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Epic CEO turns on Microsoft: PC UWP "can, should, must and will, die" [Update 2]

Tim Sweeney, head of Epic Games, has launched an astonishing attack on Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP).


Update 2: Xbox boss Phil Spencer has issued a statement on Sweeney's editorial through Twitter, saying "Windows has always been an open ecosystem," and more will be discussed on the company's plans at Build later this month. His tweet are embedded below.

Update: Corporate vice president of Windows at Microsoft Kevin Gallo told The Guardian, "The Universal Windows Platform is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, that can be supported by any store.

"We continue to make improvements for developers; for example, in the Windows 10 November Update, we enabled people to easily side-load apps by default, with no UX required.

"We want to make Windows the best development platform regardless of technologies used, and offer tools to help developers with existing code bases of HTML/JavaScript, .NET and Win32, C+ + and Objective-C bring their code to Windows, and integrate UWP capabilities.

"With Xamarin, UWP developers can not only reach all Windows 10 devices, but they can now use a large percentage of their C# code to deliver a fully native mobile app experiences for iOS and Android."

Original story: Tim Sweeney, the head of Gears of War developer Epic, has penned a very scathing blog in The Guardian to explain his opposition to the Microsoft's "closed" Universal Windows Platform.

In the piece, Sweeney calls on the games industry to fight this platform and refuse to "submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem."

"They’re curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customer," wrote Sweeney.

"The specific problem here is that Microsoft’s shiny new 'Universal Windows Platform' is locked down."

Sweeney clarifies that he's not against having a Microsoft-maintained store on Windows 10. Rather, the executive is calling the industry to move against UWP, and what he believes is the company structuring the operating system to "to advantage its own store while unfairly disadvantaging competing app stores."

"The specific problem here is that Microsoft’s shiny new 'Universal Windows Platform' is locked down," Sweeney goes on. "By default, it’s impossible to download UWP apps from the websites of publishers and developers, to install them, update them, and conduct commerce in them outside of the Windows Store."

Creating an open platform, similar to the widely used win32 API, is the only way forward, according to Sweeney. In order to do this, Microsoft must allow users to download and install UWP applications from anywhere on the web.

The company must also allow Valve, GOG and others to operate UWP-based stores, without obstructing them, or relegating them to "second-class citizenships." This also means allowing developers and consumers to interact with each other directly, in matters of commerce, without Microsoft taking a 30 percent cut.

"In my view, if Microsoft does not commit to opening PC UWP up in the manner described here, then PC UWP can, should, must and will, die as a result of industry backlash.

"Gamers, developers, publishers simply cannot trust the PC UWP “platform” so long as Microsoft gives evasive, ambiguous and sneaky answers to questions about UWP’s future, as if it’s a PR issue."

You can read the rest of the piece at The Guardian.

About the Author

Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed

Staff Writer

Whether it's news, reviews, or interviews - Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He plays shooters more than a sane person should, and occasionally has the skills to show for it.

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