During an interesting interview with Edge, notorious developer Tim Sweeney (creator of Epic Games) revealed some interesting thoughts on Microsoft and their plans to overtake the PC gaming marketplace which has been dominated by Steam in the past years.
Tim Sweeney outlines his thoughts in the interview:
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.
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.
Given Sweeney’s somewhat notorious reputation, it’s hard to see this as anything more than mere speculation and rumour. Nevertheless, with Microsoft’s emphasis on data mining and gathering personal data with Windows 10, close attention must be given to Microsoft’s plans for PC gaming.