Tim Sweeney says Microsoft will slowly break Steam with future Windows 10 updates

By midian182 ยท 43 replies
Jul 26, 2016
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  1. Tim Sweeney is as well-known for his opposition of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) as he is for being the co-founder of Epic Games and co-creator of the Unreal Engine. After he claimed the UWP initiative was turning the PC into a walled garden earlier this year, Sweeney now warns that future Windows 10 updates will result in Steam becoming a buggy mess, making the Windows Store a preferable alternative.

    Speaking in an interview with Edge magazine, Sweeney claims that Microsoft could slowly break and phase out long-used Win32 applications as it convinces developers to use its UWP model.

    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 an antidote to that. It’s sandboxed – much more locked down.

    The risk here is that, if Microsoft convinces everybody 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 maneuvers. 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.

    As for Steam, Sweeny says the numerous Windows 10 patches Microsoft plan to introduce over the coming years will make the digital storefront “progressively worse and more broken,” until the Windows Store becomes a better option for buying games digititally. He claims Microsoft already used this method with its competitors in other markets, though he didn’t go into specifics.

    Steam is, of course, the digital store of choice for the vast majority of PC owners, and despite some recent improvements, UWP games are still arriving on the Windows Store with plenty of performance issues. So is it really that far-fetched to imagine Microsoft intentionally hamstringing Steam over the next five years? Possibly not. But even if it did, doing so could result in many people still refusing to switch over to the Windows Store, and it may even see more users turning to Linux.

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  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    That's just stupid. The guys at Valve aren't just going to sit by and watch someone do that.
    robb213, Reehahs, Kreegir and 3 others like this.
  3. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    It seems Microsoft hasn't learned their lesson, yet. You can't force consumer choice and expect everyone to go along with it. I'll switch to Linux before I give up Steam.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    This is only the rants from a dude that "says" something and you all assume it is that way. They will not phase out x32 apps even if they wanted to, it's as stupid as assuming because mobile phones have such a big market people will stop programming for computers.

    It's not just steam games, it's every game out there that doesn't support 64 bits, which is a huge number, and even then, there are x32 applications that don't have or need x64 support, please don't fall for this crap.
    robb213, noc81, Versutus and 2 others like this.
  5. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    The windows store can crash and burn for all I care... I wont be buying any games or apps from it. As for steam, I have far too much money invested in that platform to leave it now, but I will admit that steam needs to get cleaned up as there is so much cr#p on there these days what with all those bad mobile game ports and creepy manga rpg's were the characters look like children with big chests. If microsoft wants games on there store so badly let them have all the junk no one wants on steam.
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,041   +678

    "The malware defense"
  7. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 711   +381

    32 bit anything should be forced out IMHO.
  8. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,071   +428

    Tim Sweeny is kind of an *****. Steam users are the main buyers of games and will be for the foreseeable future. Period. Valve knows how to do customer service. Microsoft doesn't.
    DaddyLongLegs likes this.
  9. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 782   +235

    All I have to say is: hahaha
  10. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Good luck with gaming on Linux.
    I'm sure if/when linux ever catches up to properly support games, windows will still run them just fine.
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,872   +1,291

    I wish that SteamOS or another distro would become the single Linux standard. We need *one* Linux that's as user-friendly and optimized for performance as possible. Ideally no one company would own this distro and a democratic process would be used to determine how the OS would evolve. Nobody would be allowed to make money off the operating system itself and walled gardens and other "framing" schemes would be immediately rejected. Note that I don't consider Steam to be a closed system because you can run nearly any of their games directly without even having Steam in memory.
    robb213, BSim500, EClyde and 2 others like this.
  12. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    I'm sure if this is accurate, and Microsoft chooses to see this through to completion, it will be a few years at least. By then, I hope that Linux gaming is in a much better position than it is now. I'd rather deal with slightly worse performance than lose the hundreds of dollars worth of games that I own on Steam.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

    Hmmm... Microsoft has pushed toward subscription based MS Office (doesn't mean they won't keep trying to force it) and soon Windows will likely become subscription based. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they try to release a Windows "upgrade" that forces everyone to their store in the name of some security and "providing a safe, reliable, and complete software experience" or some crap. However that would be a massive error on their part and I can see many more lawsuits in their future as businesses and government entities get screwed. Look at the crap they have done just trying to force Windows 10 down everyone's throat. Is the OS terrible? Depends on who you ask, but there are certainly many steps backwards and away from letting the user have it their way.

