Valve announced Steam’d Penguins recently. It is Valve’s mission to bring Steam and the Source Engine to Linux. This is a very exciting move for Linux as much as it is for valve. With the current move by Microsoft and Apple to locking down the application distribution in their Operating Systems other application distributing services should begin to feel pressure about possibly being pushed out at the Operating System level. So this is probably a good business move by Valve since it will get their service out as much as possible.
More importantly it will be great for Linux. Gaming on desktop Linux has been a subpar experience. The open-source games are usually of low-quality or not expansive enough of an experience. Now that Valve is porting the Source Engine to Linux we will start seeing many games show up. First off they are releasing Left for Dead 2. There are however many other titles sure to follow. Some of these games include Portal, Portal 2, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2.
Another notable way that this is good for Linux is that Valve will push Linux development forward. Valve needs improved graphics drivers to provide a enjoyable experience. Valve and Intel engineers are working together to provide better Intel driver support. This is great not just for Valve games but for desktop Linux in general. We will probably see Valve talking to AMD and Nvidia as well in order to provide a better service on the Linux platform.
It is worth noting that to begin with the only supported Linux distribution is Ubuntu. This is of concern since there are many users who do not use Ubuntu. However I believe that once Steam is released it will also be released as a .tar.gz and will most likely be able to be used on a variety of distributions. Even if this is not how they package it I’m sure valve will try to get their software on as many distributions as possible with time.
This is definitely good news. I’m extremely decided to see if this helps Linux take off on the desktop. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Linux enthusiast or a Linux Gamer.