Serious Sam dev speaks out against Windows 8

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Croteam chief technical officer Alen Ladavac has raised his concerns about Windows 8, including its certification system. Ladavac believes that it’s a step in bringing the “console experience” to desktops and will lead to everything being more expensive and “sucking more.”

Ladavac outlined his main concerns in a forum post, saying that “Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished.”

“Gabe Newel did not overreact.” He wrote. “What you don’t see here is that, under the hood, the new tiled UI is a means for Microsoft to lock Windows applications into a walled garden, much like the one on iOS. There is this “small detail” that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere, but you can find it dug deep in the developer documentation: One cannot release a tiled UI application by any other means, but only through Windows Store!

I cannot even begin to stress out just how horrible this idea is! There is no side-loading, except for corporate use inside one company, and that works only on the enterprise edition of Windows 8. Do we all understand what that means? You cannot download an application from the Internet and run it on your computer. You have to get it from Microsoft’s store. Even if it is a free app!

Ladavac expressed that if it was just about “being downloaded from Windows store”, it would not be a problem and that it “would be nice to have a common hub to download things from.” 

But to get an app onto that store, it has to be certified by MS. This means bringing the “console experience” onto your desktop. Each app that you will get through the Windows Store will have to adhere to certain requirements imposed by MS. So far, we know that they’ve banned mature games, like Skyrim, CoD, and Serious Sam.[*] They have forbidden modding. They could very well forbid Open Source if they want.”

He further went on to say that even if those terms were not there, it was still a certification system with all of its downsides, “including uncertain release dates, rare and late patches, and everything turning out to be more expensive and sucking more.”

Ladavac wrote that while, theoretically, desktop applications are exempt from those requirements, it looks like a foot-in-the-door technique from Microsoft.

“A large number of developers have expressed their concern with possibility that, probably in Windows 9 or something like that, the ability to get even desktop apps in any other way than through Windows app store may very well be removed. When that happens it will be too late.”

Ladavac also wrote that he would not invest into supporting the tiled UI apps until Microsoft removes the requirement that they have to be shipped through Windows Store on desktop at least – and thereby remove the requirement of certifying them with Microsoft. 

“Now, while in current state Windows 8 do look like they support plain desktop apps seamlessly, the removal of start menu and use of “charms” even on the desktop looks like a pretty blunt attempt to force users to “get used” to the tiled UI. It would be fine by me if it wasn’t for the aforementioned certification issue. 

So, it is a vicious circle. And not an accidental one. This one was carefully designed to be that way. I say: no thank you, I’ll skip on that one.”

I’m not really an expert on these kinds of things, and even though I would be extraordinarily disappointed if this were the route Microsoft was taking, I can’t help but think that it’s their right to manage their product as they choose. However, how good would this be for Microsoft? By going the “console route” they would lose a great portion of PC users supporting the Windows brand when it comes to Operating Systems. PC’s are our platforms of choice for many reasons, one being: it’s not exactly the same as a console…

Read  Forza Horizon 4 has a picturesque tour of Britain to explore in its demo

We’ll at least be able to stick to Windows 7 for a few years, but what’s the alternative when it comes to a point where the OS isn’t of any good use anymore?

Last Updated: November 6, 2012

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