Video game publisher Valve is taking its relationship with Linux to the next level. The company is already using the open-source operating system as the backbone for its upcoming SteamOS platform, but now Valve is putting a ring on it and joining The Linux Foundation.

Valve, which operates the Steam digital-distribution platform for games and software, revealed earlier this year that it doesn’t want to rely solely on Microsoft’s Windows platform anymore. With that in mind, Valve started a concentrated effort to turn Linux into a viable gaming platform, which led to the eventual announcement of SteamOS and the game console-like Steam Machines gaming PCs that will run the Linux-based operating system.

Now, as a member of the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to growing Linux and collaborating to develop software, Valve can help push to make the future of PC gaming less reliant on Windows.

“Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming,” Valve Linux developer Mike Sartain said. “Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users.”

The Linux Foundation also revealed that Cloudius Systems, a tech startup that is developing an open-source OS to handle virtualized cloud work, and HSA Foundation, which is a nonprofit designed to build an open-standard architecture specification for parallel computing, are also joining as members.

“Our membership continues to grow as both new and mature entities embrace community development and open technologies,” Linux Foundation chief operating officer Mike Woster said. “Our new members believe Linux is a strategic investment that allows their markets to evolve as quickly as possible to achieve long-term viability and competitiveness.”

Valve plans to release SteamOS in the near future for free.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

GamesBeat Gift Guides: Everything we recommend this holiday season