back to article Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

The founder of Epic Games says that Microsoft is trying to lock Windows developers into using its app store for all their products. Tim Sweeney reckons the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is a power-grab from Redmond to force software companies into selling their work applications solely through the Windows Store. "Here, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    App stores suck

    For paid stuff they lack discovery. They're the music charts of software distribution. I definitely don't give a shit what's "trending".

    For free stuff, they're churning compost heaps of 100% malware.

    Free needs to be subdivided into 'free as in freedom', 'free as in beer', and 'free as in you're going to get scammed/exported/pwned'.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: App stores suck

      Well, at least you can always trust Microsoft.

      To screw things up at every turn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: App stores suck

        Free needs to be subdivided into 'free as in freedom', 'free as in beer', and 'free as in you're going to get scammed/exported/pwned'.

        "free as in bait"

    2. Joerg

      Re: App stores suck

      Stream and the Apple App Store/iTunes do not suck.

      Microsoft sucks because they are a huge fraud. The whole childish unusable Metro/ModernUI and Windows10 spyware filled crap proves that.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: App stores suck

        Steam's doesn't, but I'm not a great fan of the i-Device store - it looks as though its full of junk, even if there's good stuff in there. It has been a great success for Apple, but it is interesting to note that the Mac Store has been less than successful. People want different things from a phone than from a PC. That doesn't bode well for MS who don't have a successful store of any kind to draw experience from.

        Undoubtedly Tim Sweeney is correct. The fact that everyone knows they won't get away with such a maneuver should not make us complacent.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: App stores suck

        the Apple App Store/iTunes do not suck.

        I think the correct expression would be "sucks less" - the Apple model is not exactly without its flaws either. The impact of moving country, for instance, is still a huge mystery - do you still get updates or not?

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: App stores suck

      Sigh.

    4. Fungus Bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: App stores suck

      "they're churning compost heaps of 100% malware"

      How dare you sully the good names and reputations of compost heaps the world over, sir! HOW DARE YOU!

  2. inmypjs Silver badge

    Do bears shit in the woods?

    Of course Microsoft are trying to exploit the monopolies they have and to create new ones. Why the hell do you think they have been trying to ram Win 10 down everyone's throat?

    1. AlbertH
      Linux

      Re: Do bears shit in the woods?

      MS' new business model is to rent software to end users from "the cloud". The "free give-away" Windoze 10 is to get the end users dependent and then start charging per use for software - this will be wonderful for business users: their "rental" charges will be gigantic.

      This has been MS' policy for the last 20 years - it's just now that there's sufficient connectivity to make it feasible.

      There has never been a better time to migrate away from proprietary software and "Operating Systems"!

      1. Spasticus Autisticus
        Happy

        Re: Do bears shit in the woods?

        I think Garry Perez put it better than I can -

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/10/15/pushy_windows_10/#c_2665698 - and I concur with FozzyBear's sentiments a couple of posts later.

        (#c_2665698 is the end of the link - it gets chopped off on my screen and I don't know how to do links on El Reg (do I need a badge to do links?))

      2. Patrician

        Re: Do bears shit in the woods?

        For people needing a general use PC at home for home office, email, web and gaming, Linux isn't the answer and is even less so for business I'm afraid. Much as the penguin fans might shout, moving from Windows Linux does reduce the options available to a user; example needed? Try buying, installing and playing Fallout 4 on a Linux box, or the older Planetside 2?.

        If you don't game Linux is an option but driver support could still be an issue with even the "big boys" such as Nvidia and AMD being somewhat lackadaisical on releasing Linux drivers for their hardware.

    2. Charles Manning

      How to run a monopoly 101

      The trick with a walled garden monopoly is to think of it like catching hogs in a hog trap or fish in a net. You put up the walls/slam shut the game/ pull in the net when the prey are inside - not when they've left.

      If Microsoft had put in a proper store in 2000 or so, they could have improved user experience. It would have been a trusted place to get software and would have been a walled garden of at least some value. Much better than downloading dodgy looking binaries packed with malware off sourceforge etc.

      Instead they've only done a half-arsed job and are now considering "doing it right" after they've blown their chance to do it properly.

      Bah Microsoft. Can't even screw up properly!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How to run a monopoly 101

        Instead they've only done a half-arsed job and are now considering "doing it right" after they've blown their chance to do it properly.

        Really? I haven't detected any attempt at doing things "right" at all, I don't think that's even in their DNA. If you put a Microsoft executive on a straight road they will STILL zigzag, just out of habit.

      2. Halfmad Silver badge

        Re: How to run a monopoly 101

        They could arguably have gotten away with it as late as the Windows 7 release, but now those pesky kids are wise to their tricks. I remember getting my first iPad, bought apps etc, then I got a Nexus 7.. oh different app store, then my wife got a Kindle as a present.. damn it.

        Now we've got the Windows 10 app store, hey I get free Minecraft Beta - great, but will I go near it for ANYTHING ELSE? Will I hell.

        1. Carling

          Re: How to run a monopoly 101

          Do you know how much Mafia$oft paid for (Linux) Minecraft? 8.2 Billion Dollars,

          Do you know how much Mafia$oft paid for (Linux) Skype? 2.8 Billion Dollars.

          That's why Mafia$oft have lead All windows users down the FNYPL (Free Now You Pay Later) path

          Come September when every W10 user will have to sign up to pay annual subscription fees and use of other pay for WaaS & SaaS (Windows as a Service) & (Software as a Service) with their credit/debit card details to use the Azure Cloud Servers.then and only then will Mafia$oft W10 Zombie users will know how much cash they will be forking out monthly to use their computers online. because all W10 users will have to go through Azure cloud servers to get on the internet,

  3. John Crisp

    Stating the obvious

    Someone has taken my role.

    Even the man with the white stick saw this one coming.

