I originally wrote this as a comment on the actual post but decided to turn it into an article.
Here’s the original article on The Guardian. If you haven’t read it, it’s a fascinating read but you may also notice it’s a very polarizing post.
After reading it a few times, I’m actually not a fan of the way Tim went about this. He accused Microsoft of doing something before it’s happened. It’s one thing to raise a big concern, it’s another thing to accuse and twist public perception because Microsoft didn’t go in the direction you suggested and are afraid of the possibilities.
Tim wrote an entire article only to say something that could fit in a Twitter message. “The ultimate danger here is that Microsoft continually improves UWP while neglecting and even degrading win32...” That’s his concern. That’s why I think so many are confused and bringing up the Apple app, Steam or Epic’s own service. They’re all closed off in some way but Tim doesn’t explain the divisive effect between the win32 platform and UWP, so everything feels sensational.
Tim is right in that we should all be made aware of the potential of what Microsoft could do and as which we should call for UWP to be open and then MS can kill win32. But at this point, UWP is not mandatory (which is where the fear comes from) but even Tim can’t assume they’re positioning for a monopoly.
Tim says: This day has been approaching for over 18 months, and I need to give credit to Microsoft folks, especially Phil Spencer, for always being willing to listen to Epic’s concerns with UWP’s paradigm, and to proposed solutions. Because they listened very patiently, I hoped and believed that Microsoft would do the right thing, but here we are. Microsoft’s consumer launch and PR around UWP are in full swing, and this side of the story must be told.
So after they talked Tim had, at least, two ways to perceive Microsoft moving forward: 1.) Microsoft’s intends a monopoly, or 2.) Microsoft actually plans on continually supporting win32 alongside UWP. Tim clearly goes with the former, so he (and of course The Guardian editors) writes the headline “Microsoft Wants to Monopolise Game Development on PC.” It’s essentially saying “I raised my concerns and you didn’t listen, therefore, this has to be what you’re doing,” which sets up the article entirely as a very educated assumption. Except this assumption could actually be damaging to Microsoft as a business, which is unfair to Microsoft because if they’re not doing what Tim thinks they’re going to do, then the damage has already been done.
What Tim was trying to communicate was completely lost in everything else he wrote and after going over it a few times, it kind of feels spiteful. But his concern is real and shouldn’t be ignored. I’m just not feeling how he went about communicating it.