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Microsoft Windows Games

Steam On Windows 10 Will Get 'Progressively Worse': Gears of War Developer (ndtv.com) 412

Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, or UWP, approach isn't sitting well with many game developers. Four months after criticising UWP ecosystem for being a walled-garden, curtailing "users' freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers," Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, the studio behind the Gears of War and Unreal franchises has once again lashed out at the Redmond-based company. He alleges that Microsoft plans to make Steam -- the world's largest PC gaming platform, "progressively worse and more broken." in a move to bolster people's reliance on the Windows Store. From a Gadgets 360 report: "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 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," Sweeney said. He adds the outcome of this would be forcing every app and game to be sold through the Windows Store alone. "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," he claims.
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Steam On Windows 10 Will Get 'Progressively Worse': Gears of War Developer

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  • EEE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pete6677 ( 681676 )

    I guess he forgot about the old Microsoft motto: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It's still alive today, albeit a bit more subtle than it used to be.

    • Re:EEE (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:24AM (#52582005)
      Um, how could you say he "forgot," when it's exactly what he's talking about?
      • Re:EEE (Score:5, Informative)

        by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:41AM (#52582739)

        I don't see this as EEE per se, but it's another example of MS being a poor imitation of Apple.

        MS is jealous of Apple's business model, which controls the entire platform end to end and monetizes it. As a result they have been aggressively pushing people to Windows 10 and will continue to sever links between users and (anyone but MS).

        MS wants the walled garden and wants the App Store. They want to control music and software and movies and everything, as Apple does for most users.

        The difference is that Apple users opted in to that ecosystem by buying Apple products. MS just wants to throw a bag over your head and have you wake up in their walled garden.

        They're trying to Retcon the past decade that Apple's been eating their lunch.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          The difference is that Apple users opted in to that ecosystem by buying Apple products.

          As did Microsoft users by buying Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One products.

          • Yes, but those are a small minority of Windows users. That's roughly akin to Apple doing something to all their users just because the ones who bought Apple TV are Ok with it.

    • Re:EEE (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shadow99_1 ( 86250 ) <theshadow99NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:46AM (#52582221)

      I think MS forgot that some of us (like myself) have hundreds of games in Steam. Unless MS plan to do what GoG did and let me have my games on whichever service I use, then I'll keep using Steam because that's where my games are. I have seen nothing in the windows store I want to buy and so I don't own any games there. Maybe they should keep looking at making compelling products that make me want to buy them and not making the largest competing service, where I do own stuff, worse?

      • Re:EEE (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Phusion ( 58405 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:49AM (#52582251)
        Although I'm sure that TS has the inside track on the games biz, will Microsoft really pull this off? Will they be able to deal with the giant backlash they'll receive from their growing Win10 user base when Steam stops working? There are so many steam clients installed on Win10 machines, I don't see how MS can just patch out Steam until it's too buggy to use, then shuffle in the windows store. There will be anarchy, cats and dogs marrying eachother, fire, brimstone etc.
        • Re:EEE (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mattventura ( 1408229 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:32AM (#52582647) Homepage
          They could. We already saw tons and tons of backlash over Win10 telemetry and upgrading without consent. They can put it off because people realistically have nowhere to go. Apple doesn't make a machine geared towards gaming, and Linux still has a pitiful game catalog.
        • Clearly you never supported the Netware clients for Windows when they were engaged in destroying Novell. They are experts in this operation and have done it multiple times, each time obvious to everyone paying attention. They can and will pull this off, unless they are sued in such a way that the plot is laid bare in public. People will have to be called to testify about off the record conversations. I don't know of any private or corporate entity who could sue Microsoft in such a way. They are simply

      • Re:EEE (Score:5, Insightful)

        by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:47AM (#52582785)

        I agree. It's too late for Microsoft to defeat Steam with their Windows Store. People will switch to SteamOS before giving up Steam in favor of Windows.

        • Re:EEE (Score:4, Insightful)

          by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @01:14PM (#52583465) Homepage

          Exactly, I keep my windows desktop for 1 reason and one reason only. If you ruin my large collection of games I will have no reason to keep my windows PC around anymore. I"ll just go back to what I used before, linux.

