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There's been virtually continuous cause for celebration here in the Linux blogosphere over the last month or so, but it seems safe to say that few news items have caused quite as much jubilation as what greeted one tidbit last week, in particular. "It has taken longer than most anyone would have anticipated, but the fact remains that Valve is in fact creating a native Linux port of their Steam game distribution client and of the Source Engine to run natively on Linux," read the announcement on Phoronix on Wednesday. Think gaming is trivial? Think again: In a matter of seconds, the topic was on fire on Slashdot and throughout the Linux blogosphere.
I'd say Ms Hudson is right AND wrong at the same time...While they will most likely have a "Steambox" since consoles make more money per sale and the prices go down slower and thus will make valve more money, she is wrong in that the OEMs will be having trouble with Win 8, they'll just stick with win 7 just as they did with WinVista.
Oh sure you'll be able to buy win 8 OEM boxes, but more likely they'll have Win 7 installed with a DVD for Win 8 for those foolhardy...err... "brave" enough to want to run Win 8. You can see this in the fact that MSFT quietly extended support for ALL versions of Win 7 until 2020. If they had as much confidence in win 8 as their press releases blather on about then win 7 Starter and Home would be EOLed in 2014, which is 5 years after the release date as has been given as EOL for Home releases. Instead they quietly Stretched it out to 2020 so that if (I'd say when) Win 8 flops they will have a product they can still sell.
But in the end nobody asks the bigger question which is thus: Will the Linux community accept DRM if that is what they will have to accept to become mainstream? Like it or not the consumers WANT proprietary software, the games, Photoshop, autoCAD, MS Office, Acrobat, all these programs they know and use daily and most of these companies won't give up their various flavors of DRM and they will NEVER be FOSS. So will the community accept it? Personally i think not, too many use Linux for the philosophy and this will alienate a good portion of both those users as well as many devs that also hold these beliefs.
Time will tell but I think with RMS saying "not sharing is wrong" even if its breaking DRM I seriously doubt that Linux evangelists will accept DRM for a handful of Valve games.
I don't see how DRM equivalent to say SecuROM could even work. There is not reliable way it isn't is some sort of LD_preload enviroment that is intercepting system calls and lying to it.
In fact it doesn't even really work all that well on windows, Much less and OS where you can patch and compile a custom kernel.
The only thing you could count on is server-side DRM, which would require a network connection to play.
Well you yourself named one way, another would be a propreitary kernel hook since the kernel is GPL V2 they wouldn't have to worry about the TiVo clause and could do it that way. most likely they would pick a long term support distro like say Debian stable and using proprietary hooks make it into "Consumer Linux" which would shut down the programs if certain conditions were not met, say if you tried to compile your own VS using their repo, if the hash sent to their server didn't match the hash at install, etc.
Personally i think the whole exercise is moot anyway. Valve is doing this because they are scared of the Win 8 appstore, this is pretty obvious when you read Gabe's thoughts on Win 8. If Win 8 flops then Valve has no worries because no Win 8 no appstore therefor things go back to normal and there is no point in Steam on Linux except for possibly a "Steambox" as I alluded to. My prediction is Win 8 will flop on anything non touchscreen, someone at MSFT will finally catch a clue, then they will do as Apple does now and have Metro be a separate division like iOS to OSX and all the desktop and laptop users can have Win 7 until Win 9 comes out which will be evolution not revolution like Win 7 compared to Vista.
But I honestly doubt the FOSS community would put up with the DRM required to be a mainstream contender, there are too many that care about FOSS only because of the philosophy so it just won't fly.