Sales of Windows 8 have ticked past the 60 million mark, Microsoft announced at CES in Las Vegas yesterday, but there’s little sign of a turnaround in its perception in the videogame industry. Quite the opposite, in fact: Gabe Newell took another shot at Microsoft’s new operating system in a wide-ranging, much-quoted interview with The Verge, while one developer has blamed Windows 8 for locking players out of its game.
Windows 8 has launched, and with it the Windows Store, Microsoft’s answer to the App Store and Google Play. For developers, it’s a route to a potential audience of millions; as if that weren’t incentive enough, Microsoft and Future Publishing are running an app development contest with £40,000 worth of prizes on offer.
Microsoft has made credit card payments the default transaction method of paying for music and movies on Windows 8, meaning the use of Microsoft Points is no longer compulsory and suggesting that the company may make similar changes on Xbox Live.
Somehow, in Windows 8, Microsoft seems to have constructed the operating system equivalent of Nick Clegg: highly visible, sound in concept, but more or less disliked by everyone who really knows what they’re talking about. In July, Valve’s Gabe Newell attacked the closed-nature of the OS, telling attendees at Casual Connect, “I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space […] Valve wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the PC. Id Software, Epic, Zynga, Facebook, and Google wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform”. Responding to this, Rob Pardo from Blizzard tweeted that the OS wasn’t awesome for them either.
Microsoft’s upcoming launch of Windows 8 has been given a boost with the announcement of a deal which will bring cloud streaming of games to devices running the new version of its operating system.