In addition, this release begins the public migration of Valve's games to the recently announced Steam broadband platform. While it is not required, if players join the free Steam beta before next Tuesday, they will be updated seamlessly via Steam and be able to skip the traditional download process completely.
Then, after this release, those in the Steam beta will be enabled to play with those on the 20,000-plus public servers around the world. Steam-enabled players will also have the benefit of early access to the platform's integrated communication components for in-game messaging, friends tracking, and more. To join the Steam beta, follow the directions listed here.
The Steam beta has over 100,000 players currently. The complete migration of Valve's games to the Steam platform is scheduled in the CS 1.5 release. Later this summer, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero will ship worldwide via Steam as well as in retail stores everywhere