Blizzard – of WoW, Starcraft and Diablo III fame – has weighed in on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
As you may recall, Valve founder Gabe Newell recently claimed that Redmond’s Windows 8 was a “catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.”
“There’s a strong temptation [for Microsoft] to close the platform. [This is] because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say, ‘that’s really exciting,'” Newell explained.
“[So] 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.”
Rob Pardo, Blizzard’s executive VP of game design, recently said he agreed with Newell’s controversial comments – tweeting that the upcoming OS was “not awesome” for his company.
As AppleInsider’s Neil Hughes points out, both Blizzard and Valve are in unique positions, as each developer offers customers the ability to directly purchase their titles over the Internet.
“Valve’s Steam is a full game store with its own titles and games from other publishers, while Blizzard’s Battle.net offers paid downloads of its own titles, including ‘Diablo III’ and monthly subscriptions to the massively multiplayer online game ‘World of Warcraft,'” Hughes explained.
So it comes as little surprise that both industry heavyweights have expressed concern over Windows 8, as Microsoft prepares to make its own major push in the lucrative storefront space. Of course, Redmond also plans on taking a 30 percent royalty cut from every sale made through the store, which will clearly restrict third-party profits and further dampen industry enthusiasm.
As TG Daily previously reported, Windows 8 is unlike any previous version of Microsoft’s operating system because it offers a dedicated focus for tablets that will be separate from the standard PC version. Redmond has a lot of ambition with Windows 8, and with a complete interface overhaul and functionality up the wazoo, it does have a chance to make a splash.
The most distinct aspect of Windows 8 is what’s known as the “Metro UI,” which allows users to exercise complete customization of their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.
In addition, since this is such a revolutionary new platform, Microsoft wants to scrap out all remnants of the “old-school” look and feel. Instead of a Start bar, hovering your mouse over that corner of the screen will allow you to swap between the Metro UI and the traditional desktop. For the mobile version of Windows 8, the Metro UI will be the default interface.