The last thing in the world I would feel from an Apple product is peace of mind.
I'm sure they kinda loled and ignore them, 'cause they're just some russian dudes, right? But when the big boys at Valve cometh... things... are... differentA lot of these problems mirror issues that we've seen with other game engines (e.g., Unigine).
I think we should contact other companies now and tell them that Valve is porting Steam and games to Linux and they should follow them before seeing the end result of Valve's endeavour.
I just hope that all the games ported to Linux can be played on older distributions, in my case Ubuntu 10.10 - latest with Gnome 2.32.
Btw, fuck Gnome3, GTK3, Arch linux, Debian, Mark Shuttleworth and software patents.
On the other hand I don't see why Linux has to pose serious competition to Windows on the desktop, it's NOT as if the Linux desktop can 'break'.
If this new game push by Valve fails to gain traction, the Linux desktop will continue to chug along and slooowly increase it's market share just as it already is, if Valve succeeds I don't think for a second that it will pose a serious threath to the Windows desktop, even Apple with all their billions at their disposal haven't been able to do so, however it will make it alot nicer for those of us using Linux and it will certainly get more people onto Linux due to lowering the barrier of entry, but nowhere near enough for Microsoft to start sweating.
Again that's just my personal cynical/realist view, I would dance a jig if I was wrong and Linux gained massive desktop market share, but I just don't see it, not unless Microsoft would effectively abandon the desktop outright to start chasing Apple in some 'pad' goosechase but not even Ballmer could be that stupid... right?
So, for those of us already using Linux on our desktop, and those on the fence considering a switch to Linux, what Valve is pursuing could indeed have huge impact on our desktop experience so it's certainly exciting times ahead. Meanwhile looking past the desktop, Linux future couldn't be brighter in my opinion so if we are strictly talking 'Linux', it's already a incredible success.
I think Linux would have to provide some sort of advantage (other than cost) to bring people over, but it's possible. E.g., the HPC sector has gravitated around Linux because it's extremely customizable. So maybe there's some advantage that can be exploited for better gaming (low latency kernel, network stack, whatever... I'm not competent enough to know), then you could certainly get the more hardcore gamers to come over, provided other things are in place (games of course, and hardware / driver support, and non-retarded broken applications / desktop environments). Eventually that could build hype and momentum that draws over some less-hardcore gamers as well, since they tend to follow what the pros do.
It seems it's less a question of what Valve can do for Linux, and more about what the Linux community can do to make Valve's ventures (and those of other game developers) successful and as smooth as possible.
It has to be better than the status quo to get people to switch.
Seeing as how Valve has been keeping track of Wine users on Steam for a long time now, they must already have some idea of an expected user base. However much it is, they must think it worthwhile.