Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Steam on Windows 7 Disappoints Me

This actually isn’t a post against Windows 7.  In fact, you will find
very few of those among this blog, if any at all.  This is actually a
post voicing my disappointment with the very popular Social Network Gaming Software, href="http://www.steampowered.com/">Steam.


href="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image.png">image src="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image_thumb.png" width="470" height="320" />


One of the first things quickly and easily noticed is that it uses its own Window customization. 
This really isn’t such a big deal for me.  Sure, it’d be nice if it could do the whole aero thing
and fall back on this, but this looks pretty cool, so I’m not really going to fault them for this.


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Next is actually mostly a good thing.  Steam has this very nice jumplist for
Windows 7, something not a lot of other programs have really taken the time to integrate just yet. 
You can see video games I have recently (attempted to anyway) launched from Steam, their own quick links to
important parts of their client, and an optional (disabled by default) ability to change your current status
from the jumplist.

The one problem I have with this jump list is that the tasks have no
icons.  You could easily find some sort of icon for each of their little tasks.  A
shopping cart for Store, a generic user-like figure for community, etc etc but there is nothing there.


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Then of course, there is my ultimate pickle with Steam.  As
I’m sure you can tell from the above screenshot – Steam has NO PRESENCE in the Windows Games Explorer. 
This is awful!  The Games Explorer has been around since Vista, and yet Steam has yet to embrace
it.

There could (and should) be (at the very least) a high resolution steam icon under
Game Providers.  It’s not very difficult to make, and the “News” feed you see from Games for
Windows LIVE is a simple RSS feed.  They could either populate this with the news from their site,
or just a list of new releases, creating a steam:// URI (if it doesn’t already exist) to open up links in
their own client.  Instead, they don’t even touch this.

As for games, I don’t
know if they show up in the Explorer or not.  I don’t have any spare cash lying around, so I
haven’t been able to check for myself – but somehow I doubt that the games appear there (though, I could be
wrong – can anyone vouch for this?).

Hopefully, these issues will be addressed in a
future version of Steam, and embraced by Rival companies. (I’m looking at you On Live.  Yes, I
expect this from you as well).

What are your thoughts on the matter,
anyway?