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Croteam on Windows 8 Issues

A post on the Steam Users' Forums from a couple of weeks ago offers a distressing overview of Windows 8 from Croteam (thanks Gamer's Hell), as Alen Ladavac says: "I would very much like to clear this one thing. I think that this is very important as there are 'under the hood' motions related to Windows 8 that are hidden and not well understood even by many developers (yet), and certainly not by most gamers." Saying "Gabe Newel did not overreact," he goes on to describe how "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." Here's more:

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!

If it was just about "being downloaded from Windows store", it would not be a problem. 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. But even if these terms were not there, this is 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.

While, theoretically, desktop applications are exempt from these requirements, it looks more and more like just a foot-in-the-door technique. 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.

I would not invest into supporting the tiled UI apps (which MS now conveniently calls "Windows Store apps" - does that ring a bell?), until MS 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 MS. Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished.

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.

* (Our footnote, not Alen's): He seems to have missed this story).

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153 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 5.
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73. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:58 Hellbinder
 
FloodAnxiety.....

Hello Microsoft employee... how is the weather in Seattle these days...

Had any good smoked salmon lately?
 
The Whales name is Bob.
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72. Re: Wow... Nov 17, 2012, 22:55 DukeFNukem
 
@Parallax Abstraction:

So you want everybody to trust Microsoft to control the PC market?

Steam is an optional download and install for the Windows operating system. So to make the claim that Gabe Newell "controls the PC software market" is a little absurd.

Linux is a massive nightmare huh? What versiosn and distro are you referring to exactly and what about that specific version and distro lead you to the conclusion that its a nightmare?
 
Just because you aren't afraid of something doesn't it mean it can't kill you...
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71. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:45 FloodAnxiety
 
ASeven wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 22:39:
FloodAnxiety wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 21:17:
...

New user registering today just to post this. Yeah, not suspicious at all.

I've been reading BluesNews since quake 1; but don't normally post. Created a new account because I've long stopped using whatever email it was I originally signed up for. What was suspicious about that? Everyone at one point signed up just to post something, as there are no other benefits of signing up.
 
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70. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:40 ASeven
 
nin wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 22:12:
How do these people find us?


Guess we're special. In a good, crazy way.
 
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69. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:40 Mashiki Amiketo
 
nin wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 22:12:
How do these people find us?

It's sure not the cookies. They're dangerous to eat.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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68. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:39 ASeven
 
FloodAnxiety wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 21:17:
...

New user registering today just to post this. Yeah, not suspicious at all.
 
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67. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:12 nin
 

How do these people find us?

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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66. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:08 Glykon
 
Sepharo youre an idiot brainwashed kid I know what Im talking abt  
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65. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:05 Sepharo
 
Glykon wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 22:03:
Leaving the technical side apart for a bit and talking abt directions...do anyone here really believe a company of such importance as MS and products of such importance as OS s for world computers are NOT related to "National Security" bs and intelligence services ?
They do all according to the requirements of the said "services" to control completely and easy so each new version of an OS gives more control, same with clouds and so on... Remember the mobile phones have keys to access anything from outside, thats one reason why it was financed the fast and cheap distribution all over the world...

If you still believe ppl like Gates, Jobs, Dell and more were just "lucky and hardworking intelligent individuals"...think again

Seek help.
 
Avatar 17249
 
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64. Re: More Big Picture Details Nov 17, 2012, 22:04 HorrorScope
 
I know we always say the Start button. But isn't there also a Tile vs Desktop Icon behavior change as well? A lot of people were plenty fine with Desktop Icons which could be as stylish if not more so on a very sexy backdrop. To me it isn't just losing Start.  
Avatar 17232
 
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63. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 22:03 Glykon
 
Leaving the technical side apart for a bit and talking abt directions...do anyone here really believe a company of such importance as MS and products of such importance as OS s for world computers are NOT related to "National Security" bs and intelligence services ?
They do all according to the requirements of the said "services" to control completely and easy so each new version of an OS gives more control, same with clouds and so on... Remember the mobile phones have keys to access anything from outside, thats one reason why it was financed the fast and cheap distribution all over the world...