    1. Bob Merkin
      Joke

      Re: Stating the obvious

      Gandalf?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Stating the obvious

        Gandalf

        Didn't I tell you to take his staff away?

  4. Michael B.

    Deja Vu

    Didn't Gabe Newell come out with the same doom laden prediction when Windows 8 came out? How did that prediction go then? Did steam, Origin and Gog die under the relentless onslaught of the Windows 8 and Windows 10 App Stores?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deja Vu

      Yeah, but Windows 8 wasn't force-downloaded onto peoples' computers.

      Windows 10 is being force-downloaded except in instances where someone has taken active measures to prevent it.

      1. Chika
        Devil

        Re: Deja Vu

        Yeah, but Windows 8 wasn't force-downloaded onto peoples' computers.

        I'm increasingly wondering whether this forcing of Win 10 onto machines was because they knew that it would be a "Win 8 revisited" scenario if they stuck to their normal routine.

        Yet again they forget that users will buy a new operating system if they think that it is good. Win 7 proved that much.

        Typed in from TDE under Raspbian on my nice new Pi 3! No Win 10 IoT for you!

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Deja Vu

        As pointed out, Win 8 was not force downloaded on the user and had a whole lot less spyware and lock-in.

        Unfortunately, Win 10 will be adopted. Corporate versions do not suffer the spyware issues so corporate buy-in is a done deal. The average user has no idea how to stop the auto upgrade and will be forced to use it no matter what, unless they are tech savvy. Most are not. And like all good zombie-sheep-sumers, they will complain but adapt anyway.

        As it is, Win 8 and now 10 are already directly affecting PC sales. The average user is tired of the constant INCOMPATIBLE upgrades and very-non-intuitive GUI and is just saying "fuck it" unless they have a serious need to upgrade. For the average user, the hassle is just too great and their phone does pretty much all they need so now those chickens are coming home to roost.

      3. Chairo

        Re: Deja Vu

        Windows 10 is being force-downloaded except in instances where someone has taken active measures to prevent it.

        The most galling thing is that it is being force-downloaded even in instances where someone has taken active measures to prevent it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Deja Vu

          The most galling thing is that it is being force-downloaded even in instances where someone has taken active measures to prevent it.

          Damn. It's a shame I no longer use Windows (well, it's not a shame for me, obviously) because I would have had good fun filing a formal complaint against Microsoft UK for a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, and everything else I could throw at them (their Terms get annulled by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, I think that losing control over one's own machine pretty much qualifies as unfair).

          It's a criminal offence, and given the volume it would be impossible to ignore by the police so they couldn't buy or "politik" their way out of that one as I'd keep the press on it (which would make it toxic for anyone trying political pressure - sunshine is the ultimate disinfectant).

          I really ought to get a Windows machine again, I'm missing out on so much fun..

          (By the way, if you think that Win 10 is Microsoft's most egregious lock-in attempt you haven't been paying attention. Do you really think changing BIOS with UEFI was for your benefit? What is your main problem if you want to install Linux on any hardware?)

          1. Carling

            Re: Deja Vu

            Linux can be installed on UEFI systems without turning the UEFI system off. Linux now has it's own UEFI digital signature including a EFI digital signature for the Apple Mac

        2. Chika
          Coat

          Re: Deja Vu

          The most galling thing is that it is being force-downloaded even in instances where someone has taken active measures to prevent it.

          Ah, but have they taken the right measures?

          What I have to worry about on my various W7 boxen of late is the repeated re-release of KB2952664, KB3035583, the various Windows Update Client releases and keeping an eye on what gets released on Patch Tuesday.

          Yes, it's a bit of a slog but once it is done it's out of the way for another month and is likely to stop altogether once July is past. I hope.

          Yes, it's quite obvious that Microsoft are ignoring the various settings, including the ones that they themselves advised us to use to opt out of this whole mess.

          Wonder why?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deja Vu

      Currently the windows store is a failure, easy to avoid and full of product you'll want to avoid. The backdown on Metro as the primary ui derailed the plan to nudge everyone onto the store as the default software source. Of course Gabes prediction looks wrong now, the plan failed *so far*.

      That doesn't mean we can relax, the misuse of gaming to drive Win10 is underway, slowed by the need to push Xbox1 but finally gearing up. Leverage from xb1 is being used to ensure only universal crapps are supplied for windows AAA games, Microsoft's own games are only going to support it.

      Bad luck, bad policies and incompetence have only delayed Microsoft's plan. There's still a war to be won.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deja Vu

        If only there was a cheap and cheerful gaming OS out there (best case more or less POSIX compliant) able to do OpenGL / CUDA / whatever with practically 0 royalties and also not locked down so that could run other applications in parallel (which would make the thing generally usuable although not prevent nasty haxx by "gamers" eager to wincheat) and one could convince game studios to write for it ....

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Deja Vu

          [OT] open source can include "signed code" features that would allow modified versions to be detectable, but still work if 'unsigned'. Yeah that's the opposite of Microsoft's method of signing code to prevent using it at all and scrape revenue from the required signature, but still... [apple does that, too]. Point is that 'gaming OS' could include this without it becoming a tollbooth for developers and end-users.

          back on topic, ANY reasonable solution would have to ALLOW un-signed 3rd party code to work, though perhaps a game server might alter your avatar somehow to indicate you're using un-signed or modified code, which is of course a COMPLETE contrast to Microsoft's "we shall scrape revenue from every transaction" aka "The Store" model.

          besides, how could a "the METRO" game (or 'Universal App(sic)') have the kinds of PERFORMANCE that native code gives you? It's self-contradictory for Microsoft to think that their additional layers of "the METRO" are HELPING anyone but themSELVES.

