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What a difference a year makes. It used to be that gaming was Linux's "Achilles' heel" of sorts, cited by more than a few enthusiasts as justification for their reluctance to switch away from Windows. Fast forward to today, and gaming may well be the focus of more Linux-centered excitement than any other area. How did we get from point A to point B, you may ask? Well, it all started when Valve announced back in April that it was bringing its popular Steam gaming platform to Linux.
I believe that this is a survival action. With Windows 8, Microsoft is moving into the hardware arena (following Apple's actions). In the hardware arena, MS will commission its own graphics chips, its own architecture for mother boards, bios, etc., and Nvidia will be locked out. If Nvidia is not locked out, it will be an invisible supplier to Microsoft. As a MS invisible vendor, it will see sales drop dramatically.
Better to now go with Linux, than the lockin to MS.
Because there is ONE simple fact that NONE of you will be able to wish away, and it is this: You will HAVE to allow both proprietary programs and DRM if you are gonna have a fighting chance, and the simple fact is there is too many in Linux that hold RMS up like Moses and the GPL as the ten commandments for that to ever work.
Why do you have NO choice? Simple, because there are parts to the graphics that you will HAVE to have to get decent performance that will never ever be FOSS (such as the HDMI video decoders baked into each chip) and no way is the gaming companies gonna put a 100 million dollar AAA game title up DRM free and try to sell services or hold out a tin cup, and lets be honest folks there are only three proven ways to make money in Linux, the services model (Red hat), selling hardware (routers, phones) or volunteers holding out a tin cup and none of those will work in this case.
At the end of the day this is why Steam on Linux will fail, and why Nvidia and valve should have picked BSD where open and proprietary can live together. Because otherwise what you get is the half baked gimped solution like you have with AMD now, where you have ZERO access to the UVD decoders in the FOSS drivers so you have video performance like a 6 year old card with the latest model and without the DRM the gaming and media companies simply won't allow their products anywhere near you...see any netflix on ubuntu? didn't think so.
So you all need to think LONG AND HARD about what you want...do you want a shot at the title? or do you want to be a niche also ran? because if you want a shot at knocking MSFT off their throne you have to be easier, nicer to use and BETTER in every way, and nooo, "free as in beer/freedom" isn't in any way, shape, or form "better" as far as the public is concerned. until they can watch their netflix and Blu rays, until they can get equal or better game and video performance out of their laptops WITHOUT the devs breaking the proprietary drivers every 6 months when they scratch an itch? Then you simply have no chance, Microsoft could put out "Windows Middle Finger Edition" and still get more share than you.
For evidence simply look at Vista, which even while flopping years ago currently has more than 5 TIMES the users of Linux. If people would rather take the lame duck of the competitor than take your product for free? Well then you simply aren't giving them what they want and what they want is their videos and games, they could not care less about your little war against proprietary software.