNU/Linux support is doable, that it results in good performance, and that OpenGL has merit.”Stallman’s words received a lot of coverage (see daily links) including some from the BBC. Windows has been getting terrible coverage and the FSF managed to get its point across to the masses. Speaking of the FSF, it says that “ZaReason supports the FSF statement against Restricted Boot” (ZaReason sells GNU/Linux gear). So the FSF is not so “radical” after all, eh? And its platform is not just philosophically better but also technically better as benchmarks show. One culprit is bad design and gimmicks that Microsoft uses as unnecessary selling points. As one blogger put it, “I have a low opinion of Microsoft, but even I never saw Microsoft under Ballmer making such a basic blunder as not checking out the trademark for Metro, the most distinctive name attached to Windows 8. Just how dumb is Ballmer?

“Seriously. This is business 101. Oh, Microsoft is claiming now that the “Metro de-emphasis is not related to any litigation,” but they’re refusing to answer on questions about the Windows 8 Metro name conflicting with the German company name Metro AG. Metro AG isn’t talking either. Interesting, huh?

“To us, it’s still Vista. It just has a thick layer of “Metro” paint and more restrictions such as UEFI.”“In addition, Microsoft, after years of pushing the Metro brand, is now claiming that Metro was always just a code name. Really? That’s news to me; Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet’s ace Microsoft reporter; and anyone else who’s paid any attention whatsoever to Windows 8.”

Microsoft’s technically weak products have enjoyed good marketing, including bribes for reviews, heavily marketed brands such as “Vista” (a technical failure but an advertising success), and anti-competitive tricks, the latest of which is UEFI. One of our contributors found out that BIOS alterations go further than that and according to him, “Microsoft demands more of OEMs than ever for Windows 8. As usual, “piracy” is the excuse.” To quote the report he cites, “requiring OEMs to write a unique activation key into the BIOS of each machine, and ship them with the operating pre-installed. OEMs also going to have to get all keys directly from Microsoft, no ifs ands or buts.”

This offers nothing whatsoever to the user. In fact, it is an antifeature that can only ever harm the user. Metra is equally bad; it limits the user. Metro, like “Surface”, is not a new name; this is a reused program name (reused from around the same time of the original surface). Perhaps as part of cost-cutting Microsoft is trying to reuse brands. No wonder it dumped “Vista” in favour of the older name, “Windows”. To us, it’s still Vista. It just has a thick layer of “Metro” paint and more restrictions such as UEFI.

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5 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    August 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    Can you post a link to Blizzard chiming in on games on FOSS? I remember when Linux players were booted from Battlenet servers playing World of Warcraft. A few weeks ago, I read of Linux users accounts for Diablo III being booted, but then I also read that the reports were way overblown. I hope that Blizzard is finally willing to welcome us.

    I’m excited to see that Valve will be porting Bastion. One of my sons has it on Windows, and the dialogue is funny.

    The Humble Bundle no doubt gets a lot of credit for getting the ball rolling. By keeping OS stats and publishing, the world is now aware that Linux gamers are not only willing to pay for their games, but they are willing to pay more for their games. Porting games to Linux is just good business sense.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    GNU/Linux users still pay the most for stuff http://www.tuaw.com/2012/08/06/humble-music-bundle-shows-charity-disparity-among-mac-linux-and/ (charity disparity among Mac, Linux and Windows users)

    mcinsand Reply:

    This is ironic because I have heard Linux users FUDiciously referred to as cheap. That may be because we often run older hardware or because we don’t upgrade so frequently. I guess calling us misers is better than admitting that we don’t upgrade so often because we don’t have to; Linux and BSD let us run without the bloatware!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Windows users waste all their money/computer budget on Microsoft thugs, ‘security” software, and ‘repair’ services (reinstalling Windows).

  2. mcinsand said,

    August 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Don’t forget the hardware costs of running Windows. It is bloated, it is a magnet for spyware to further increase software loads on hardware, and MS is constantly adding other processes as updates roll on. I used to think that my brother was paranoid when he suggested that it was no accident that a ‘fast’ computer got slower and slower as time went on, even if the software applications remained constant and even with freshly installed/updated Windows. Now, I’m not so sure. This may not be an accidental drive to push customers to regularly buy new hardware… which no doubt comes with the latest version of Windows, of course.

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