If you still believe ppl like Gates, Jobs, Dell and more were just "lucky and hardworking intelligent individuals"...think again
 
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62. WTH is he talking about? Nov 17, 2012, 21:54 Darth Guybrush
 
Just bought Guild Wars 2 - not on the Microsoft Store. Installed fine. Same with Carrier Command.  
Avatar 55587
 
==
Steam: Darth Guybrush
XBox Live: Darth Guybrush
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61. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 21:32 Mashiki Amiketo
 
MS could try and 'forbid' anything they want. And it would work about as well as them flushing their heads in a bucket of water.  
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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60. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 21:28 jdreyer
 
Dades wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:24:
DDI wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:02:

I don't run Windows 8 and don't know if I will but I still think a lot of the hype from the likes of Croteam and Valve is based on pure speculation and not evidence.

There's nothing speculative about it, they're commenting about the existing restrictions. It's all laid out in the store and certification guidelines. Their main concern is that if you don't want to use the store or microsoft refuses to accept your app for some reason, there is no other way to deliver a "Metro" app to users without running an enterprise version of Windows 8.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!

Well, there is SOME speculation by Croteam in the above article. I've underlined some of it in this quote:
If it was just about "being downloaded from Windows store", it would not be a problem. 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. But even if these terms were not there, this is 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.

While, theoretically, desktop applications are exempt from these requirements, it looks more and more like just a foot-in-the-door technique. 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.

This comment was edited on Nov 17, 2012, 21:33.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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59. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 21:20 WaltC
 
DDI wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:02:
So much crazy in here. Windows Desktop environment will not go away for a long time. Even Windows RT still has the desktop environment. The new Start Menu is far faster to navigate than the old one, even with a mouse. There is a shit ton of data to back it up.

DADES loves to spread the FUD. You can run the same exact certification tests before you submit the app so you aren't wasting time waiting for feedback. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh694081.aspx

The price for an individual to publish apps to the store (which you do not need to install your own apps) is $50 a year. Big fucking deal. If can't swing the $50 then make it a desktop app and get a real fucking job that gives lets you earn more than $50 a year. Apple is $100 year. Microsoft's 30% cut goes down to 20% once your app hits 25k of revenue, unlike Google or Apple where its 30% indefinitely.

In Newell's case, he always has an ulterior reason for some of the crap he spews--he *knows* that Ubuntu 12.04 gaming business will not even come close to supporting Valve--yet he pretends it is some kind of alternative to Windows. Steam has no alternative to Windows--Linux and OS X combined wouldn't put a dent in Steam's bottom line. Take Windows game revenue out of Valve tomorrow and Valve is dead tomorrow. Newell knows this like the back of his hand.

I think what Gabe is really doing, and he rarely does anything in a straightforward manner, is a publicity stunt based on Win8 in trying to attract more OS X and Linux users to Steam. Beating the "Windows will destroy us all" drum is already a drumbeat which Linux and OS X proponents groove on, so Gabe is beating that drum to get them to come in and take a much closer look at Steam than they've ever done. What's the one major piece of hardware OS X users and Ubuntu 12.04 users have in common? Why, it's their computers, of course--as both can run and boot Windows natively in addition to Ubuntu and OS X.

Gabe is doing a bait & switch--he's getting them in to look at Ubuntu and OS X gaming, but what he's really doing is exposing both of them to the truly massive Windows game library Steam offers that dwarfs everything else Steam sells. So Valve baits the Linux guys by investing in one or two Ubuntu game titles and hopes they'll want a lot more games and start dual-booting (if they already aren't doing so) and start buying them. Valve has 0 plans to port its Windows games library to Ubuntu 12.04, btw...;) That would be a prohibitively expensive proposition even for Intel.

Could Gabe Newell be so ignorant as to believe that Ubuntu 12.04 is some kind of financial savior for Steam, in the event that Microsoft decides to cash in its chips in the near future? Of course not! He'd have to be a dunce to believe that...;) He's no dunce, so he's doing something else.