          1. streaky Silver badge

            Re: Deja Vu

            open source can include "signed code" features that would allow modified versions to be detectable, but still work if 'unsigned'

            What's the point in signing any code if the whole system isn't signed. By definition that does nothing.

            Also I dunno why people are obsessed with berating Microsoft for things they haven't done. If you don't like Microsoft that's cool, the issue doesn't affect you so what game are we actually playing here?

            That was true then, and it's true now

            No it wasn't and no it isn't else I wouldn't have bought the division from steam to uplay, I'd have bought it in the windows store. See how this works?

        2. Carling

          Re: Deja Vu

          Quote :- If only there was a cheap and cheerful gaming OS

          Reply :- You can't have any more cheap and cheerful than Free up to date February 2016 Open Source Linux operating system With the 74,400 plus Cheap and Cheerful professional Free Open Source Linux application software and 1,900 plus free games to go with it.

          Answer :- Move to Free Open Source Linux operating system. If you don't know who are the worlds top 210 hardware and software develops that develop Linux operating system then visit their website here

          http://linuxfoundation.org/about/members/ It will open your eyes,

          If you want to move to Linux operating system then visit the Linux distribution website and see the latest releases, here, http://distrowatch.com/

          For Linux gamers visit here.

          http://gamingonlinux.com

          if you want Free photo and 3D animation graphics editing software then visit these websites

          http://gimp.org/

          http://blender.org

          Now you know the rest is up to You!

    3. choleric

      Re: Deja Vu

      Maybe not, but that doesn't mean he was wrong to say it.

      The very act of warning that a bad thing can happen is sometimes sufficient to stop it happening. Someone in a position of influence speaking out about a danger can change policies and strategies across an industry so that the problems they are warned about never come to pass.

      When that happens then the bad stuff doesn't. Does that make someone like Gabe Newell wrong? Only in a very limited sense. In fact they have been right, and very effective.

      We should applaud those who speak out in this way. If we end up with another PC monopoly then pretty much everyone is worse off.

    4. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Deja Vu

      Yep I came to make this exact point, it was in fact claimed by several people at windows 8 launch. What we'd be talking about is in fact the end of Windows as a general purpose computing platform and Microsoft wouldn't dare.

      Don't know why people keep making this idiotic claim. Even Apple wouldn't do this for their desktop OS.

    5. CFWhitman

      Re: Deja Vu

      Your post makes it sound like Gabe Newell made a prediction that didn't come true. That's rather a mischaracterization. What Mr. Newell said Microsoft wanted and was moving toward as much as they could was an application store that they fully controlled and which dominated the Windows ecosystem. That was true then, and it's true now. Everyone who points it out might at least delay how quickly than can accomplish it, but it's still where they want to go. It's also possible that by the time they got anywhere with this, they would have been all but abandoned by their customers (outside of the enterprise, where this will not work), but it's still where they want to go. Just because they might not be able to pull it off doesn't mean they aren't setting up to try it.

  5. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any thinking.

    UWPs involve the desktop market where Windows still has a (roughly) 90% "market dominant position". If Redmond attempted to do this the DoJ in the US and the European competition authorities would be all over them. The DoJ in the States would charge MS with anti-trust violations in no seconds flat.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any remembering.

      The FTC started looking at Microsoft's anti-competitive activities on 1991, and closed the investigation in 1993 without taking action. In 1993 the DOJ started investigating, and reached a settlement with Microsoft in 1994, which Microsoft promptly broke when they required all customers to pay for IE bundled with new computers whether they wanted it or not. The trial began in 1998. Microsoft were found guilty of using the monopoly in operating systems to crush competitors, and of tying. The court sentenced Microsoft to be broken into two (an OS company and an applications company) in 2000. In 2001 Microsoft wrote their own sentence which was accepted by the DOJ in 2002, and allowed Microsoft to continue tying.

      If Microsoft do crush non-Microsoft Windows App stores, then I fully expect the FTC and DOJ to huff and puff for another decade and achieve nothing.

      1. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        Re:The FTC started looking at Microsoft's anti-competitive activities......

        You don't see the difference in degree this time? If this is true then MS are intending to lock out of the Windows pc market every independent software producer on the face of the planet. The only exceptions being those they choose to grant access. This would make their behaviour in nineties (major league shitty as it was) pale in comparison. I would also remind you that the European competitions authorities have not shown themselves to be completely toothless with regard to undertakings given by Redmond. You recall when MS fucked up over the browser choice page for the European version of Windows? Ballmer had, metaphorically if not literally, to ring the competition commisioner on his bended knees. It did not matter how much MS protested that it was a mistake, they still got slapped with a huge fine. I repeate, competition authorities all over the face of the planet will go beserk if Redmond tries this. This would be in fact an order of magnitude worse than their conduct in the nineties.

        1. Mark Allread

          Re: Re:The FTC started looking at Microsoft's anti-competitive activities......

          "If this is true then MS are intending to lock out of the Windows pc market every independent software producer on the face of the planet"

          Well they aren't intending to do that, there's nothing they've done that suggests that they've done that and you'd be an idiot to believe the tin-hat brigade that are ranting about scenarios that they've invented.

        2. CFWhitman

          Re: Re:The FTC started looking at Microsoft's anti-competitive activities......

          Actually, no this wouldn't be legally bigger for Microsoft than what they did in the nineties for a number of reasons, but primarily because they've clearly shown what their tactic is.

          They have made it clear that don't intend to absolutely force users to only use Microsoft's store. They have allowed sideloading. That is, they think they can get away with using an Android type model for their store. You can sideload programs, after acknowledging the warnings that they may be malware, and you can even have another store if you want, but their hope is that the majority of people won't enable sideloading and won't install another store. It's a gradual guide toward their goal rather than a sudden push. They won't force users to use the store; they will frighten them away from doing anything else.

      2. Chika
        Trollface

        Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any remembering.

