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Notch Won't Certify Minecraft For Windows 8 303

Posted by timothy
from the taking-a-stand dept.
MojoKid writes "The backlash against Windows 8 from various developers continues, but this time a game's creator isn't just expressing discontent. Notch, the developer behind smash hit Minecraft, has declared that he won't be working with Microsoft to certify Minecraft for Windows 8. Note that this doesn't mean Minecraft won't run on Windows 8. The certification process in question is Microsoft's mandatory rules for submitting content to the Windows game store. In order to be listed there, an application must be Metro-compatible and conform to a laundry list of other conditions. The real problem with Windows 8 is that it locks ARM users into a second class experience. If you buy an x86 tablet, you can download programs from SourceForge, GitHub, or any file mirror. If you're an ARM user, you can download programs from the Microsoft store and that's it. The bifurcated permission structure is the problem, and it makes WinRT tablets categorically impossible to recommend for anyone who values the ability to install whatever software they please."
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Notch Won't Certify Minecraft For Windows 8

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:38AM (#41498083)

    nice software you have, shame if something was to happen to it (like scary warning dialogs)

    how anti-trust regulators are not all over this is a mystery

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:40AM (#41498095)
    Keep Ballmer. He makes software news funny.
  • by gravyface (592485) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:44AM (#41498121)
    Apple has a walled garden. That's it. Android does too. Microsoft has a walled garden, but if you have an x86 tablet, you can plant petunias and begonias if you want in there. That seems like an improvement to me. And it's likely a technical reason too: all those Windows-native calls/hooks that your typical Windows-compatible applications require likely do not exist on the ARM version of Windows 8 (I'm not a Windows programmer/guru, so I'm speculating here, but seems likely no?).
  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:44AM (#41498123)

    Notch developed most of the game by himself in the beginning. Then when he started hiring people Jeb eventually took over development and Notch doesn't do any code for minecraft anymore. So yes, he did develop the main base game by himself, but anything that's happened in the past year(?) has been all Jeb and the other developers.

    Also I'd say it's more the press taking his tweets and blowing them up rather than him being some kind of PR supergod, almost every single one of his tweets ends up on some news site somewhere, even the inane ones. What's he supposed to do about that, stop tweeting altogether?

    Not to mention he's just saying what we're all thinking. ;)

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClaraBow (212734) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:50AM (#41498155)
    Regardless of the fact that he may be whoring for attention, he does make a valid point. How are you going to explain to consumers that Windows RT and Windows x86 aren't' the same when they are being marketed under the same brand? It's going to be very confusing.
  • Re:You would think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:50AM (#41498157)

    I'm an indie game developer. I'll compile and test on Win XP, Vista, Win7 (besides Mac, Linux & Android -- hell, I've got an experimental BSD branch), but I am boycotting Windows 8, including the x86 version expressly because of the ARM version.

    I'd rather only release on Android and other Linux boxen (and go back to construction laborer part time) than encourage anyone, especially MS, that a locked down operating system is OK. (Note: iOS isn't up there -- It's dead to me)

  • by gravyface (592485) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:55AM (#41498173)
    Microsoft Windows native/legacy applications -- a massive massive software ecosystem unparalleled by any other OS/platform (besides the Web perhaps?) -- is the reason why they can never turn their backs on it. Its the key to their power, but with power comes a great responsibilit^H^H^H burden.

    They will try, but at the end of the day, the Microsoft walled garden will always have the gate left open.
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:56AM (#41498179)

    I'd say Microsoft shot itself in the foot here, not by enacting the walled garden (which is bad), but by not releasing a compat layer to run WinRT executables on earlier versions of i386/amd64 Windows.

    No one is really going to port stuff just for porting sake, and the API is quite different, with no obvious upsides. As for users, there are three groups:
    * Windows Phone 8: laughed at, and without software it's a chicken-and-egg problem
    * Windows 8 for business: no sane business is going to migrate for 5 or so years
    * Windows 8 for home users: they don't upgrade for the (non-existing) coolness factor but by getting Windows with replacement hardware

    Thus, the only real way to get actual users for WinRT software in the short term would be making it possible to run it on Windows 7 (and if they really cared, even XP). With no users, there will be no serious developers.

