Are Win32 apps better for consumers than Universal?

John White By: John White
2 minute read

Tim Sweeney came out recently in an effort to undermine Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP), stating that Win32 apps are better for consumers because they give developers more freedom.

Sweeney’s attack on UWP began not too long ago, shortly after when he criticized the software giant for wanting to monopolize video game development on the PC platform through the Universal Windows Platform. The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, responded on Twitter, saying folks will learn more at //Build 2016.

As it stands right now, Sweeney is not satisfied with what Phil Spencer had to say and he’s out again to throw rocks. From what we can tell, Sweeney isn’t a fan of the extra time it takes for developers to submit apps to the Store and wait for their approval.

The game developer would prefer Microsoft stick with the Win32 model where apps can be uploaded anywhere for consumer consumption. The ultimate freedom: that is what Sweeney wants.

“Is this open? You be the judge,” he says of Microsoft’s stance on the Stores’ openness. “It’s certainly a departure from the win32 precedent in which any developer can compile a program, put it on a website, and any user can install or run it by downloading and clicking on it.”

While we see the merit in his perspective, Sweeney needs to realize that Win32 apps are a problem — exactly due to the amount of freedom it gives developers. There’s a high chance a Windows user will have their computer infected by downloading a compromised Win32 app from any number of websites on the web. While advanced computer users have no problem dealing with this, what about the folks who just want to use Microsoft Word and browse Facebook? They’d be better off downloading apps from a centralized location that guarantees their safety. The Windows Store is that place and that is why it is so important. And besides, it will soon be possible for users to side-load apps so in the end, Sweeney’s rant is almost immediately irrelevant.

The question now: where do you stand? Do you prefer Microsoft to focus on Win32 apps or continue with the UWP plan? Let us know in the comments below!

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