        • The trick is to fool newcomers. Ie, new to PC gaming, they think Steam is the way to go for getting mods, the location for "official" forums, etc, while all the old timers say "no!" and try to correct them. But over time the focus starts shifting. So MS thinks they can do the same thing: Supply something that they claim is easier and lure in newcomers who don't know any different. After awhile they say "Steam? Can't I just use the Windows Store? Why go with the extra complication?", and Steam ends up

    • Re:EEE (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rgbatduke ( 1231380 ) <<rgb> <at> <phy.duke.edu>> on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:31AM (#52582631) Homepage

      Not that much more subtle. I watched as Microsoft crushed a long list of companies using exactly this strategy across the 80's and early 90's. Borland was easy -- it's so easy to break a compiler with an OS upgrade. Lotus. Word Perfect. Wordstar. Various games. They certainly tried it with their browser and it took a decade long billion dollar court case to stop them. Every operating system update, everybody else's software would break, a bit, while Microsoft's clone -- often a clone of a startlingly original and brilliant idea -- did not. Add in their marketing team to convince businesses that if they didn't buy Microsoft's house product, they would break their... um... not arms, not legs, what's the word, "interface" if the competing product didn't perfectly comply with the new specs (and of course, they never did).

      Microsoft simply made it impossible to buy a PC without their operating system pre-installed in any store that sells systems WITH their operating system pre-installed with punitive pricing agreements that dropped the margins below any possibility of profit if you tried selling a naked system or a system preinstalled with some other OS. They then convinced freelance software developers that they could get rich, quick, writing for their platform (and at first, it was true!) But gradually it has become clear that if you have a brilliant software concept, write the next killer application, and do so for Windows, Microsoft will let you run wild for a few years to build up the market and use their enormous software foundry to write their clone, then they will jerk around the OS so that your product breaks but theirs doesn't until they have the lions share of the market IF you don't sell out to them when they politely knock on your door and make you an offer you can't refuse. Five years later you will wish you hadn't.

      I have to admit that I'm a tiny bit surprised that they are doing this with Steam as it could backfire. I'm guessing that part of this is punitive. They WANT game developers to be in a Microsoft cage, with huge cross-platform development barriers, and Valve is the company that has seriously broken out of that mold and made Linux gaming with native libraries and code possible for games that run on Windows as well. Since they are preparing to make users lease Windows for eternity and ensure a perpetual cash flow for every Windows computer purchased, and since software sales through "app stores" run by the company are now a major profit center for companies that have successfully built them, they hope to retake world domination while they still have control of congress and the unions and all those companies with 401 and 403 plans heavily invested in Microsoft.

      Unless and until the government actually enforces anti-trust laws across the board, we'll have to put up with this shit. The "free" market doesn't, and won't, have a chance as long as the company that makes and sells the OS, with a virtual lock on third party PC sales in spite of much lower priced and viable alternatives, also writes software for their own OS with an insuperable advantage over independent developers, no matter how large or powerful. Software store selling "certification" (still the same company) make it even worse.

      Face it. Microsoft is in the protection racket, and has been for nearly 30 years now. FUD is their stock and trade. They represent everything that is wrong with capitalism that isn't restrained by strong anti-trust controls and limits on things like sales agreements so that they do not and cannot become long term monopolies. They have so much money that they could CONTINUE to be mismanaged for another decade and STILL would be huge. And who has the guts to tackle them (again) in the US courts? They can spend a billion dollars a year in defense, stretch an antitrust case out for a decade, lose it, and still come out a total winner. They've done so in the past and will do so again in the future.

      rgb

    • by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @01:37PM (#52583697) Homepage

      I guess he forgot about the old Microsoft motto: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It's still alive today, albeit a bit more subtle than it used to be.

      The industry as a whole seems to have forgotten the events of 15-20 years ago (as is common in human society).

      If it hadn't, we wouldn't have let systemd do the exact same thing with regards to compatibility with non-systemd distributions, let alone other Unices.

      "Sure, all you have to do is add a hard dependency on our library!"
      "They way you've been doing for 30 years is incorrect, here make a chance that will force mindshare onto your entire userbase."
      "Distributions CAN use something other than the defaults, but we want them to use the defaults and there's no guarantee that not using the defaults will ever continue to work."

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:25AM (#52582021) Homepage

    If he really believes that is the intent, now is the time to sue them, claiming they are abusing their monopoly position. That is the heart of his claim.

    Yes, most likely he will lose the lawsuit - now.