  • by Wattos (2268108) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @08:57AM (#41498189)

    Please explain how Android has a walled garden? Last time I checked I can install applications without using google play/market

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:01AM (#41498199)

    If he isn't just trolling about Windows, and instead does want to make a point about the "value of being able to install your own software", why is there an official Minecraft client for iOS?

    Did he suddenly grow a pair because it's Microsoft?

    Or is he just more likely to take a stand using a platform which isn't likely to lose him any money if he stays away from it because of his views?

    I'm going to go with the last one...

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by obarthelemy (160321) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:03AM (#41498207)

    steam is far from being the anti MS. they both, like apple, want to lock their users into never really owning content, having to go though them to do anything with what they bought... Apple is wildly successful at it, Steam quite successfful, and MS not yet in the consumer space.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:10AM (#41498241)

    "the API is quite different, with no obvious upsides". Or not:

    obvious upsides to dropping some backward compatibility:
    - less OS bloat
    - faster OS
    - more battery life
    - fewer security holes
    - no significant loss of features aside from backward compatibility itself

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:10AM (#41498243)

    Not to mention that he quite happily did minecraft pocket edition for the ipad, an ARM ecosystem that is just as restrictive as the Microsoft app store on windows RT.

    No hypocrisy there, no siree.

    Consumers went 'ohhh, walled garden, totally restricted to one vendor, apple decides what apps I'm allowed to install, awesome' and bought the things by the utter truckload.

    The most common complaint about android is that Google doesn't exercise ENOUGH control over the OEMs to prevent fragmentation

    Is it any surprise that Microsoft went 'seriously? A walled garden where we get to cream a big slice of profit on every bit of software is what customers want? Alrighty then!'

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epiphani (254981) <epiphani@da[ ]et ['l.n' in gap]> on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:10AM (#41498247)

    Seriously? He made two comments on twitter, of which he's an active user, and the media picked it up. I don't quite see how that's trolling for attention.

    You, on the other hand, seem to be doing quite well at it.

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:18AM (#41498289)

    what's your point? no secret that the failed game Infiniminer (discontinued commercially after one month in marketplace) inspired Notch to write MINECRAFT. So Notch made the winning sandbox game, and you bring up a loser. so what?

  • by gravyface (592485) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:29AM (#41498341)
    ... and the impending death of Windows/PC as an open, general-computing platform by the hands of Microsoft. He didn't mention tablets once in his tweets.
  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluescrn (2120492) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:30AM (#41498343)
    If you were earning millions and millions, would you want to give 30%+ away to MS or Valve, for very little beyond a billing system and content hosting?

    Not really greed, just good business sense, IMHO.
  • Re:You would think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:31AM (#41498353) Homepage

    This, 100 times this.
    Regardles of what gui you perfer or if you think Linux is a pile of crap or amazing, the main reason to use windows is because it has all the software and an OS is primarilly just a tool to run software.

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bluescrn (2120492) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @09:34AM (#41498365)
    This.

    You can't complain about Apple or MS whilst being a Valve fanboy. Yes, the Steam user experience is great. The developer experience isn't so good (Loads of developers aren't allowed in. Greenlight was a bit of a clusterfuck. And if you get in, it'll cost you a large chunk of your revenue)

    I really wish Valve would split up into two companies... the awesome company that makes amazing games, and the evil company that's just about managed to turn the PC into a closed platform when it comes to gaming. But their stroke of genius was keeping the 'awesome' attached to the 'evil', so no gamer could ever really dislike them!
  • by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @10:08AM (#41498523)

    If he isn't just trolling about Windows, and instead does want to make a point about the "value of being able to install your own software", why is there an official Minecraft client for iOS?

    That did occur to me - but bear in mind that TFA consists of two tweets from Notch followed by an awful lot of extrapolation by HotHardware.com. His tweets don't mention ARM at all, just not wanting Microsoft to 'ruin the PC as an open platform'.

    I think the problem occures if you see devices like tablets, phones and consoles as 'media consumption' appliances rather than general purpose computers. It's no big deal if they are closed systems (consoles have been that way for years).

    The forthcoming ARM-based Windows machines may well be marketed as general purpose laptops and SFF computers.

