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It's not the same thing. Windows is expensive, so you have to pay a lot of money just for OS.
But somehow I do not think it is the cost that most of us complain about, especially since most machines come pre-loaded with a Windows license anyway. Allow me to quote Ryan Gordon here:
The best operating system for playing games is the one that lets you keep your word processor, instant messenger, email, and music player open in the background while you play. The worst is the one that will force you to shut all that down just to screw around for a few minutes.
Why would Windows users want to put up with that anymore than we do? What makes you think they would like all the trouble involved with that when we don't?
Not that I feel this is any less than Microsoft deserves, but it would never happen unless Valve were feeling particularly suicidal as a company. The vast majority of their user base are on Windows, many have been long term supporters of the Half-Life franchise and have been waiting for years to see the next installment, imagine the public outcry from these hardcore fans if Valve pulled a stunt like that? I can tell you right now a good chunk of players would go from loyal Valve fanboys to rabid hate breeders over night. So not only would they get fewer sales but also lost mind share due to negative press and word of mouth, and that is pretty hard to bounce back from.
I think I've posted this many times before here, but I think they should make HL3 a one-month linux exclusive. It both makes the point, and doesn't alienate Windows users that much - they can just wait the month.
They need to allow Windows games to be installed on Steam.
No. Native ports of GTFO.
This was tried when Apple went X86. The Cedega guys whipped up a product called Cider that was only available to game publishers to bring games to OS X via Wine, it did not work out well. Even with all the recent progress with Wine it's still a terrible kludge.