In the next update to Valve's Steam client, which distributes and manages PC games, and is probably the best digital distribution setup around (other software companies wish they had a setup half as good), Valve will be throwing cloud computing into the mix. Called Steam Cloud, the update will let you store profiles, keybindings and all of your save games online, in addition to social networking features like calendars and stuff. The cloud storage is free. Why is this a big deal?

A game company is taking the lead with two very hyped developments in how we consume software—digital distribution and cloud computing. Steam was already groundbreaking in the way it eliminated physical media from the big software equation on a mass level, and and Steam Cloud does something similar, bringing cloud computing to the masses. (It's been so successful Steam sales are about to overtake box sales for Valve.)

Advertisement

Google does this to an extent with Google Docs but by integrating it with the Steam client, Valve takes it a little further—it doesn't matter whose PC you're on, all of your stuff is there, waiting. Ironically, as much as Microsoft's trying to fend off the cloud, Xbox Live presents a pretty awesome opportunity to dive into it and do something similar—they already do with respect to software distribution. [Maximum PC]