Finally, Valve has found a way to combine Gabe Newell's love of the Linux OS architecture with its own aims at servicing your living room. Today, the company announced SteamOS, a new, free-to-license operating system built on the Linux infrastructure, expressly designed for living room-based computers.
The announcement is available on Valve's website area dedicated to living room functionality, and includes this message on what the company's aim is with SteamOS.
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.
In addition to "significant performance increases in graphics processing," SteamOS is also designed with features like game streaming from other computers, support for as-yet-unnamed music and video services, and the family sharing features that had previously been announced for Steam.
This is, of course, just the first of three announcements Valve has scheduled for this week. Still, this is kind of a big deal, and potentially a very cool thing, depending on how Valve plans to push and support this OS. Will one of those ways be on a dedicated "SteamBox" living room PC? I suppose we'll find out soon enough.