    But in doing so, he will force Microsoft to make an argument about how what they are doing 'now' is not abusive. This will limit their possible actions in the future, as they won't be able to stop doing that without incriminating themselves.

    • Microsoft's legal department has orders of magnitude more funding and personnel than the entire company of Epic Games. A lawsuit wouldn't be very wise from a business perspective. We should be thankful they're being brave enough to at the very least call out MSFT's behavior.
      • It's not a matter of whose legal team is bigger. It's only a matter of whether your legal team, budget, and will-power is big enough to sweat through the motion practice, discovery process, travel to different venues, and other inconveniences that tend to squash little people. Epic certainly has enough, as well as enough to solicit help from other affected parties, and even consider a class action.

        I think they'd also have enough cash to take a prosecutor for the E.U. out for a nice lunch and round of golf

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      While I like this idea in general, the biggest problem with it is that Valve would need to knowingly invoke the courts in a case that they do not expect to win. This could be seen as a deliberate manipulation of the court system and a waste of its time, and Valve could pay end up paying punitive damages.
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      If he really believes that is the intent, now is the time to sue them, claiming they are abusing their monopoly position. That is the heart of his claim.

      Well I'm getting my popcorn over the entire thing. Then again, a lot of gamers said "Fuck you" to Epic when they decided to dump the PC for consoles. A keen reminder that it was PC's that made their company, and now he's there whining because consoles are on the decline while gaming PC's are climbing. Lot of people see this as him trying to rebuild his credibility because he decided to bet on the wrong horse in this race.

    • Sue for what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <.been_out_cruisi ... .at. .yahoo.com.> on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @02:36PM (#52584349) Homepage Journal

      So... did anybody actually RTFA? (Yeah, yeah, not new here, whatever.) You need some kind of grounds to sue. I checked TFA; it contains exactly one more concrete claim, and exactly as much evidence to support the allegations, as TFS.

      Concrete claim:

      Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP

      Leaving aside the fact that you can (fully supported) sideload UWP apps, I don't even see what this has to do with Steam. Adding new features to a platform that Steam doesn't use will not impact Steam at all! The author doesn't ever even imply, much less actually claim, that Microsoft is specifically removing or modifying anything that will impact Steam.

      Evidence to support the allegation: Nothing at all. I mean, maybe the author has some (in which case it would presumably come out at trial), but TFA doesn't even claim to have evidence, much less present any. Not one single point. This entire article is no more credible than idle speculation!

      As far as I can tell, Steam runs about as well as it ever has (which is to say, much better than it used to in the Win7 days) on Win10, Look at that: I just made a more-concrete claim about Steam on Win10 than anything in the entire article.

  • Monopolistic abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:27AM (#52582035)
    Yet another example of Microsoft active in an abusive, monopolistic fashion.

    If you want PC gaming to survive, make sure you only buy games that have Linux/macOS support. As the alternatives' market share increases, NVIDIA, Intel and AMD will be compelled to spend more money on their hardware support for non-Windows OSs, and game developers will be wont to make their ports better.
    • For one, they haven't done anything yet. This is Tim Sweeny doomsaying. Now maybe his predictions will be accurate but they are false right now. Presently, Steam works excellent in Windows 10. You download it, install it, and it just works as it does on any other platform. They have done nothing to stop it from working.

      You can't scream about "abuse" when nothing has happened. That is like claiming someone robbed you when they didn't actually take anything from you or even say anything to you they just "look

  • by steak ( 145650 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:28AM (#52582045) Homepage Journal

    2021, year of the linux desktop confirmed.

  • Gaben Ain't Dumb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:28AM (#52582047)

    Valve is not stupid. They have received a lot of flack for StreamOS and pushing linux as the future platform, particularly since, today, it only offers negatives (specifically, library support is small compared to winblows). But, clearly, Valve has been anticipating this from Microsoft for a long time. Any decent company knows that it isn't terribly wise to be so dependent on a competitor. Microsoft is a competitor of Valve's and the platforms look increasingly similar now that internet distribution is the norm. Vulkan [khronos.org] is starting to look very promising. Soon, the only reason I'll need to run windows is for work and to fire up the occasional retro game like GTA San Andreas. Hear, hear, Valve!

