If you run an amazingly popular gaming company and decide one day to switch your entire operation over to Linux, you get invited to be the keynote speaker at LinuxCon, the world's premier Linux conference. And yippers, Gabe from Valve was a speaker at Linux Con, and said “Linux and open source are the future of gaming.”
This is kind of an obvious statement for him to make, given that Valve just announced that they are going whole hog into Linux. What else is he going to say? That they're kinda sorta interested in Linux and it might be okay? But still, it's encouraging to hear Gabe put his mouth where his money is, and affirm publically that he really believes in Linux. That is exciting.
I have been surprised and alarmed at Carmack's latest public announcements of just the opposite. I know he got burned, I guess, by the Linux market in the past but Steam's business model is drastically different than ID Software's model back when both 3d gaming and Linux were both just starting out. I don't see why Carmack has to publically express such doubt about Steam OS and Valve's venture into Linux. At first I thought it was because his company and Steam were competitors, but then I realized that they really aren't. After all, Steam is primarily a distribution platform and Valve's forays into games are relatively few. If Carmack is threatened by Valve, he shouldn't be, and he should be a little more open to the idea of Linux as a gaming platform. Especially since PS4 is going BSD. It just doesn't make sense to doubt Linux's ability as a thing that people could use to play games on top of. Between Android and Ouya, I think Linux has proven its ability at this point.
Go, Gabe! Go Steam!