and I certainly won't start now. I'll stick with Steam, Valve doesn't have to stoop to such underhanded practices to gain popularity or even commercial viability. Never mind the fact that Steam will be around long after GOG is nothing but a footnote in gamer history.
The military shows some intelligence. Instead of doing jumping jacks and other inane calisthenics for 30 minutes (or however long) every morning, why not make exercise fun. Get people to want to do it! I didn't lift weights like the football team in high school, but I did go to the arcade almost everyday and played nothing but DDR 3rd and 4th mix. I never thought of it as exercise, it was always fun... even when my legs were on fire. Tell you what, I could do as many squats at whatever weight with the best of them when I was forced to take gym class. I also noticed I could run better, went from an 8min mile to a 6:30 over the course of a couple months of DDR. Sure got expensive though.
I really don't understand where you're coming from when you say there need to be other viable options of digital distribution services. There are. Most notably Direct2Drive. Now maybe D2D doesn't offer a "community" portion like Steam does, but who's stopping them? Honestly, the most viable option for them would be to buy out or cooperate with X-Fire and integrate its buddy messaging services with a D2D storefront and then add on some unique features. I made my Steam account on Sept 12, 2003. I hated it in beta and I hated it then. But Valve made a huge amount of changes. Many of them coming from community suggestions. About a year after launch it took on a new face and _really_ caught on. So let's face it. Valve came up with something truly original and molded it into exactly what the consumer wanted. Anyone else is free to do the same. But the question remains, who has ever done better than Valve in Valve's field of operations? Good luck.
This show was never all that gre-ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!