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"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well," said Mr Newell.
"Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
"We've been a free rider, and we've been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the internet," he told the conference. "And we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms."
"There's a strong temptation to close the platform," he said, "because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors' access to the platform, and they say, 'That's really exciting.'"
This is seen by commentators to be a reference to the inclusion of a Windows Store in the Microsoft operating system.
This is a shop through which users will be able to buy apps for their Windows 8 device.
On some versions of Windows 8, it will be the only way to get downloadable software such as games.
Microsoft takes a cut, up to 30%, of every sale made through this store."