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Alpha_ProgDes

Is Windows 8 really bad for games?

55 posts in this topic

[url="http://www.develop-online.net/news/41521/Newell-skeptical-of-Windows-8"]http://www.develop-online.net/news/41521/Newell-skeptical-of-Windows-8[/url]

Do you think Windows 8 being "closed" is really bad for games? Or is just Valve panicking because Windows is in direct competition with them? I think it's the latter, but since I don't develop game professionally or even in an indie capacity, I thought I'd direct this to people in the game (excuse the pun).

Note: this question is open to everybody.
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IMHO, any closed system is bad for consumers. Although, I doubt that it is truly "closed", but just that the tablets will have a more difficult time getting around MS's marketplace.
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Not yet in the market (though I'm working towards that).

My opinion is, the more different stores available, the better for both developers, who can avoid bad distributors and force the distributors to upgrade their terms, and consumers - as the distributors compete in prices and sales against each other, and are forced to streamline their interfaces and innovate in areas like cloud saves and faster downloads.

So, in that sense, I'd welcome Microsoft's entry as a digital distributor of PC games... but, oh wait! They already [u]are [/u]a digital distributor of PC games, and 40-50 million people choose Steam over (or alongside) Microsoft's "[url="http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/pc"]Games for Windows Live[/url]". Oh, also, [url="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/"]Windows Marketplace[/url]. Do you use either? I certainly don't.

I'm glad other people are in the game also. Steam's two main competitors are Impulse (sold to GameStop) and Origin (EA - new to the game). But there are also dozens of small websites that also sell digital downloads. The more competition the better, because it gives developers and consumers a choice, forcing the distributors to improve themselves to stay ahead (and nobody can say Steam isn't innovating at a pretty rapid pace to stay ahead of Origin and Impulse).

Microsoft coming along and putting their own store pre-installed and easily accessible means most consumers, out of laziness or ignorance, will go there to get their goods. Microsoft was not able to do digital distribution well, so they are doing what they did with Internet Explorer, and pre-packaging it. How many non-techy people do you know who don't even know what a "Browser" is? The 'internet' to them is the blue 'e' icon of Internet Explorer. When Internet Explorer took over throw market share dominance, they just let it stagnate at IE6 until finally the competition got so far ahead that it actually proved a threat again - but we had to put up with the stagnation for multiple years before the competition caught up to Microsoft's unfair advantage.

It's good to make a more secure system, and it's good to ensure that consumers get actual non-virus executables. But using that as an excuse to make developers (whether games or otherwise) give you 30% or 20% of the cut without you doing anything?

If I want to play World of Warcraft (which I don't [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img]), I already gave Microsoft $200 or so for their operating system. Now they want 20% of the game sale, and 20% of each expansion, and 20% of my subscription fees? If Blizzard made a game that's so great they can get away with charging for each expansion and the original game, and $15 a month, they deserve that money, not Microsoft. And if Microsoft does take a cut, would Blizzard raise prices (hurting consumers) or keep their prices the same (hurting themselves) for the "privilege" of working with Microsoft?

Really now, why should Microsoft get 20% of every Minecraft sale? People found Minecraft just fine without Microsoft providing a portal. They argument of "Increased ability for users to find your game" only applies for junk. People don't buy many junky games online because word-of-mouth doesn't spread. People do buy awesome games, because they get attention. Granted, some good (amazing) games get hidden online and don't do well, but equally so, complete trash sells like hotcakes to iPhone users.

What kind of certification process will I need to go through for Microsoft if 80% of all sales happens through them? How personal and helpful will they tailor their services to the individual developer, and how much will they avoid striking huge deals with huge publishers to give those publishers extra attention at the expense of other games launching at the same time?

I'm not against Microsoft selling PC software... they already do that, in multiple ways... it just isn't successful enough because better stores exist. I'm against Microsoft taking control away from those better stores, not by quality of their service, but by abusing their position as the system owner to force lazy or ignorant consumers to visit their stores instead and thus steal the majority of users (since the majority are lazy and ignorant).

Microsoft isn't innovating or slashing prices to compete, they're [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)#Tying_of_Microsoft_products"]tying[/url] their store to their operating system - we've gotten along fine without it, it's not solving any problem that's exists, it's just centralizing purchases in one place for the benefit of Microsoft's wallet at the excuse of the benefit of the consumer's ease at the expense of the consumer's wallet long-term, at the expense of competitors (digital stores), at the expense of developers, and at the expense of innovation in business and technology.

They might as well tie physical purchases to one store also, and push Amazon.com out of the business. After all, people use their computers to buy physical products, and it's in the consumers interest to buy any physical product from one central location with one account, and why not a centralized service under Microsoft's control? Because the benefits of competition long term outweigh the benefits of ease-of-use for consumers short-term, if that ease-of-use means one company controls it.

