SteamOS download available on December 13

When was the last time you got excited about an operating system? SteamOS, Valve's Linux-based experiment, will be available to download this Friday. While it's unclear how many games SteamOS will support at launch, Valve has promised that they will not make any games exclusive to the platform.

The SteamOS announcement was sneakily hidden in Valve's message regarding Steam Machines. Beta units will be shipped to selected testers this Friday, and that's when the public en masse will be able to try out the new operating system. "SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships," Valve said. "It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs."

However, Valve advises to "wait until later in 2014" to try the OS "unless you're an intrepid Linux hacker already," suggesting the initial release of SteamOS won't necessarily be mainstream-friendly. Still, if you're eager to test a new OS, you may want to start partitioning your hard drive now.