If you enjoy (legally) downloading PC game content over the Internet, then you're most likely familiar with Valve Software's Steam, a platform for the delivery and management of PC games.
On Tuesday, Valve announced an upgrade to "Steamworks," a suite of publishing and development tools available to, well, publishers and developers for free.
The first of the new notable features include Custom Executable Generation (CEG) technology. According to Valve, CEG makes unique copies of games for each user, allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC. Players that like to play from multiple locations (home, a friend's house, and definitely not work) should find this news heartening.
Another new feature is the in-game downloadable content (DLC) and matchmaking system. Developers can now deliver new content from inside the game itself. Users can now make new content purchases and immediately experience the new content in the same same game session. Without necessitating a restart.
The new "Steamworks" matchmaking system utilizes the same lobby system used in Left 4 Dead.
These new additions are good news especially for smaller developers that need this kind of regular support from Valve, when using Steam as a distribution system.
Much more information can be found in Valve's "Steamworks" brochure.
Also, check out theannouncement made by Microsoft today to see if you can pick out the similarities.