One of the highlights of QuakeCon this year was the keynote speech by John Carmack, lead programmer and co-founder of id Software. Among the most interesting things that Carmack said was that he wasn’t very keen on Windows 8. During the keynote, one of the audience members asked Carmack about Windows 8. Carmack said that he and his team had worked with Windows XP “until the bitter end.” He added, “Windows XP did everything we needed for quite a while“. The entire 3 and a half hour keynote has been uploaded on YouTube.
Carmack mentioned that they started working on Windows 7 directly after XP, and that they had skipped Windows Vista entirely. “Hardly anyone at id used Vista.” When Windows 7 came out, Carmack added, it was a bit more attractive because it did some things better and faster. So there is no reason for him to consider switching to Windows 8. He said that no one in his team has worked on Windows 8 yet. But they will have to start soon because the launch of Doom 3: BFG Edition is very close to the launch of Windows 8.
Carmack stated that while he has much more respect for Microsoft than others, he has some doubts about the new touch-based UI in Windows 8 and whether it will be successful. He also said he is “kind of excited” about the Surface tablet.
Carmack joins the growing list of important game developers that are not keen on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 OS. Recently, Markus “Notch” Persson had spoken out about Windows 8 on a Q&A on Reddit. “If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general,” Notch said during the Q&A. “If we can keep open platforms around, there's going to be a lot of very interesting games in ten years, mixed in with the huge AAA games that we all love.“
Windows 8 not very good for gaming
CEO of Valve, Gabe Newell had spoken about how the upcoming OS would be bad for gaming in an interview with VentureBeat. Newell said that many don't realize “how critical games are” when it comes to choosing an operating system for a consumer. “The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy.” He goes on to say, “[W]e’re trying to make sure that Linux thrives. Our perception is that one of the big problems holding Linux back is the absence of games… I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people.”
Blizzard VP Rob Pardo had also stated his concern over Windows 8. “[N]ice interview with Gabe Newell,” Pardo wrote on Twitter. In reference to Newell's prediction that Windows 8 would be a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space, Pardo said, “[N]ot awesome for Blizzard either.“