No Steam for Linux - Right Now
Despite some early teasing, it now seems Steam is not coming to Linux after all - at least for now.
News broke August 21 that Valve's marketing VP Doug Lombardi said in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz that "There's no Linux version that we're working on right now." This is despite early discoveries that Linux was indeed on the menu and apparent confirmations.
There are two trains of thought on the statement by Lombardi. Most seem to interpret it to mean that Steam is not coming to Linux - period. Then another camp is saying don't overlook the obvious qualifier: "right now".
That means currently no, but it doesn't mean not next month, or not next year, or not ever.
Steam is expected to be released for Mac OS X sometime in 2011 and speculation that Linux could arrive sometime later wouldn't be completely outrageous. A trick of developers to fend off nagging "when" questions is to say "no time soon" or even "never." As news spreads throughout the Intertubes that Valve has put the kibosh on Steam, they can now work in peace.
Officially there is no Steam for Linux right now and perhaps Lombardi was just leaving wiggle room for a later change of mind, but those who have chosen Linux are continuing to view Steam as they do many many other projects - with hope that someday will come.
Update: Though sources used for this article estimated Steam for Mac OS X would be available soon, it seems that information was inaccurate. Steam became available for Mac OS X on May 12. In addition, the Senior Software engineer job listing that has been in the news lately was reported originally by Phoronix.com three years ago.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.