Welcome From The Chief Editor

October looks to be a HUGE month for Linux. And I do mean HUGE! For years, Windows users’ largest complaint against Linux (really, an excuse for not using Linux) was the perception of Linux not being a good gaming platform. But with the support of ONE major player, Linux will rush to the forefront of the gaming community.

Yes, I’m talking about Steam for Linux, which is scheduled to be released in October, 2012. In July, Valve head Gabe Newell stated that one reason for the focus on Linux is because “Windows 8 will be a catastrophe for everyone in PC space.”

Just the October 26th release date for the much maligned Windows 8 is reason enough to give Linux users reason to celebrate. That alone will be cause for many Windows users to explore alternative operating systems, and Linux distros all across the Linux landscape can expect a steady influx of new users.

Now, with Valve bringing Steam to Linux, the last “obstacle” to Linux adoption appears to be surmounted. In fact, some of the early reports coming from Valve and a bevy of beta testers indicate that many games run faster and leaner under Linux’s OpenGL than they do under Windows DirectX. They also report the the conversion of many of the Windows-only games is going much easier and faster than they anticipated.

As a result, it will be important for current Linux users – PCLinuxOS users included – to be prepared for an influx of new users. With that influx, comes the usual host of new user questions, many that we user’s of Linux have already had to deal with. We can and should be welcoming to those new users, patiently answering those endless streams of questions that we’ve all answered a million times before.

Those new users – those ex-Windows users – have to be shown a new, better way of doing things. Many are not accustomed to using forums as their primary support channel. Most are used to finding and downloading applications from the web, as opposed to installing applications from a central repository where all the applications work together without breaking other installed applications. Whether those users stay or go largely depends on how welcoming their reception is and how much help they receive. We all have heard of how good PCLinuxOS is for users making the transition from Windows to Linux. By welcoming and helping those ex-Windows users, we can help see the numbers of PCLinuxOS users grow.

Above all, we must remember that we were all once as they are – new to Linux. Thankfully, the PCLinuxOS forum is a place where “RTFM” isn’t typically spoken, as is done all too frequently in other Linux forums. By putting forth a friendlier hand and a more helpful hand, let’s hope those new users choose to remain PCLinuxOS users.

Until next month, I bid you peace, serenity, happiness and prosperity.