        If Microsoft do crush non-Microsoft Windows App stores, then I fully expect the FTC and DOJ to huff and puff for another decade and achieve nothing.

        Well you'd expect Microsoft to get what they pay for, don't you?

    2. Law

      Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any thinking.

      " If Redmond attempted to do this the DoJ in the US and the European competition authorities would be all over them."

      If it was being done via consumer software I'd agree - but they're sneaking this in via developers who have to choose to develop this way and could, in theory, write for other platforms too. So they're rying to work on getting other people to make their monopoly for them through easy tools and a write-once deploy-to-many framework.

      Sad thing is I think a lot of dev houses will go along with it... and if they aim this at indie devs and universities like they did with .NET then we'll have a whole generation coming through that won't see it as a problem.

      1. Carling

        Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any thinking.

        Quote :- Sad thing is I think a lot of dev houses will go along with it...

        Reply :- I doubt that very much. When Mafia$oft takes 33% of the selling price.

        Answer :- if you had products and could only sell them in one place and the company that's selling it was taking 33% of your sales price would you be happy about that? I don't think you would be

    3. AlbertH

      Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any thinking.

      MS will just laugh at any anti-trust suits brought against them. They have (effectively) unlimited funds and all sorts of malicious sanctions that they can apply!

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear, It would appear that nobody is doing any thinking.

      They are not attempting or trying to do this.

      They ARE doing it.

  6. DryBones
    Coat

    Hang on...

    Aren't these the same guys that say they prefer to make games for consoles, because they only have one or two configurations they need to test it against?

    Isn't that what this UWP is supposed to do, make every PC look like a single configuration?

    ...

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Hang on...

      No. And it doesn't make the system software "look the same" on any device any more than Win32/64 does either.

      No. Because every pc out there has different hardware, no software can disguise that CPUs have different core counts or performance varying by 1000%. GPUs support different feature levels or with vastly different performance profiles.

      Games devs like consoles because the hardware is constant. The OS is frequently a moving target.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        And even when the hardware is constant, they still can't get the game out on time with all the functionality working as it should.

      2. DryBones

        Re: Hang on...

        If you say so. I was reading another article ( last XBox or something) about it that seemed to be claiming that was the design goal.

        I seem to recall (or imagine, same thing after enough time) one feature that predictably broke off of Longhorn was that idea of a module that managed games similar to a console, each in its own little stall or something.

        And then we got The Registry, and that notion turned into a hairball that needs third party tools to keep under control...

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Hang on...

          One goal of UWP is to run the same apps everywhere. Run them at all. It's not to run them equally well everywhere and it can't do the impossible. Well it could slow down every platform to match the least capable one - that's the Metro solution BTW.

          Unfortunately Microsofts real goal is maintaining and increasing Windows lock in, they'll grab as much control as we let them. It's not a time to be quiet while it happens.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hang on...

      UWP is simplistic applet, not proper win32 or gaming.

      You wouldn't be able to write proper stuff in UWP, its a con. Xbox One (if its around much longer) will always be directx and native code, and proper windows programs will always be win32. UWP is a pipe dream myth.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All about margin

    Losing 30% of profit margin will be his gripe.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: All about margin

      Yes, he might be understandably annoyed by that... Redmond heavies take an open platform (in the sense that anyone could release anything for it) and then add new features which are available only to UWP and he has to use their crappy store and pay the Danegeld to be able to release UWP games.

      Yet because UWP is badly designed he also has to fight bugs and changes caused by MS tinkering with it in an effort to try and fix it, meaning higher costs after release.

      All that for 30%. What's not to like?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All about margin

      Lose 30% profit margin?

      Oh, I don't think so. They will surely want to keep their profit margins and so this will translate into a price hike for consumers (assuming that Microsoft do successfully lock things down as the Guardian article suggests).

      And to keep their income at the same level if faced with a 30% surcharge, they will have to hike the prices by 43%.

    3. Mikel

      Re: All about margin

      Remember, Microsoft has been convicted of changing their OS to prevent the proper functioning of a competitor's application, over and over. He has a lot more to be concerned about than just profit margin. In their store, discovery of apps is wholly up to them and only a fool would think they wouldn't hide their competitor's apps. The features available are designed by them - and it's well known that their app developers get premium access and documentation to upcoming features even to the point of being able to request specific features. They get the guy who designed the thing to come over and help them over the bumps.

      It's just not fair to the third party developer. It never was, and it never was intended to be. As the US Marines like to say: "If you're in a fair fight, your strategy sucks." That is the attitude they have about third party developer. They are the enemy to be defeated at least cost and fairness be damned. Third party developers would be wise to avoid participating in their war, playing in their rigged game.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: All about margin

        "Third party developers would be wise to avoid participating in their war, playing in their rigged game."

        I came to that conclusion with the ".Not" initiative back in the early noughties... that MS was trying to corner the market and provide "one login for the internet" and generate a kind of "toll booth". That eventually turned into a bloated, monolithic set of libraries, and an inefficient layer between the appLICATION and the operating system.

        Well, that "one login" came BACK like a zombie, as the new "Microsoft Logon" complete with a privacy violating EULA. That ties directly in with "the Store" and potentially tracks EVERYTHING you do (read the EULA, it's in there).

        The trend is obvious, the goal is obvious, and Ballmer's infamous "Developers Developers Developers Developers" ape dance [I saw this, live] means NOTHING any more. It's not about 3rd party developers making Windows successful. It's about rounding them up and FORCING them into this "new model".

        NOT participating is the only way to go. I continue using Windows 7 dev tools, target XP, and *REFUSE* to use ".Net". [in fact, an MFC application can be ported to Linux and even Mac using wxWidgets, which is similar enough to make the overall process REASONABLE].

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    MS are trying to out Apple, Apple

    Not even the fruity firm could force their Mac Fanbois to do this.

