Microsoft stands accused that it will remove Win32 and destroy Steam

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of his age, the Internet was an... Read more
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Tim Sweeney is being his paranoid self again as he goes after Microsoft and the company’s plan to make UWP the standard when it comes down Windows apps. He’s clearly not a fan of the Universal Windows Platform, and believes Microsoft will use it to create a walled garden where Windows is concerned.

Now, no one in their right minds would want to see Windows become a closed operating system similar to that of iOS, the Apple mobile operating system. However, there’s a difference in being concerned and being paranoid, and the latter is what Tim Sweeney is showing right now.

In his latest attack, Sweeney claims in an interview with Edge-Magazine, that Microsoft aims to use UWP to destroy the Win32 platform and ultimately, killing Steam. Because of this, UWP needs to die, and fast, before Microsoft gets its footing together in the right place.

Here’s a snippet of what Tim Sweeney stated 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 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 maneuvers. 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.

Last time we checked, UWP is not a closed platform. In fact, any developer can allow Windows 10 users to download their UWP-based app outside of the Windows Store. It’s also possible that in the future, UWP apps will become the standard, but still doesn’t mean Microsoft will move to force all apps to fall under its own storefront.

Just like it is now with Win32 apps, developers will be able to host their own stores and have UWP-based apps for download.

Here’s the kicker; UWP is built on Win32, which means, if Microsoft removes Win32 support, then the company would also be removing UWP support as well. Doing this would also break every video game in existence, something Microsoft wouldn’t want to do because it would have to face the wrath of its fanbase.

Let’s not mince words here; Tim Sweeney is delusional, and his hate for Microsoft is making him say strange things. He needs an intervention before he goes off the deep end.


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My uneducated guess is that UWP will not be based on Win32 forever. If/when Microsoft removes the dependency on Win32, they will be free to do what Tim Sweeney is being called “delusional” for suggesting. Make no mistake, Microsoft (and any big tech company, for that matter) will always to the absolute maximum they can do to sandbox and control their systems without alienating developers and users. If they make it a “slow fade”, then don’t be so naive as to assume Microsoft would never close off their store in order to have full control.