Developers are not limited to Steam's CEG and may include other forms of DRM and other authentication services than Steam; for example, some titles from publisher Ubisoft require the use of their UPlay gaming service, In September 2008, Valve added support for Steam Cloud, a service that can automatically store saved game and related custom files on Valve's servers; users can access this data from any machine running the Steam client.
In May 2012, the service added the ability for users to manage their game libraries from remote clients, including computers and mobile devices; users can instruct Steam to download and install games they own through this service if their Steam client is currently active and running.
and Valve announced that Steam had become profitable because of some highly successful Valve games.
Valve's Half-Life 2 was the first game to require installation of the Steam client to play, even for retail copies.
This decision was met with concerns about software ownership, software requirements, and issues with overloaded servers demonstrated previously by the Counter-Strike rollout.
With an update to the Steamworks SDK in March 2009, Valve added its "Custom Executable Generation" (CEG) approach into the Steamworks SDK that removed the need for these others measures.
The CEG technology creates a unique, encrypted copy of the game's executable files for the given user which allows them to install it multiple times and on multiple devices, and make backup copies of their software.
Applications whose main functions are chatting and shopping have also been released for i OS, Android and Windows Phone mobile devices.
The Steam website also replicates much of the storefront and social network features of the stand-alone application.The software provides a freely available application programming interface (API) called Steamworks, which developers can use to integrate many of Steam's functions into their products, including networking, matchmaking, in-game achievements, micro-transactions, and support for user-created content through Steam Workshop.Though initially developed for use on Microsoft Windows, versions for OS X and Linux operating systems were later released.Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation offering digital rights management (DRM), multiplayer gaming and social networking services.Steam provides the user with installation and automatic updating of games on multiple computers, and community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud saving, and in-game voice and chat functionality.Once the software is downloaded and installed, the user must then authenticate through Steam to de-encrypt the executable files to play the game.