updated 09:30 am EST, Mon December 27, 2010
Windows 8 said having gaming focus
Microsoft's Windows 8 could have a much stronger focus on gaming, a slip alleged today. The developer is said making gaming not just important but a "key component for the whole OS." What that would entail wasn't given to the TechRadar source.
The company has made periodic attempts to improve gaming in Windows, starting with DirectX in Windows 95 and including more recent additions like the Games section in Vista and 7. However, the company doesn't have a simplified gaming app store and still treats the Windows Live side of gaming as an optional component. Much of the PC gaming market is now controlled by Valve Software's Steam platform, which not only handles direct-download sales but provides matchmaking and most of the other responsibilities that aren't built into Microsoft's OS.
The rumor isn't confirmed but may reflect a concern at Microsoft that its heavy emphasis on the Xbox 360 for the past five years has both let Windows gaming decline and opened avenues to Apple. By reducing the need to have a Windows PC for gaming, Microsoft has made it easier for computer users to switch to the Mac. Valve's launch of Steam for the Mac has also let many Mac users play the same games as their Windows counterparts, often without having to buy extra copies.
Windows 8 has been characterized by Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer as a big gamble and is already poised to mark a big break, including known plans for tablet optimizations, faster response times, integrated camera support and possibly a fully 3D rendered interface. It isn't due to ship until late 2012.