Of course this is only concerning games at the moment but who's to say that Steam wont add applications to their offerings.
Thanks for the feedback. A couple of things: First, what matters to one group doesn't necessarly matter to another. Steam has an impressive user base but it took 5 years to get to 15 million accounts. 15 million seems like a big number but it's a tiny percentage of the PC market. The community features you mention are certainly important to hard core gamers and Impulse aims to have its own set of compelling community features. Even on day 1, I would ague that the community features in Impulse are pretty decent. Give us a few months and I think you'll see that Impulse's features will grow by leaps and bounds.
What I have found more concerning is the tendancy of gamers to actually WANT a monopoly in digital distribution.
Now, I like Steam. But here's something most people probably don't remember: In the early 90s it was OS/2 vs. Windows. And at the time, Windows got a huge HUGE advantage from the media and from the "power user" community simply because people loved Microsoft back then. Microsoft were the good guys and IBM was the bad guy.
Now, today, it's hard to imagine Microsoft as the scrappy, universally loved, up and comers that they were viewed as in the early 90s. But that's how they were seen.
So when people ardently wish that Steam could just own the whole market and rely on Valve to solve all their problems and hope that everyone just hands everyhting to Steam, I can't help but be reminded that this was exactly the same way people viewed Microsoft back then.
Anyone rooting for ONE platform to win should seriously consider the logical ramifications of that victory. The best thing for consumers would be for there to be choice.