Forbes.com is reporting that Valve has officially joined the Linux Foundation today. If there was ever any doubt of Valve’s dedication to the whole SteamOS thing or the Linux platform in general this is a pretty clear sign of their true intentions.
What does Valve joining the Linux Foundation really mean for gamers though? Well for one thing it could keep the other big name players in linux gaming honest in the future. Linux isn’t exactly known for its world-class graphic driver support. Nvidia’s support has been lackluster for years up until recently where they pledged a renewed interest in the platform. ATI cards aren’t much better overall. This of course leaves you with no real leader in the Linux graphics card market. With Valve on board keeping an open and (hopefully) popular distribution platform the idea is that developers and hardware manufacturers will also begin to more widely support Linux.
With Valve controlling an entire Linux-based OS on a whole bunch of machines with similar specs they hope to be able to optimize Linux gaming to the point of being able to compete with consoles in terms of performance vs specs. Consoles benefit greatly from the fact that every machine is exactly (or almost) the same chip and power wise. Valve hopes to push that philosophy over to the PC gaming market a bit further than DirectX currently is, and they just might actually pull it off.
“Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users,”