Windows 10 Tim Sweeney thinks Microsoft will make Steam "progressively worse" with Windows 10 patches


Jan 31, 2005
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It's well established that Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games and co-creator of the Unreal Engine, is not a fan of where Microsoft is headed with Windows 10. He's criticised the Universal Windows Platform twice this year, claiming that it's an attempt by Microsoft to monopolise what has traditionally been a happily open platform.

Now, in an interview with Edge Magazine, Sweeney has become even more direct in his criticisms, claiming that future updates to Windows 10 could serve to erode the usefulness of third-party applications and storefronts like Steam.

"There are two programming interfaces for Windows and every app has to choose one of them," he said. "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 manoeuvres. 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."

While that could technically be true, how could Microsoft ever hope to bring down something as gargantuan as Steam, either intentionally or inadvertently? Sweeney believes they have a plan for that.

"Slowly, over the next five 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 seems 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’re certainly trying."

Sweeney has previously said that the PC has remained at the vanguard of graphics innovation because it's an open platform. Microsoft's supposed attempts to turn Windows into a closed platform risks neutering new breakthroughs such as VR before they've had a chance to flourish.

Well personally I've only ever used the Windows store a handful of times, once most recently for Forza 6 Apex, and I can't see win32 apps going anywhere tbh.


Mar 25, 2003
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I remember reading that original article in The Guardian a few months back - I see he hasn't changed his tune! Seems unlikely that Microsoft could force an end to Steam in favour of their Windows Store... Shame they can't focus on making a top resource that people actually want to use rather than being forced to :rolleyes:


sugar 'n spikes
Mar 5, 2002
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Microsoft - leopards don't change their spots do they? Born nasty, staying nasty. One has to ask - why?

I've never used the MS store. I tried to get Forza - using my Win 10 OS - and it just wouldn't have it. Which doesn't exactly instill confidence.


I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition.
Mar 5, 2002
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No one would have believed, in the last years
of the twenty first century, that Microsoft's affairs were being
watched from within the timeless worlds within this space.

No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized, as
someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm
and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered
the possibility of life on other operating systems and yet, across
the gulf of Time, minds immeasurably superior to ours
regarded this Steam with envious eyes,
and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against them.

Jeff Wayne - War of the Worlds
(with alterations by Muckshifter)


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