    M$ has been going down the crapper for years (was it since Gates left) and I don't see it changing direction. I really hope we start to get some more big gaming developers make Linux versions of their games. We already have a few which is great but we need more. It also looks like nVidia may be making efforts to improve the performance of their GPU's for Linux which should help as well. All we really need is some really big game like CoD or Battlefield to make a Linux version which would be a big push in the industry. Which may not happen unless M$ forces them to make their games for UWP only.

    So in the end, I could see this happening. And a lot of people will just let it happen instead of pushing back. It is the same guys who say they adopt the new OS and "never look back". You lot know who you are...
    astralcyborg likes this.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    First the make you run the trouble shooter to make windows 7 updates work to persuade us to upgrade to 10 now this...
  15. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Posts: 233   +59

    It's a 'worst case scenario' and won't happen soon but definitely could in the long term. Valve know this a possibility and I'm sure there steamOS/Linux would get a lot of attention when they felt it was getting close.
  16. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    If the developers of linux could do such a thing, we wouldnt have such a fragmented ecosysten.

    But you will never have *one* linux. Linux is an open OS. You cant tell the different distros that they cannot use a different package manager/UI. This goes against the very idea of having an open source OS. And ironically, your proposal would kick steam right out the door, leaving you with no games on your *one* linux.

    I dont see why anybody is taking this man seriously either. In order to do this, microsoft would have to sabotage the entirety of win32, and doing so would alienate businesses and governments that rely on legacy software. Doing so would cost Microsoft billions. Not to mention destroy every single game/application that isnt a windows store application. And this is assuming that valve would not try to fix the client on their end assuming this occurred. And given that gabe nor valve have complained of this issue, I dont see how sweeney would know any better.
    noc81 likes this.
  17. RockinRobbins

    RockinRobbins TS Rookie

    Microsoft doesn't realize that if they break Steam they will break themselves. We'll just use Steam on another platform and won't miss Windows a bit. What Microsoft thinks is brand loyalty is nothing but inertia. Inertia, parked on top of a hill and given a small shove, quickly becomes momentum. That will be momentum against Microsoft and just like an avalanche it will sweep away Microsoft and leave no trace it ever existed.
  18. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,307   +429

    1 linux is the only chance it has, it also needs guys that really help and not write...well sudo bajudo
  19. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Addict Posts: 249   +63

    Are they going to keep repeating this bullshiat? Microsoft would be stupid to get rid of Steam or any x32 programs.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    That will never happen on my machine!
  21. Business Direct

    Business Direct TS Booster Posts: 44

    Totally believable that this or something similar has been discussed on more than one occasion at Microsoft. Will they do it? They will try. Actually they will try in small steps like the author suggested rather than all at once like they did with Win98 and IE.

    What Microsoft doesn't seem to get is that Windows is only the operating system for a lot of us and not a software distribution platform. If their operating system doesn't support my applications then I will use an operating system that does.

    Some will try out Microsoft's new "whatever bla bla bla" because it's bundled with Windows 10 and makes damn sure it's presence is made known. That combined with 3rd party support from developers/oems that Microsoft bribes to include support will amount to a decent start. A decent start in Microsoft terms which is a game of decade long catch-up. Then just as they're starting to get traction the game changes and/or someone else does it better.

    Usually they are a bit quicker at being a "me too" company...
  22. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 234   +54

  23. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 234   +54

  24. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Sorry, but even if they do get my > 1k titles I own in the windows library, I wouldn't move. I'll just keep sticking with better versions of windows and/or hack it regardless to keep Steam top knotch. I can't stand M$'s "force to use 10 and break everything else" attitude. I will not support it even if it means going away from windows entirely.
  25. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    Guys... stop saying like it is a fact, it's just a random rant from a deuc...
    Puiu, Kreegir and noc81 like this.

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