    A brave step ... into the unknown perhaps?

    Only time will tell.

    {posted from a Windows 10 free environment}

  9. Paul 87

    It's an absolutely horrific thought, that may well be the death of PC gaming if it comes to pass. Either developers will be making games for UWP, or they won't be selling enough copies to justify the development of the top rated titles.

    We can only hope that this gets crushed in it's infancy, either by an anti-trust lawsuit for an abuse of monopoly, or by the game studios themselves chosing to support the PS4 and normal PC instead.

    1. Denarius
      Happy

      Or perhaps the year of

      PC BSD on the desktop ?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Pint

      Whoa there

      Why is it that everyone is thinking that, just because MS is attempting to get all devs on their Store, that all devs will blindly run into that direction ?

      I find that 30% is nothing less than usury for the "benefit" of using the UWP ecosystem. MS is really pushing it just for maintaining the Store. The big labels are not going to accept losing almost a third of their revenue just to be able to sell their wares. Steam, for one, will likely say eff off, it is already a perfectly functional platform with a Store included. Valve will just do what it takes to create a tablet version of their games and that will be that.

      Maybe we'll have a joining of efforts from the gaming industry in response to this monopolistic maneuvering. Maybe all major labels will create a common platform/store and work from there. But even if they don't join forces, they already have their own Stores. I fail to see why they will kowtow to Redmond and lose 30% just because Windows 1 0.

      Once again, Microsoft might find that pushing in one direction is just going to create the opposite effect that the one it wanted.

      Here's to hoping it does.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Whoa there

        "I find that 30% is nothing less than usury for the "benefit" of using the UWP ecosystem. MS is really pushing it just for maintaining the Store. The big labels are not going to accept losing almost a third of their revenue just to be able to sell their wares."

        right, looking back at the early noughties and the beginnings of this (".Not" initiative) you can see Amazon telling Microsoft "blank OFF" to their 'Passport" login scheme.

        that's ONE of MANY examples. As I recall, MS also had something brewing about a 'store' back then, or maybe it was some canned thing with IIS. I just remember 'something', no details.

        In any case, look what happened THEN. What makes *NOW* any different? "The New Generation" is trying it? Anybody ELSE remember the term 'Whiz Kids' ???

        yeah them younguns think they're so SMART, being brainwashed in college and come out thinking they know everything, and now it's THEIR turn to do it THEIR way, just like it was described in Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can you see what it is yet?

    Microsoft has been very careful to bring in the changes in a way that doesn't frighten the sheep unduly. It is hard at times to see where they're going and that's, no doubt, according to plan.

    This article, from someone who is in a good position to assess the consequences of what is going on, pretty much brings it all together.

    Have we yet reached the point where apologists are prepared to concede that Microsoft fully intend Windows 10 to be the end of generalised personal computing for the masses?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Shadmeister - Re: Can you see what it is yet?

        A number of good points. Such aggression in Microsoft's part ought, by now, have resulted in some form of backlash, but it is strangely absent.

        It seems that Microsoft strategy is take as much as possible, then wait until they are criticised, and retreat some way back, but will still have sufficient encroachment upon the personal freedom of people, so as to be able to ensure that they profit from you.

        Yup. Taken straight from the Google approach to business. It worked so well for them that Microsoft are following suit.

        Then again, so many people are utterly oblivious to what is going on, that i can at least understand why Microsoft are doing this. Easy money.

        Yes, and I don't hold out much hope of convincing the masses that there's something very wrong going on. What is puzzling, though, is how so many clued-in people are also seemingly oblivious. Or doesn't anyone care anymore?

        1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

          Re: @Shadmeister - Can you see what it is yet?

          "What is puzzling, though, is how so many clued-in people are also seemingly oblivious. Or doesn't anyone care anymore?"

          I find people in my generation or earlier to have the attitude of "so what?" I find the attitude of people of the older generation to be of shock and awe. The generations that say "so what?" will also cry and complain and protest about the government wanting to slurp all our data, but then they turn around and have no complaints about a corporation doing the same thing. They cry about the warrantless tracking but turn around and tell Facebook where they are and where they are going. Neither the government nor the corporation looks out for our best interests. It is wrong for our government to do it and it is equally wrong for businesses to do it. Software companies can make a good profit not gulping down all our data. They did it once, they can do it again.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Wade Burchette - Re: @Shadmeister - Can you see what it is yet?

            I find people in my generation or earlier to have the attitude of "so what?" I find the attitude of people of the older generation to be of shock and awe.

            I guess that about sums it up. The younger folks I know are intelligent enough to understand the implications of what Microsoft is up to (and what Google have been up to almost from the beginning), but they are happy to continue trusting them.

            Whereas the older ones, who have a lot more experience of many things, are more inclined to say "what's the catch" when offered something for free.

            It seems that Microsoft are banking on the old ones just giving up and letting it all slide without comment.

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: @Shadmeister - Can you see what it is yet?

          Backlash strangely absent?

          Not where I've been looking. There is more hostility toward MS and Windows 10 than there has ever been since I can remember, including during the browser wars during the late 1990s.

          This gambit can only work for MS if the Windows 10 market is so large as to render Win32 irrelevant. As it stands, Windows 10 has just hit 12.82% market share (netmarketshare.com), with other versions of Windows accounting for around 76% of the total. That's after 7 months of being given away to home users (which includes pretty much all gamers) for FREE.

          By developing for the Windows store, game devs will (at the present time) be eliminating 86% of the Windows market as potential customers. While it may be that the distribution of gamers is higher within the Windows 10 group (who may have migrated to get DirectX12), it's still pretty foolish to cut off 86% of your potential customer base (and 30% of revenue) for little in return. A Win32 version reaches all of the previous Windows versions AND Windows 10, and doesn't come with a 30% tax.