WinRT is an upcoming development platform for several upcoming Windows segments; x86 being the largest by a gargantuan degree. WindowsRT is an *upcoming ARM-based product* (line) which may, or may not, succeed to any degree. All I can say is that if Newell or Croteam or anyone else thinks that Microsoft is going to shut down open Windows x86 to try and force people into a closed WindowsRT product line--then Microsoft has gone as mad as a hatter.

I do not think that Microsoft has flipped its lid. Rather, it's hedging its bets and attacking the future from a variety of angles so as to be prepared for *anything* that may prove to be a trend in several years, even if that trend is much different than what we're all used to.

My bet is that if anything the software market will be even freer and more open than what we are used to today, and the closed systems--the iOSes and the WindowsRT product lines--will become historical footnotes. Indeed, even the product lines themselves may no longer support the emerging form factors that they do today like iPads and Surface and what not. It's entirely plausible that new form factors will emerge that prove more popular and functional so that in a decade people will scratch their heads and say, "Remember those old tablet thingamagigees? Whatever happened to them, btw?"

Now, I'm not saying *categorically* that Microsoft hasn't gone clinically insane...because I can't prove it, either way...;) But what I am saying is that I'll *bet you good money* Microsoft hasn't gone bonkers, though, and that there's a method to this madness that has nothing to do with walled gardens of the Apple variety.
 
Avatar 16008
 
It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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58. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 21:17 FloodAnxiety
 
Game devs should not feel threatened by the windows 8 app store. They can still sell their desktop games the same way as they used to. They are only worried because if users start to gravitate to the app store they may stop purchasing desktop apps from other channels. If that does happen then that will only validate the direction they are going with the app store.

The certification process is a necessary evil to ensure that end user gets a good quality experience from these apps.

Here are some PROs of Windows 8 Store apps:

- The app can utilize more resources. All apps are required to properly support suspending and the possibility that the OS can terminate the app when it is not running. This means that an app store game can be a resource hog, and other open apps that are not running will get terminated if your app requires the resources used by that app.
- Consistent ways to update all of your apps. No more Quicktime/Adobe flash updaters pop ups and the corresponding services that are constantly running in the background checking for these updates.
- Security of the walled garden builds trust in the store and their apps. This will increase the number of users willing to take a chance on your software if you aren't a well known and trusted publisher.
- Installing an app can only install that app. No more hidden installations of google toolbar and other crap that you didn't ask for.
- Simple and easy way to uninstall an app, and uninstall it cleanly. Most desktop software today will leave things behind, such as loose files and additions to the registry. Which contributes to the decline in performance and disk space of the PC after several years.
- Apps that go unresponsive (the grey ghosting of the title bar you see in desktop apps) are terminated immediately. This raises the bar on developers to write responsive UIs.

Classic desktop applications can still have a short cut tile on the start screen obviously. But the desktop app won't be able to take advantage of the above mentioned benefits of Windows Store Apps.

As for the desktop experience in Windows 8; I don't miss the start button at all. Instead of having a roughly 50x50 hot spot for the mouse to click on, there is a 4x4 hot spot right in the corner. I know where the start button is, I don't need the wasted pixels on my taskbar to show the Windows Logo. Not that I use it much anyways, since the Windows key on the keyboard has always opened the start menu and still has the same function.

I also definitely like the multi-monitor taskbar and having the taskbar icons show on the moniter where the applications are being displayed.

tldr; Lots of improvements all around. Devs should target the app store to reap the additional benefits it provides, or they can stick to the old way of doing things.
 
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57. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 20:54 NegaDeath
 
Tom wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 17:58:
NegaDeath wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 17:20:
-Performance improvements. I have a small 60GB SSD and 4 megs of ram (that I will not be expanding until mid next year) and Windows 8 takes up less of that. Nice.

Windows 8 runs with 4 megs of RAM? Now that's what I call a performance improvement!

Tongue

Mordecai Walfish wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 18:08:
AFAIK gadgets were removed because of security issues with them, as outlined by this article

MS even issued a patch that they recommend users apply to completely remove desktop gadget functionality

This probably did not come in the form of a normal windows update because it breaks functionality of installed gadgets that people are currently using.

I think I heard something about that. But of course instead of fixing it they removed it.
 
