Video game developer and Steam creator Valve has announced that starting with September the digital distribution service will get a software section where non-game programs will be sold, making it more similar to the App Store from Apple.
has stated that the move was an answer to requests from users and has not yet specified which non-game applications will be offered in September, even if the company has made it clear that both creativity and productivity products will be offered.
Some of them will also integrate the Steamworks application suite, which means that they will support features like automatic update delivery and cloud saving of content.
The new non-game applications will also be part of the new Greenlight system, which allows the Steam user community to approve which products will be introduced to the service next.
Steam currently has more than 40 million registered users and it has been best known as a game distribution service after it was launched about nine years ago as a way to deliver patches.
The move to offer non-game applications via Steam might be seen as the first step in a long-term competition between Valve and Microsoft.
Recently Gabe Newell
, the leading executive at Valve, has stated that he sees the new Windows 8 operating system and its attempt to introduce a built-in application store as a “catastrophe” for the PC space, both when it comes to normal apps and to video games.
The new Steam store will likely be promoted as an alternative to the Windows 8 app store when the operating system is introduced later during the fall.
It’s not clear how many companies will be willing to move their products to Steam, considering that the move might be frowned upon by Microsoft, which still has a strong position in the PC-based market.