About a week ago, the Epic Games boss, Tim Sweeney (sort of) lashed out on Microsoft for trying to “monopolise game development on PC” with the Microsoft UWP program. This had started a debate where the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer also jumped in to iterate that the Universal Windows Platform indeed was an open ecosystem and that they were not monopolising anything.
The whole debate was pretty heated with some key personnel taking sides on the matter. With the fear that PC related games and apps industry might get turned into something controlled and centralized, the topic was bound to raise a lot of ears.
However, despite Phil Spencer’s claims that there was nothing to worry about, Tim Sweeney took to the internet once more and responded , explaining how the Microsoft UWP was far from being open.
He says that you first have to become a Registered Developer for which Microsoft has to accept you as one, your app has to be submitted for approval and digital signatures using their DRM. Only after that can an app be distributed.
That is not exactly the same as Win32 where you can “compile a program, put it on a web site, and any user can install or run it by downloading and clicking on it,” he says.
In an open ecosystem, developers and publishers are free to create and release software without the certification or approval of an operating system vendor. Users are free to consume any content they choose, from any individual or company. And all parties are free to engage in commerce directly with each other, without one corporation intermediating all transactions.
Software, and the content it contains, is a mode of human expression on par with speech itself, and the imposition of any centralized certification or censorship authority is of grave concern to the future of public discourse.
Tim Sweeney has, however, given his version of how the Microsoft UWP could truly be an open ecosystem as Phil Spencer put it, but right now, the Universal Windows Platform is far from it, he says.
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