          I will be doing my part by continuing to shun Windows 10. If it ever gets to be a decent product (and I have my doubts about this ever happening), I might move from 7, but even then I won't be touching the Windows store or anything in it with a ten foot pole. If a given game is available only from the Windows Store, I guess I'll have to do without. For games or otherwise, it's Win32 or nothing. I have no use for "apps" on a desktop PC.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Updraft102 - Re: @Shadmeister - Can you see what it is yet?

            There is more hostility toward MS and Windows 10 than there has ever been since I can remember

            Oh yes - I fully agree with that. I guess the backlash hasn't happened because the number of people thinking the same hasn't risen high enough yet.

            This gambit can only work for MS if the Windows 10 market is so large as to render Win32 irrelevant.

            True, and that is I think the crux of it - Microsoft are doing everything they can to maximise the Windows 10 market, but they are nowhere near achieving the required level. But if game developers (particularly those who currently develop for the desktop market) meekly go along with Microsoft's plans, it will be a massive leap towards their goal.

            So, do the game devs have the courage to say 'Screw You Microsoft', and collaborate to find an alternative?

  11. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    actually ...

    ... there is one way I would support (as in : happy to use) Windows Universal apps. That would be:

    1) app store independent of Microsoft

    2) easy to switch to and from for Windows users (no need to look for side-loading switch)

    3) source code available for all distributed applications (does not have to be GPL - MIT BSD Apache etc. are just fine)

    4) no dependencies on closed source libraries/plugins

    5) all applications can be easily rebuilt by the user, with free Visual Studio community edition

    In other words, make it similar to repository of your average Linux distribution.

  12. Ragequit

    Short on details..

    I haven't been readily following the OS-that-should-be-called-windows-9 (other than how to stop it's invasion) so I'll admit to not knowing all the details (though it sounds as though MS is being evasive on some). Side-loading is the only option for non-appstore UWA for now and thus Epic's complaint. Meanwhile MS claims there will be more revealed later. Yet they keep claiming the UWA development platform is "completely open". They did open source some of their stack recently did they not? I wonder if the their response will be something along the lines of - "You're welcome to build your own Appstore target!!!.." and in very small print, "as long as you get certified by us and give us a negotiable 5-10%". I just don't see MS giving up completely on this business model. The plan B has got to include some sort of revenue stream or the free Win10 upgrades will have to be entirely subsidized by ads/dataslurp.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Short on details..

      Most home or small business computer owners have only ever used the version of Windows that came on their computer at the time of purchase. Offering those people free upgrades doesn't substantially harm Microsoft's bottom line, since they were never going to get any upgrade sales from the vast majority of users anyway (the real money is in OEM and enterprise sales, and those are not free) . The free upgrade helps Microsoft's bottom line by getting more people into the "potential Windows store customers" boat.

      MS is trying to sell app devs the idea that they can make Windows mobile apps and automatically reach a built-in desktop PC market too (so don't worry about the relative lack of Windows mobile devices out there!). That was the clear purpose of 8, but it failed to catch on; 10 is nothing other than a second attempt at the same thing. The more people MS can corral into Windows 10, the more they can tell app devs that there are all these Windows desktop users just waiting to download mobile apps on their desktop PCs, so why not make some?

      It's not true, of course, as the existing market of native Windows programs that were actually designed for the PC platform is already far bigger than Microsoft's store would be in their wildest dreams, but that's what they're trying to sell to app devs. So in order for MS to convincingly do that, people must upgrade in mass numbers to Windows 10. Only then will developing for the Windows Store (which works on 10 only) begin to make any sense at all as compared to developing for Win32 (which works on 10 and all other Windows versions too).

  13. Andy Non Silver badge
    Meh

    MS, I'm not biting.

    I still sell some Windows applications from my website. I have absolutely no intention of creating versions to put on Microsoft's app store. If they eventually lock out third party vendors then so be it; I'll remove the software from my site and that's the end of it. I now develop applications for Linux anyway having become thoroughly disillusioned with Microsoft's antics since Windows 8, so Microsoft can do whatever the hell they like as far as I'm concerned.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats the issue ? MS just trying to catch up with iOS and Android

    I am NO fan of windows 10 I only have it on an isolated test machine only. and wont let it near production while it has the spyware component.

    I have no problem with a Microsoft store and UWA.

    AS long as in windows there is the ability without rooting (or some magic enchantment) to load Apps from other sources apart from the Microsoft store. i would prefer a system where you could add a list of stores like a list of repositories in Linux rather than having to side load individual Apps.

    Android has multiple stores you can add if you want and know where to look or you can side load - I don't see people complaining about Google having the dominant store as devices usually only coming with that store installed.

    iOS - has the Apple store and unless you root your phone you have no choice you HAVE to purchase your apps from Apple - Cydia is an alternative BUT needs Root. I know people don't like this but the majority of Sheeple (Fanboys) are happy or don't realise there is an alternative and I have not seen any action from competition authorities.

    I want Windows 7 with an app store - OK windows 10 with NO spyware or telemetry would be acceptable but guess I'm pissing in a Hurricane for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whats the issue ? MS just trying to catch up with iOS and Android

      I want Windows 7 with an app store

      I imagine you will get it one day - assuming you are on automatic updates and that Microsoft honours your choice to decline the Windows 10 offer. I imagine that is their Plan B.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whats the issue ? MS just trying to catch up with iOS and Android

        I have Windows 7 without an app store and am happy with it BUT apps that do not hook in to the registry (like win32 programs) and are easy to install and "completely" remove would be nice.

        I have updates turned off and check the payload of each and every update before its installed on any of my or the systems i admin. but I agree cant Trust Microsoft not to ignore my options. looking at blocking on the routers and firewalls.