  • Re:You would think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @11:02AM (#41498797)

    I'm an indie game developer. I am boycotting Windows 8, including the x86 version expressly because of the ARM version.

    iOS isn't up there -- It's dead to me.

    I'll be blunt here and say that this isn't how the professional developer --- the for-profit enterprise --- looks at their potential markets.

    The Linux developer who touts the convenience and safety of his distro's repository isn't in a position to complain when other operating systems move in the same direction.

    The trusted OS-branded app store has become the norm in mobile.

    The geek may side-load from other sources, but you are not going to pay the light bill and the rent serving that crowd. The numbers just aren't there.

  • Re:You would think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MattJD (1020453) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @11:19AM (#41498883)

    The Linux developer who touts the convenience and safety of his distro's repository isn't in a position to complain when other operating systems move in the same direction.

    I have absolutely no problem with app stores having a curated listing of items. Its when that stores is the only method I can get software I have an issue. That's why I don't mind Google's Play Store (for apps), while its the default on my phone I can easily enable side-loading of apps on to it.

    And that's exactly how my Linux distro's work as well ...

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @11:20AM (#41498889) Homepage

    You do realize the Surface and Surface Pro are rather similar from the outside? Plus, I have to say the name doesn't make me think "those are two entirely different products running on two entirely different platforms" like, say, iPad and MacBook do.

  • Re:Shut up Notch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by romiz (757548) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:06PM (#41499173)
    Valve does not prevent a developer from distributing games through any other mean, and there is no lack of concurrence in the Digital Game Delivery [wikipedia.org] market. Self-publication is very cheap, and platforms like Steam are intended for developers that are ready to invest money to respect Valve's conditions, in exchange for an improved revenue through a better exposition to gamers that are used to buy their games.

    This is quite different from the current Microsoft and Apple tactics of using their power as an OS provider to extract a "gatekeeper tax" on all programs sold for their platform.
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Saturday September 29, 2012 @04:28PM (#41501253) Journal

    While I agree Windows without the ability to run Windows programs is fucking POINTLESS what's sad is everybody getting their panties in a wad about "ZOMFG WinRT won't be able to download anywhere but the appstore....just like Apple, which everybody camps out around the block to buy ZOMFG!" oh the irony is thick and juicy when it comes to everyone having a fit over THAT.

    What I wanna ask this guy is "Where the FUCK were you man when Apple was pulling the very same shit? I was pointing out it was a walled garden and sucked ass and wouldn't have their products for free because of it, where are YOUR complaints and pledges not to buy Apple Notch?"

    Double standards are double standards and this is NO different than what Apple does, and considering that pretty much the entire Ballmer tenure as head of MSFT has been to see what Apple does and then copy it poorly (Zune,Kin,Sidekick) is this REALLY surprising that they would ape the living shit out of Apple? After all Apple is the biggest company in the world, people just throw money at them and their appstore, why shouldn't MSFT ape somebody that makes money?

    If you don't like the MSFT appstore please, join with me in not buying anything WinRT. But at least have the honor and decency of not being a hypocrite and boycott all Apple products that likewise use a locked down appstore as well. I hereby pledge that I Hairyfeet will NEVER own a WinPhone, WinTab,iPhone, or iPad. Not if you were to give it to me , not if I can buy one and get one free, I will not take them on a boat, I will not take them with a goat, I will not take appstores in a can, I will NOT take them Sam I am!

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Waccoon (1186667) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @05:46PM (#41501773)

    Just because you can hack around a policy doesn't mean that policy should be widely accepted. I don't want my support status, or even legal status, reduced to blind luck.

    You can crack a game to get it to run properly and hardly anyone will know, but if a business starts getting in involved with hacks and tricks just to get their damn software to function, they could be staring into a potential lawsuit... provided they're unlucky enough to get caught.

    I get really pissed when people say walled gardens aren't a big deal because it's wicked easy to get around them. Of course they're a big deal... to certain types of people. Some people are unlucky enough to get slapped with million dollar lawsuits because they got caught downloading a file. If 99.9% of people don't get caught, does that mean it's not a big deal if that small percentage practically have their lives destroyed by chance? Will the majority still stick up for the rights of the minority, or is it every person for himself?

    How to get around the policy is not the problem. The policy is the problem, and people certainly should be more vocal about it.

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