Sweeney: Microsoft Will Force-patch Windows 10 To Make Steam Progressively Worse And More Broken

Aernout
Posted Jul 26, 2016
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According to Epic founder, Tim Sweeney, Microsoft is force-patching Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and buggy.

Sweeney said as much in a recent interview with EDGE magazine ( thanks to Neogaf user GoFreak for the heads up).

In the interview with EDGE, Sweeney further outs his recent warnings that Microsoft is locking down the PC ecosystem with its Universal Windows Platform. The Epic founder states that this lockdown initially started with some “sneaky” PR moves from Microsoft.

“They’ve been able to [start] this via some sneaky PR moves. They make a bunch of statements that sound vaguely like they’re promising openness but really they’re not promising anything of the sort”, Sweeney told EDGE.

According to a recent Tweet from Sweeney, he still stands by his expressed thoughts on the matter.

Down below you’ll find what Sweeney said about Microsoft locking down the PC ecosystem, and how they are trying to ‘bug’ Steam through Windows 10 patches.

How exactly do you think Microsoft is locking down the PC to make it a closed platform?

There are two programming interfaces for Windows and every app has to choose one of them. Every Steam app – every PC game for the past few decades – has used Win32. It’s been both responsible for the vibrant software market we have now, but also for malware. Any program can be a virus. Universal Windows Platform is seen as the antidote to that. It’s sandboxed – much more locked down. The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everyone to use UWP, then they phase out Win32 apps. If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library – what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky maneauvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones.

Given that Steam is so widespread and popular, how could Microsoft truly win that battle, in terms of games at least?

Slowly, over the next 5 years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seem like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan but they are certainly trying.

Isn’t it the case that Microsoft is simply mimicking Apple’s model, given how lucrative it’s proven to be for software distribution?

Sure, that’s the motivation. They’re trying to copy Apple’s model, but they realise you can’t just flip a switch. It has to be achieved in small step changes.

Several months ago, Sweeney already urged developers to “fight” against Microsoft and its “first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem”. According to Sweeney, Microsoft’s UWP initiative was Microsoft’s most aggressive move Microsoft to date to monopolize app distribution and commerce.

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