        I have until 2020 to find and learn something else unless Microsoft shorten the time line. :-(

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whats the issue ? MS just trying to catch up with iOS and Android

      Microsoft has constantly been trying to catch up with iOS and Android, since... I dunno, maybe from the time when WP7 went RTM?

      And Microsoft only knows one way: leveraging on its ill-gotten desktop monopoly to extend its grip on mobile.

      Windows 8 was a good example. It failed. So will Windows 10** (technically Windows 8 SP2). UWP will fail too.

      **By failing I mean making inroads into mobile, and getting developers interested in coding for its app store. It is perfectly okay to upgrade to Windows 10 if you have an old PC and use that for purely win32 PC/productivity stuff. Just make sure to switch off the telemetry and data mining crap. And remember to avoid using a Microsoft account.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Not worth porting?

    So by the time I port my game to Windows "where the money is", building software on that platform will be even more of a royal pain in the ass than it already is, and there won't be any money in it. And this is from Tim Sweeney, a programmer who knows what he's talking about.

    FWIW the "Linux Sucks" guy, Bryan Lunduke, has said he's done just fine selling Linux-only games.

  16. Trey Pattillo

    Wake up folks...

    Welcome to the UCCA [United Corporations and Churches of America]

    Where the true customer is the Stock Holder and the real product is the Stock.

    In god we trust, all others will submit to Pay Day Loan Interest and Tracker247.

    And if you think the government is going to do, or be able to, do anything,

    then look no further than the new leader.....Lord Yellow Hair of All Ism's [white, race, corporate, potty mouth,etc]. Making the 1984 and Idiocracy reality.

  17. adnim Silver badge

    My fantasy..

    Game devs develop using the Vulcan API. They release Win32/64 and Linux versions. And they ignore UWA.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually...

    The wrapper that the game is in doesn't matter much... 95% of the development cost is graphics and levels, maybe 4% coding. That leaves 1% recompiling, porting and debugging for different platforms.

    You'd have a hard time arguing that Win32 to UWA was a complex port compared to Win32 to PS4 or Mac/Linux.

    The benefits of using proper Software Repositories, rather than random buggy installers shouldn't be underestimated.

    The real problem is IMO the effect on society and culture of getting rid of every paying job possible, and making only a tiny number of super rich companies successful. Hey - I'm getting old and nostalgic!

  19. Mark Lewis

    Retarded

    UWP does not support multiple GPU's, games don't run full screen and your new 100hz monitor? Forget it, your limited to 60hz.

    UWP is only for the lowest common denominator.

    1. adnim Silver badge

      Re: Actually...

      You forgot the storyline... Although in 95%+ of game releases there is not an engaging one. Identifying with and understanding, hence empathising with game characters adds to the immersion. And is this not why we play games? Immersion and suspension of the mundane?

    2. Joerg

      Re: Actually...

      "95% of the development cost is graphics and levels, maybe 4% coding. That leaves 1% recompiling, porting and debugging for different platforms."--- In your dreams a game development requires just 4% of coding... Seriously? You have no clue what you are talking about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        95% is about right...

        About 10 to 1 graphics artists here. If you look at the credits to most modern games, you'll see similar patterns.

        There's a lot of assets in modern games...

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Retarded

      "UWP is only for the lowest common denominator."

      ack on that. Microsoft is dumbing down the user interface so that the "4 inch" crowd can use their smartphones as computers, while simultaneously restricting THE REST OF US to a 4"-er's phone interface on the desktop, PARTICULARLY those "universal apps(sic)" instead of NATIVE versions that RAN BETTER, LOADED FASTER, and LOOKED MORE PROFESSIONAL.

      And don't EVEN get me started on the flat 2D appearance since "Ape" (8.x)...

  20. 0x407ab506

    No baby and no bathwater

    Windows 7 going EOL will be the year of Linux on the desktop, at least for me.

    Microsoft screwed up backwards compatibility for developers. I pity the place I interviewed at last time I was job hunting who picked Silverlight on WinCE for their embedded industrial application.

    Maybe Linux will have a stable enough ABI and mindshare to get commercial applications by then, but MS making old apps stop working and giving up on good APIs at the drop of a hat means that doen't matter either.

    MS had a huge beginers advantage on mobiles with WinCE, then threw it away just as it started getting useful, it was a pain in the arse, but they just beaten the 32Mb memory barrier, got better debugging tools and could have enforced protected memory only for them to give the game to Android while they ditched platform after platform.

    MS is a degenerative disease nowadays.

    1. sola

      Re: No baby and no bathwater

      > Windows 7 going EOL will be the year of Linux on the desktop, at least for me.

      There is no point in waiting that much, Linux is already a very stable platform to develop for.

      The most often used APIs you code against on Linux (OpenGL, Vulcan, GTK/Qt, Bluez...etc) are only changed in a backward compatible manner within major versions. External interfaces of the kernel are also kept backward compatible. In the rare cases when you need to code against a kernel-internal interfaces, you may be in trouble but this is equal to the use of undocumented APIs on Windows which is always a gamble.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: No baby and no bathwater

        . In the rare cases when you need to code against a kernel-internal interfaces, you may be in trouble but this is equal to the use of undocumented APIs on Windows which is always a gamble.

        No, much less of a gamble. The linux kernel that you have forced yourself to require will remain available forever. As will its source code. So you will have the option to restrict yourself to using an obsolete kernel until you can make your code work with a new one, and you will have the option to port the obsolete interface you require up to a more modern kernel. (In some cases that may not be do-able without unreasonable amounts of work, but at least you can study the source codes to arrive at a well-informed decision! )

  21. LeoP

    Year of the Linux Desktop?

    Oh what irony!

    The biggest (some might even say only, but tastes differ) advantage Windows on the Desktop has over Linux/BSD/YouNameIt and to a lesser extent OSX is the availability of Applications. And by Applications I do explicitly NOT mean "Universal Apps".

