No doubt you have already heard that Valve co-founder and top executive Gabe Newell and Mojang co-founder Markus Persson think that Windows 8 is horrible for PC gamers and game developers because it uses a closed app store approach to presenting software to customers. Now Croteam's chief technical offer Alen Ladavac has added his two cents to the discussion. The CTO for the company behind the Serious Sam series said in a recent Steam Community forum post that Gabe Newell was right.
"Gabe Newel did not overreact," he said. "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 goes on to complain about a new clause that gives Microsoft full control of what appears on the Windows 8 storefront.
"If it was just about 'being downloaded from Windows store', it would not be a problem," he continued. "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."
You can read the entire forum thread here. Ultimately Ladavac fears that this certification process that Microsoft is putting into Windows 8 is a bad idea and may have serious ramifications on future iterations of Windows that will harm software developers.
"Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished," he said. "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."