Valve is offering 'Steam OS' - a Linux-based PC operating system tied incredibly closely as its name suggests to the Steam store.
But it's not aimed at consumers so much as it is at people building SteamBoxes - PC-based games machines aimed at competing with Playstation and Xboxes and Wii Us. Here's Valve's take:
"As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the
environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.
"SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.
It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines."
A quick translation of, "environment best suited to delivering value to customers " of course means, "tying folks into our shop."
Sadly, the folks at Valve decided to employ a new marketing guy to sell this free OS to you. Rather than saying, "Here, it's a free OS, have it", we got:
"With SteamOS, “openness” means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation."
Blah blah blah... anyway get the Free Thing here.
Three more announcements are expected from Valve regarding Steam next week.