    If Microsoft were to give up this advantage, they might provide the critical mass for a migration.

    Screwers screwed?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oculos

    Unfortunately I would like to do some work with Oculos - and only Windows has the necessary graphics capability and ability to use high enough performance graphics cards. I'm not able to afford Apple prices (when something suitable comes out) and Linux doesn't do it.

    If VR becomes mainstream it looks like Microsoft has another nice little monopoly sewn up.

  23. Jonjonz

    win10 - DirectX12-Misstep

    Like all over VP'd megacorp, the VPs for Win10 won out over the VPs for DirectX12 and jumped the gun with Win10 without including the yet to be done DirectX12.

    Microsoft has become IBM.

    When my current Win7 lappy bites the dust, we are going Linux for the duration.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This 'unified Windows run anywhere' schtick is getting old.

    People only care about Windows because of legacy win32 stuff. Backward compatibility.

    For the mobile stuff, people have already moved on to Apple and Android.

    For a 'walled garden for games', you already have Steam. And that is platform agnostic, no such thing as 'Windows-exclusive'.

  25. dan1980

    People like Apple, EA, Google, Microsoft, Valve and others want to set themselves up as gatekeepers through which all content flows.

    In all instances, the claims are around integration and simplicity and so forth but the goal is always the same: control and market share. MS in this instance are doing exactly what I and so many others have long said they would - change their business model to more closely match Apple and their App Store/iTunes ecosystem.

  26. sola

    The year of the Linux desktop - courtesy of Microsoft

    Microsoft proves again that they are the biggest pushing force behind the year of the Linux desktop.

    Without the incessant blundering around their attempts for even more control, people would not realise that there are now viable, fully open alternatives to Windows (Linux being the most prominent).

    They forced Valve to create SteamOS and I am sure that other ISVs are listening to the racket and considering a multi-platform strategy.

  27. MJI Silver badge

    No WIN32 no Windows

    If MS do depreciate WIN32 and X64, there will be no reason to use Windows over any other OS.

    This would be THE nightmare scenario for many smaller software houses.

  28. Kaltern

    I've said it before, until such time that: a) Linux becomes as easy to use for the average PC user as Windows, and b) DirectX is 100% available within a Linux environment, the vast majority of Windows users will remain so.

    The new API's are as much use as frozen cheese without a steady supply of top games publishers using them on a daily basis. Steam is the best hope for this change over, but only if they make it worthwhile to the developers and publishers.

    I hate what Windows has turned into as much as most, but being an avid gamer who refuses to buy a console due to the depreciation of technology before every release, I will have to remain on it.

    WINE is useful, but it takes far too much work for the average person to get something running, that it is only of use for the curious.

  29. Carling

    How much is Microsoft costing YOU!

    Do any of you American Microsoft fans actually know how much money M$ is costing you annually that you don't know about. Lets start with education 70% of property taxation goes to education 1% of sales taxation goes to education. 70% of all education taxation goes to Microsoft. That amounts to Billions of dollars annually. If you don't believe what I'm saying then go into your State/local education departments and ask them to show you their EULA (End Users License Agreement) with Microsoft. They can't show it to you, Because they have signed a DND (Do Not Disclose) agreement behind closed doors with Microsoft. to keep the public from knowing what it's costing the tax payers annually.

    If you demand to see the agreement then you be told you have to pay to see it, and you will have to sign a DND (Do Not Disclose) agreement yourself.

    To prove what I'm saying is right then watch this Youtube video that proves the fact on how Penn Manor High School in Pennsylvania saved their schools budget $360.000 Annually, by moving from Windows to Free Open Source Linux operating system and Free Open Source education Software

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Co37GO2Fc

    Now if one school alone can save their schools budget $360.000 Dollars annually then STOP & THINK how much money every school in America would save the education tax payers annually if they used Free Open Source Operating System and Free Open Source Education Software, When it comes to higher education and students have to take out thousands of dollars in education loans, you can put that down to you know who too.

    Here is what you need to do, Educate yourselves with the knowledge of the word FREE that’s no longer in the American vocabulary, but it's still in every other countries vocabulary, Do you know that every American student can have a Free online university education. so why pay through the nose and get in debt for thousand of dollars to go to local collages, when you've no need to get out of bed to do your studies, Check out the web Links below and learn what what the rest of the world have known for decades.

    For the Latest February 2016 Free Open Source operating system

    http://disrowatch.com

    For Free Online University studies and courses here

    http://edx.org.

    Like they say "You can lead a horse to water" "You can't make it drink it" that's it's choice

    Now you know the rest is up to you!

  30. JJens

    Win10 - Turn off tracking...

    I have been using Windows 10 for some time and I think it is a great OS. What you need to do is to stop all tracking, disable OneDrive, Store, remove apps etc. It is a lot of work and there aren't always GUI for this. You have to run powershell commands or change values in the registry yourself, or add entries in the hosts file to cut-off external communication for some of the stuff.

    There is a lot of very smart developers out there, why cannot some of these people come together and establish a project to take back control over the OS. The aim of the project could be to make a tool that will stop the tracking and remove all apps. With such a tool even the average man in the street would be enabled to re-claim control over his/hers machine and OS.

    Some people have tried already and this tool do remove a lot:

    https://github.com/10se1ucgo/DisableWinTracking/releases

    Reading this thread I hear a lot of bashing about MS, but Google is far worse. I hope you have stopped using Chrome and Avast on your Win7 machines, they are the big trackers MS is trying so hard to copy in the Desktop segment. I have told people about these things, but normal people neither have the skills nor the time to do anything about the situation, they give up and seemingly just don't care. At least they could have uninstalled Avast and Chrome and stopped using google for every web search...

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