    • "(specifically, library support is small compared to winblows). "

      No, the biggest problem with SteamOS is that it does not perform as fast as Windows. My GPU becomes less valuable in Linux. The games thing is dumb, SteamOS has more games than either console. If you look at it solely as a console with all their limitations, it has a hell of a library.
  • no references (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sirber ( 891722 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:29AM (#52582063)
    it's that guy opinion, not based on anything. windows store has a fraction of the market, with steam, origin, uplay, etc around. the best way of running windows 10 is to use the LTSB version which doesn't have all that UWP crap.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      it's that guy opinion, not based on anything. windows store has a fraction of the market, with steam, origin, uplay, etc around. the best way of running windows 10 is to use the LTSB version which doesn't have all that UWP crap.

      shhhhh. Don't interrupt the circle jerk with logic and facts.

  • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:30AM (#52582067)
    One of the things which turned me off to Steam was how they overwrote secure directory perms, to make it so that all users could modify folder, which only Administrators should be able to modify. Sorry Steam, you're insecure.
    • by geek ( 5680 )

      One of the things which turned me off to Steam was how they overwrote secure directory perms, to make it so that all users could modify folder, which only Administrators should be able to modify. Sorry Steam, you're insecure.

      This. I want to cheer Steam as much as the next person but the Steam app is a fucking security disaster. I love Gabe but the dude is a crappy CEO. The flat management style at Steam means nothing gets done or things get half done because no one has the authority to power things through to completion.

      Gabe saw the writing on the wall with Windows 10 and started SteamOS as a response but where is the follow through? It's stagnating and dying on the vine.

    • The reason for doing this should be obvious... many older games are broken when they are installed under Program Files "secure" folders. As I've been running SSDs for my system drives, my Steam libraries are usually hosted on my data drives, which solved the problem when it first cropped up.

      Basically, it's a compatibility issue that arose from Microsoft tightening up security. Hard to blame Steam (or Microsoft) for this one.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        IIRC, recent versions of Windows have a mechanism to make applications *think* they are writing to that applications directory but are instead writing to an overlay layer (VirtualStore).

        This should mean a user need not have permission to modify it, but older applications (and only older applications *should* be messing with it, like 15 years old at newest) should be none the wiser.

        Steam however acts in many ways like a mid 90s windows application. Providing it's own concepts of user directories and divorci

    • What about GoG? Does it rely on violating security to install/run games, or do they do something different?

    • You can always set your library folder to something outside Program FIles so it isn't an issue.
  • by Eldragon ( 163969 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:33AM (#52582107)

    How will Microsoft pull this off? Steam downloads and installs applications. Is MS going to make downloading things outside of the Win Store difficult? Make installing applications difficult? I don't see either of things things flying with anyone who sells software meant to run on windows.

    • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:39AM (#52582167)

      How will Microsoft pull this off? Steam downloads and installs applications. Is MS going to make downloading things outside of the Win Store difficult? Make installing applications difficult? I don't see either of things things flying with anyone who sells software meant to run on windows.

      Read the Halloween Documents [wikipedia.org] to see how Microsoft operates. For example, a program competing with Microsoft's will have lots of nonsensical pop-up errors, so the user will be wont to switch to Microsoft's. In Windows 10, the OS will automatically uninstall Chrome or Firefox and switch the default browser to Edge instead based off of a "detected incompatibility". Things like that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Phusion ( 58405 )
        Been running Win10 since the first public beta, never had Chrome and Firefox uninstalled. Have it running on desktop, laptop and a netbook, never had this happen.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Nope, but it does reset the browser default to Edge.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Read the Halloween Documents to see how Microsoft killed my Pappy!

        That shit was 18 years ago now, give it a rest. Hanlon's Razor applies here as always: never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. If Steam games are starting to have issues on WIn10, it seems far more likely that MS can't find its ass with both hands these days, than that it has some nefarious master scheme.

    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:45AM (#52582207)
      Well for starters permissions on directories and applications could be changed in the name of security so Steam will need workarounds. Steam, like any application, will need to access Windows APIs which only some are known internally so that any Windows Store app works differently (and better) than Steam apps. Back in the days of early Word, there was accusations by WordPerfect that Word had access to undocumented Windows APIs that made it both load faster and work better. It was a possibility or it could have been WordPerfect not knowing the Windows API as well as the DOS API. However, it is no secret now that MS has gone to great lengths to hinder partners if it meant harming a competitor.
  • by Twanfox ( 185252 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:34AM (#52582121)

    I'd like to know what evidence there is to support this, rather than words on a page ranting about perception. Not that I don't agree caution, it's one thing to make big noise and proclaim persecution when none exists. Show the evidence and remove doubt about Microsoft's intention.

