Steam for Linux Now in Open Beta

Valve has some great news for the open source gaming crowd. The Steam for Linux beta program is now open to the public, meaning anyone and everyone can join. All that's required is that you download the latest Steam Linux client (or upgrade your current Steam for Linux client to the latest release) and you're good to go.

The new client introduces a few changes and improvements, including:
  • Linux -- Fixed excessive CPU usage by the Steam client when running Team Fortress 2
  • Linux -- Fixed overlay crash when starting Cubeman
  • Big Picture -- Improved back navigation behavior throughout user interface
  • Big Picture -- Added discount timers and other user interface to store

Steam Linux

This is really the beginning of what Valve's Gabe Newell undoubtedly hopes will be a revolution in gaming. Prior to the launch of Windows 8, Newell was convinced Microsoft's next generation operating system -- and specifically, Redmond's walled garden approach to Windows -- would be the death of PC gaming. He called Windows 8 a "catastrophe" for everyone involved in the PC space, and thus began the transition to Linux.

To be clear, Steam isn't leaving Windows, not unless it's forcibly pushed out (and that's unlikely to happen), but there is a major push towards supporting Linux. It begins with the Steam client itself, and at some point, Valve will launch a Linux-based "Steam Box" PC for the living room to compete with consoles.