Windows 8 has certainly generated a lot of debate among past and current Windows users. A person who has had some experience with actually creating a version of Windows is Gabe Newell. Newell worked at Microsoft for 13 years on the first three versions of Windows before departing the company to co-found Valve, makers of best selling games like the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead and Portal series, not to mention the Steam PC game download store.
AllThingsD.com reports that during a dinner speech on Tuesday at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle, Newell discussed a number of topics. One of them was Windows 8, which Newell clearly doesn't care for at all. He stated:
I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.
Newell apparently didn't go into detail on exactly why he thinks Windows 8 would be, in his words, a "catastrophe". However, he seemed to hint that his views on Windows 8 were part of the reason that the company is working to port Steam and its games to the Linux platform. He states, "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy."
Newell also talked about a number of other subjects, including the future of interacting with devices. He believes that the current trend for touch screens will be supplanted by something else in a relatively short time period. He said:
This is super nerdy, and you can tease us years from now, but as it turns out, your tongue is one of the best mechanical systems to your brain, but it’s disconcerting to have the person sitting next you go blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think tongue input will happen, but I do think we will have bands on our wrists, and you’ll be doing something with your hands, which are really expressive.