    • I'd like to know what evidence there is to support this, rather than words on a page ranting about perception. Not that I don't agree caution, it's one thing to make big noise and proclaim persecution when none exists. Show the evidence and remove doubt about Microsoft's intention.

      This. It's a pretty big accusation, and as a regular gamer who uses Steam pretty much every day, I haven't seen any brokenness. Microsoft does have a history of doing that sort of thing to competitors, but I haven't seen anything yet.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Problem is that even if this is fake, just by putting it out there someone at Microsoft will find out and think "hey thats a good idea...".

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @01:02PM (#52583363)

      Maybe it'll end up being true, but so far there is zero evidence. The only thing so far they've done that would in any way limit Steam is that their universal applications (what used to be called Metro) are Windows Store only. So you can't sell those on Steam. Ok, except nobody but MS makes those because nobody gives a shit. The "universal" part doesn't matter, MS's phones and tablets are in their final dying moments so there's no need to make something that runs both on real Windows and Windows RT/Phone.

      At this point Win32/64 programs run better and have less limitations, and also have the advantage of running on all versions of Windows not just 10, so that is what people keep making. MS themselves are releasing their games using their new UWP format, of course, but nobody else seems to give a shit.

      So it is a meaningless limitation for now. Programs using an API nobody uses won't work with Steam. Who cares? Other than that, nothing has changed or been limited. Steam runs great on Windows 10.

      Will something change in the future? We'll have to wait and see. There's no evidence now though, because it hasn't happened. This is a doomsday prediction, and like most doomsday predictions it is based on what the predictor feels to be true, not actual evidence.

  • Is there a windows store for the desktop version of windows 10?? I did not even know that. Does it also Work with Windows 7/8?

    • You lucky, lucky SOB.

      Do yourself a favor and stay ignorant of this DOA train wreck. Seriously, even EA's Origin is more usable, and that's saying a lot.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Is there a windows store for the desktop version of windows 10?

      Yes.

      I did not even know that. Does it also Work with Windows 7/8?

      It was released with Windows 8.

      It only carries the new 'modern ui' apps. There are a variety of technologies in place to make the apps more self contained (more sandboxed); as well as let you potentially deliver the same app to Windows Desktop, tablet, and phone, (and xbox) consumers in one transaction.

      Its not all bad. The original 'metro' was far too "phone/tablet" and lousy for desktop. The only one I personally use is Netflix.

      Its gotten better, the apps will run in windows now ("small w" windows ie n

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:41AM (#52582181)

    Maybe Microsoft actively pushing Steam away is what it takes for to encourage Valve to push on with SteamOS, and games developers to finally get a clue about the need to also make Linux versions of their games.

  • Only Steam? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:46AM (#52582227) Homepage Journal

    I was under the impression that a lot of things on Windows 10 would get progressively worse, especially after the end of the free upgrade period.

    • Yeah, but you won't notice it as much because the OS itself comes apart at the seams, so everything else doesn't look so bad in comparison. At least unless you have a real OS to compare it to.

  • ... why Microsoft has used malware-like tactics to trick people into installing the unwanted upgrade to Windows 10.

    .
    Microsoft needs a Windows10-only world in order for its strategy to succeed.

    Microsoft knows it will not succeed through competing, so it has to try to succeed through control

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:52AM (#52582281) Homepage Journal

    "Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, the studio behind the Gears of War and Unreal franchises has once again lashed out at the Redmond-based company. "

    I've been an Unreal fan since the original Unreal Tournament.

    WTF?

    Unreal stared out Linux friendly. I got GOTY working with Linux, I got the original Unreal working with some patches, 2003 was Linux compatible from the start as was 2004, then Microsoft made some maps for 2004. Unreal 2 wasn't Linux compatible, UT3 was GOING to be Linux compatible, I even bought my copy under the belief a patch/installer would happen, and it never did (you owe me a refund fucker). To top it off all the OLD Unreal games that came out as Linux compatible are only available for WIndows on Steam and other game distribution networks. I have a Mac OSX version of 2004 and it still works on modern OSX, but you don't even offer Mac versions on those networks, just WIndows.

    WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HELPING THE ENEMY?