Avatar 57352
 
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56. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 20:45 Parallax Abstraction
 
Dades wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:24:
There's nothing speculative about it, they're commenting about the existing restrictions. It's all laid out in the store and certification guidelines. Their main concern is that if you don't want to use the store or microsoft refuses to accept your app for some reason, there is no other way to deliver a "Metro" app to users without running an enterprise version of Windows 8.

You are correct about that, I should have been clearer. The point I was addressing was the large number of people who are taking Metro's very existence as proof positive that the desktop is going to be gone soon and I just don't buy that. I don't care if Metro exists as long as anyone who doesn't want to use it can use the open desktop instead. PC gamers understand how to use the desktop, the likes of Croteam don't have to put their stuff on Metro to reach their intended audience.

As someone who works in corporate IT, I can tell you that if the desktop ever goes away, it will be a VERY long time before it does. As important as consumers are to Microsoft, corporate is their bread and butter and corporate will never adopt Metro as it is now. If Microsoft can't get corporate customers on board with an all-Metro Windows (and they'll be consulting with those customers extensively), it won't happen, I guarantee it. As sweet as a 30% cut of $0.99 apps are, Microsoft also makes a ton off those base license costs from Windows and they aren't going to risk driving their volume customers to Linux or worse, Apple. Believe me, I understand the concerns about Metro that people have but writing obituaries for the desktop is just ridiculous at this stage.
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube
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55. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 20:38 Dev
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:08:
Anybody remember that article from the New Zealand security researcher that screamed how Windows Vista was full of DRM and was basically going to be an OS that Hollywood would be able to cripple at will and which would severely limit what you could do with it to support DRM? Yeah, remember how that also turned out to be complete bullshit and the guy was shoved into obscurity as a result? Panic without evidence is often unfounded.
Actually, a lot of that turned out to be correct. But with faster and faster CPUs, the extra processing didn't end up amounting to much. Also hollywood never really ended up turning on all the restrictions they could have. I think its because they didn't want to slow adoption of HD and bluray.
For instance, all that HDMI with HDCP stuff, and the broadcast flag thing, there were a few cases where the movie studios enabled that, but they never did it for everything.
Then there was the FCC sticking its oar in, court cases, congress trying to meddle, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_flag

BTW, microstuttering with SLI/xfire is still a big deal years later (and one thats still incredibly difficult to track down, or even benchmark properly). Wouldn't surprise me if part of that might be due to overhead in the drivers from some of that crap. It also wouldn't surprise me if part of the crappiness with vista drivers (especially nvidia) came with poor handling of some of that overhead. Remember the graphs showing that a lot of blue screens and similar crashes in vista came down to drivers, especially nvidia graphics card drivers, in the early years of vista? Of course this is all pure speculation.

This comment was edited on Nov 17, 2012, 20:46.
 
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54. Re: Croteam on Windows 8 Issues Nov 17, 2012, 20:36 PropheT
 
DDI wrote on Nov 17, 2012, 20:02:
So much crazy in here. Windows Desktop environment will not go away for a long time. Even Windows RT still has the desktop environment. The new Start Menu is far faster to navigate than the old one, even with a mouse. There is a shit ton of data to back it up.

I'm going to go with bullshit on that, due in large part to wondering what kind of data you could even come up with to support the idea.

The metro interface isn't faster and easier than the normal start menu; hell, it's hard to find anything on it when you bring up the all apps screen to locate something that isn't either already on your desktop view or pinned to start.
The All Apps view that replaced the old start menu just mashes everything from the menu up onto your screen like a hundred desktop shortcuts; my first reaction to seeing it was laughter.

Or are you talking about the Search functionality, where you just start typing in the name of what you want to run and it shows the files? Because that was on the Start menu since Vista anyway, it's not even new functionality.

The only reason I could think of that someone would suggest that the new Start menu is faster is if they're strictly using Microsoft's terminology, with the Metro view (the area that items are pinned to with Pin to Start) replaced the Start menu...it didn't. It's a secondary desktop, and the Start menu as it was before is still a thing...accessed either by typing to search or right click and using the All Apps disaster.

 
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