Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, is no fan of Microsoft’s ‘Universal Windows App’ (UWP) alternative to their previous Win32 API. He’s made that clear in previous statements, suggesting that Microsoft’s ultimate goal is a UWP monopoly via their Windows 10 store.
In a new interview with Edge magazine (physical media, so I can’t link directly; but NeoGaf have a partial transcript), Sweeney takes these claims even further. He reiterates his belief that Microsoft’s long-term strategy is to phase out Win32 and move all programs, apps and games to the UWP format; which would be distributed solely through the Windows store.
“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 manoeuvers. 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,” Sweeney says.
Asked by the Edge interviewer how Microsoft would actually be able to do that, given the widespread use and popularity of the Steam platform, Sweeney suggests Windows 10 patches could be deployed to sabotage Valve’s store.
“Slowly, over the next 5 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.”
Unfortunately, the piece doesn’t elaborate on the “previous competitors”, but it’s possible he’s referring to the United States vs Microsoft anti-trust case (1998) which found that “Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anti-competitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market.” However, I’m not familiar enough with the details of that case to say whether Microsoft was found to be actively sabotaging competition through Windows patches.