    Your company, of all the companies around, have one of the best track records of working with cross platform compatibility until UT2004, then you pull the plug and even shit all over your old games by making them Microsoft only to newcomers despite the fact you're pissed at Microsoft?

    It's like walking into a dark alley, have some guy try to mug you with his fist and saying "Right oh, that will never do, if you wanna mug someone you gotta have a weapon, here take this knife so you can rob me propper!" You're a living Monty Python skit, saying one thing and doing another.

  • If they really want to make the Microsoft store a better choice than Steam (or, hell, ANYTHING), they really have a lot of hard work ahead of them.

    Hell, at this point, even buying a Mac and swallowing the Apple store instead is a more viable alternative for any gamer than to accept the train wreck the MS store is.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      No you don't get it.
      Microsoft don't ever waste time/money on making their products actually any good. They just sell stuff by forcing it down peoples throats. Either to people who are already so locked-in to their walled garden that they can't get out, or by razzle-dazzle marketing to clueless sheep who dont ever do any research before they buy anything. Thats Microsofts entire business plan right there.

  • He says that they've started doing this by adding new features to Windows which are only available to software distributed through UWP. This is certainly in line with how Microsoft has operated in the past, but what are these new features which are so important to new games? I'm struggling to imagine anything other than DRM and social networking integration that MS can mess with too much before they just block third party software altogether.
    • If I were an evil Microsoft manager, I'd go for the next DirectX version. Games need that, especially as DirectX is sure to eventually have features for handling VR.

  • The only reason to game on a PC is abundance of choices of indie games and places to get them from. The only reason remaining to buy a PC is gaming. If consoles remain locked down, they will eventually be eaten by Android boxes/sticks because of low entry price point. Microsoft is killing the very reason why Windows was dominant for a long time.

  • Age of Empires, which is a Microsoft game no longer in distribution. My old CD's for it are long gone. I've noticed over the past few month's that running the game has become problematic. Being that the machine is a Win10 I created from components, I suspect the premise of the article to be correct - MSFT is compelling my machine to not run Steam well. It might be time to convert the whole thing to Ubuntu or Fedora.

  • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:01AM (#52582375)

    Ten years ago, it was relatively straightforward to install Linux in one bootable partition, install Windows in another, and share data partitions between them.

    Try that now, and you'll be forced to wait somewhere between 20 seconds and a week every time you boot into Windows after writing to a NTFS partition. Every. Single. Goddamn. Time.

    It's gotten so bad, I know people who've set up a NAS just to keep Linux and Windows from directly touching each other's files.

    The fucked up licensing for exFAT is another example of Microsoft making it intentionally hard for Linux and Windows to directly share hard drives. It's damn near impossible to get proper exFAT support under Linux, using ext2fsd under Windows is slightly brittle, FAT32's inability to deal with large files has gotten too annoying, and Windows goes full-on psychotic whenever it notices that someone else has been touching a NTFS filesystem it regards as its sole property.

    The NTFS problem is particularly frustrating, because it's the only modern filesystem we have LEFT that works under both Linux and Windows. Unfortunately, Windows enforces limits on NTFS filesystems that go above and beyond the limits imposed by NTFS itself. It's absolutely possible to get a NTFS filesystem into a state that's completely legit as far as NTFS is concerned, but Windows won't touch with a 40 foot pole.

    I've personally been living dangerously and using ext2 via ext2fsd, but when you do that, it's REALLY easy to accidentally mangle or delete files by mistake... especially if you go a step further and try to selectively move certain special directories, like "my documents" and "my pictures", to the ext2 volume. Moving personal special directories is semi-undocumented black magic to begin with, and it doesn't take much to end up in Windows Permissions Hell (where not even a user with admin rights can touch a file, and attempts to recursively take ownership of files in a directory STILL fails because Microsoft decided to treat unknown ownership GUIDs and permissions as "deny everyone, INCLUDING administrator".

    God, I miss the days when being a local admin was as good as being root under Linux. Under recent versions of Windows, admins are more like Orwellian "outer party" members who can do slightly more than proles, at the cost of having their every move watched and second-guessed by the inner party. Microsoft needs to add a third option to their "access denied, contact your administrator" that says "I *am* the Administrator!"

    • Just install onto separate physical drives.
      If you want to share data between the two, use FAT or NTFS with no trickery on a third drive or, as you pointed out, you can use a network drive.

