There’s been a lot of press and coverage of Valve’s acerbic comments regarding Windows 8, so the fact that Steam is coming to Linux is probably not a surprise to anybody.
As a Linux-as-my-primary-desktop user (one of the paltry few) it’s exciting for me to see this coming. I currently dual boot to Windows 7 to do all of my PC gaming, but choose Linux for my dev environment because it’s tremendously more productive on any given day, for many of the same reason many devs prefer OS X (first-class terminal, high-quality integration with various VCS, etc).
I don’t know if this gamble by Valve will pay off in the long run, but I’m hopeful that it will. Things have really started to shift away from Windows-only in the past few years, and whatever the final form, I think that’s tremendously healthy.
Here’s Drew Bliss from Valve talking at UDS this year about their motivation, short-term plans, and overall goals for Steam on Linux: