Originally Posted by Oubadah
Steam started this whole mess by tying their stupid client with mandatory DRM for SteamWorks games. Steam itself is redundant bloat if you don't want it. That sort of client should be optional, and separate from any DRM. And one client to rule them all might sound like a great idea in theory, but you always end up with a "jack of all trades, master of none" situation (like Steam), where for almost everything it can do, there is a dedicated piece of software that can do it better.
I wouldn't disagree with most of those points.
What I would say, is that Steam isn't ruined by being a jack of all trades. I think it's ruined by half-assedly trying to provide consolidated technologies that gamers need, while still having interests that conflict with that consolidation. Like you said, the failings stem from DRM and imposing itself on end-users in ways that ruin the experience.
One client to rule them all is a great idea in theory, but the problem isn't that it'll become a jack of all trades and master of none. The problem is that original vision will be lost, and in the race to gain funding or otherwise survive on the market, they always end up taking on a split personality.
It's obvious, what would happen if there were a consumer-orientated program like that on the market. It'd be bought and ruined, or developers would do what they're doing now: create launchers or otherwise find ways to cause compatibility issues where there really ought not be any.