      You could also do this on 2 drives in RAID 0. That's my standard config anyway. Just present two separate devices to the OSs.

  • Horse Shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:31AM (#52582637)

    I hate Windows 10 more than most (look at my post history), but they're not fucking up Steam or any other general program and they're not going to.

    What, specifically, is Windows 10 doing now that supports these claims? Steam (the client) is a buggy all on its own, and it has been since its inception. It's no longer worthy of the "Steaming piece of shit" nickname, but it's still pretty sloppy, ugly, and slow and if you ever have problems with the client not properly downloading/verifying game files, not properly syncing your library, crashing, or just not working, good fucking luck. Valve's "support" is 2 rounds of automatic responses from a robot and then silence.

    Further, Tim Sweeney is an ass. Why should we listening to him? And why is he moaning about this shit now? Valve stopped crying about it years ago. They were afraid that Windows 8 would result in people using the MS store so they cried and whinged to anyone who would listen about MS is locking down the PC, how the Windows store will be the only store, etc. Oh, and Steam just so happened to have a half-baked plan to stop them - SteamOS with big picture mode! And Steam-branded PCs that make PC gaming as easy as console gaming, at triple the price!! And a half-baked controller was coming soon!!!

    I don't know if Valve stopped crying about Windows because it's been years and no one left Steam to use the Windows Store, or if they are quietly giving up on the push for Steam OS after realizing how much work maintaining an OS is and how few games are going to use OpenGL or Vulkan, or if people stopped listening to their FUD after years of 8/8.1/10 with zero lockdown.

    • Re:Horse Shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @01:09PM (#52583427)

      Valve quit crying because they got bored with SteamOS. A major problem with Valve's "flat" model of no bosses and no structure is that they only work on something if they find it interesting. Once they get bored, it languishes. Half Life 3 is a great example. There was clearly more story to tell, they left it unfinished, and there is clearly market demand for a sequel to the point it would be virtually assured to make money. So why hasn't it happened? Because they aren't interested in it right now. It's not a business or creative decision, it is that people are playing with other shit.

      Valve is now fascinated with VR and eSports so that is where most of their energy is going. They are the shiny new toys they like, until they change their mind and chase something else. So SteamOS is in the same general boat as Steam itself in that they work on it a bit and maintain it, but there isn't a lot going on because there are few people interested in it.

      Also I think they thought that SteamOS and Steam Machines would be like Steam itself: minimal effort on their part and people would just flock to them and use them in droves. Instead the market has responded with a resounding "meh". They'd need to put in a lot more effort to have a chance of making it happen and they don't want to do that.

  • For starters f**k steam. They have the exact same goal Microsoft dreams of.

    And f**k Microsoft with it's perpetual bullshit. Developers and end users are sick of being prevented from using the latest version of Direct X just because not everyone runs the latest version of Windows. As a result Microsoft's stack is on track to be ignored and left behind. Vulkan is going to win over DX12 leaving future Direct X a moot point.

    Regardless it shouldn't be hard to sell software directly with numerous ecommerce pa

  • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @11:41AM (#52582731)

    Let me start out with a hearty "FUCK YOU MICROSOFT!"... Sounds like Valve needs to speed up Steam/Linux development.. I supported/used Windows from 1991 to 2010, and when I retired in 2010, I decided I was sick and tired of MS's stupidity.. So all of my systems are happy on Linux, and for the Steam games I play, the Linux Steam client works 100%.. Oh sure, theres a couple of newer games on Steam I'd love to play BUT there is NO WAY in HELL I'd go back to Windows just to be able to play them....

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @12:11PM (#52582931)

    DirectX 13, Windows 10 and UWP apps only. Easy. Just devote no resources to the win32 api, declare it 'legacy' for gaming and unsupported. Now every games publisher will have to develop using the new API, which also means no running the game on Windows 7 so MS can kill off their stubbonly-refuses-to-die OS. It won't hurt Steam directly, but once you have publishers having to use UWP anyway you are half-way to getting them to sell in the Microsoft store.

  • ...and I didn't realize that Microsoft's war on Steam was so thorough and insidious that it was affecting the Mac version since version one.

    ...or that it crippled Valve's ability to make a useful, reliable interface for its Steam controller in Windows.

    ...or that it sabotaged SteamOS right out of the gate.

    ...or... well, you're getting the idea.

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