I get that this is a subject with a lot of controversy and if this gets out of control or isn’t constructive, feel free to close or delete this thread, that’s not my intention.
I would like to submit my opinion on the subject for consideration. It seems that Epic is taking a stance against the Universal Windows Platform as a whole and does not plan to integrate UE4 with it, though they have allowed windows to make their own branch with UWP support. If this is incorrect and they just haven’t gotten the integration finished, that’s great! If not, read on.
To put my stance in simple and short terms as possible, I believe that windows as a whole has stagnated due to limitations with how .exe files work and the lack of control windows has on how vendors use their platform and we should be working with them to make this new platform better instead of refusing to move forward.
Problems with windows without UWP
- Standardized APIs: Try using bluetooth or nfc on windows, it’s a mess, better than it was but still a mess and everyone just steers clear of using for more than a keyboard or headset.
- Need for anti-virus anti-spyware: What if I want a different calculator program? So I go to some random guy’s site and download their cool calculator but now my computer is infected with spyware because the guy’s website was hacked and his download compromised. Now I have to wipe my pc or spend money on anti-spyware software that essentially is just keeping a list of programs that contain malware and how to remove it automatically (Hint UWP can do that for you without having to install crappy anti-spyware that starts scanning your pc in the middle of a ranked game)
- No control over what features apps can access. When you run an exe file, some features require elevated access, but you don’t know why it’s requesting elevated access or what the app is doing. So you either say no or you risk it all and let it run. Android has perfected this with their permission requests at the time the app tries to use the feature. (Think webcam, mic, location, browsing history, contacts, etc)
- Multiple programs running just for keeping games up to date. Origin, Steam, Uplay, GOG, Blizzard App, Epic Games Launcher, etc. all these companies have had to solve the same problem of how to keep their games up to date and we have to have all this software running which slows boot times and eats up memory. They still take a cut of the sales but since they don’t own the platform they won’t be using that to make Windows better. This is bad no matter how you look at it.
Many of Tim Sweeney’s complaints have been heard and corrected by Microsoft Gamasutra - Microsoft unlocks framerates for UWP apps, tells devs 'we're listening' and I love him for sticking up for us like that. The only other point I see that wasn’t directly corrected is allowing third party sources, which windows does do and is as easy as typing “sideload apps” in the start menu or clicking the button that comes up when you try to install an app from a third party. Again, if that hurts third party stores, that’s not a bad thing, I’m tired of installing 10 apps just to download all my other apps every time I setup a new PC.
I’m all for standing up for what we want, but I think we are on a old slowly sinking ship complaining about the living conditions, when we should be jumping on Microsoft’s new ship that is more foundationally more sound and complain about the living conditions there. If we don’t start using their platform, they are going to stop listening to us because we are no longer their target audience.
Note, I have a Steam account that is valued at more than $7000 so yes I know how much that would hurt if steam went away. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture and I think this is the best thing for windows as a platform. Valve can go back to making games :eek: or make a better desktop platform. Imo that would be a win either way.