[b][Edit:][/b] tl;dr: It's not the end of the world, or even the end of the world as we currently know it, but if it is successful, my fear is a lack of competition that creates higher costs for consumers, less profit for developers, and stagnation in the area of (mainstream) innovation for four or five years until the underground competitors get so far ahead even the mainstream consumer notices. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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I've a hard time believing that Windows 8 is going to be as bad as some make it out to be. The main reason why is the corporate desktop market - this is [i]huge[/i] for Microsoft, and they stand a real risk of doing another "Vista" (which failed more miserably in corporate than it did in domestic) if half of what you see written turns out to be true. At the same time, outside of the tablet/touchscreen/mobile world, I'm not seeing any really compelling reason to go beyond 7 for now, and historically the first iteration of a new Windows baseline from MS has always had a tendency to suck somewhat, with the second iteration being the one where things come together right. So I'm predicting that mainstream PC uptake is going to be very low indeed, outside of people getting it with a new machine.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1344539125' post='4967873']
Do you think Windows 8 being "closed" is really bad for games? Or is just Valve panicking because Windows is in direct competition with them?
[/quote]

Except Windows 8 isn't "closed" - the MS app store is, primarily, the only way to get Metro apps. Outside of them it'll be business as normal.

And based on Apple success the population WANT app stores to buy their stuff at so MS adding one is just giving the majority what they appear to want.

When this news first hit my reaction was 'company who provides software via closed app is scared of another company providing software via closed app' my point being the whole thing is a little less than honest and nothing more than PR stunt ("hey! MS's app store is bad, but our app store is great because we are Valve!") - a position reenforced to me earlier today when I found out that Valve plan to start selling non-game/entertainment apps via Steam soon. ( [url="http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=25377"]http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=25377[/url] )

So, yeah, now it all falls into place doesn't it...
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[quote name='mhagain' timestamp='1344542643' post='4967892']
I've a hard time believing that Windows 8 is going to be as bad as some make it out to be.
[/quote]

I think Windows 8 is going to suffer the Vista Effect as I like to think of it - the OS is going to be fine BUT before the thing was even tried many people were laying into it and continue to do so simply because it isn't what they were use to.

Vista had its issues, mostly with 3rd party drivers (NV I'm looking at you) but it was a massive improvement over XP and was, in my mind, vindicated when Windows 7 came out which at its heart is the same OS just with a better PR job.

I'm almost thinking that MS have decided to adopt a tick-tock approach to Windows releases; do something major in a release and suffer the backlash, then shortly afterwards release a new, tweaked version and watch as everyone goes 'oh, this is better than <last version>' thus generating sales.

OK, that would be crazy BUT given that I suspect MS make most of their OS income from companies and most companies are only just getting up to speed with Win7 and unlikely to goto Win8 regardless putting out a 'test' OS (which will unify their PC, Phone and console space as well as giving them a tablet presense) makes some sense if you take the feedback and roll out a better Win9 which companies are more likely to upgrade to.

Just thinking aloud really...
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Can you buy non-Metro apps in the Win8 store? To be honest I've been mostly unable to use the Win8 previews on my Lenovo X60T (because the resistive touch screen is horrible for swipe gestures and the wacom pen drivers don't calibrate properly in Win8), so I haven't really explored the whole OS yet.

However, I was able to install non-Metro apps the same way I can in Windows 7. I don't know what people are freaking out about.
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For me, Windows 8 doesn't really offer anything that would prompt me to upgrade. When I went from XP to 7, it was a marked improvement. I'm not sure what going from 7 to 8 offers me.

From my gaming, as long as I can install steam and run my games, I'm happy. I think Newell is being somewhat hyperbolic describing it as a "catastrophe", but from a consumer POV, my gut feel is that the desktop is circling the drain, and I really don't see win8 being a major player in the tablet market.

MS just don't have the "cool" factor in the market place and their marketing screams of the nerdy kid trying to fit in with popular crowd. I know lots of people who are happy to fight to the death over iOS vs Android, but I know no-one who cares that much about the Metro (or Win8 UI or whatever we're supposed to call it) ecosystem.
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[quote name='Nypyren' timestamp='1344543798' post='4967899']
Can you buy non-Metro apps in the Win8 store?[/quote]

Yes. Microsoft Office, for example, will be offered through the Windows Store.
[quote]However, I was able to install non-Metro apps the same way I can in Windows 7. I don't know what people are freaking out about.
[/quote]

It's not that it's "entirely closed, no way you'll ever get anything on here! Mwahahaha!", it's that it'll be front and center and any other store people will have to go out of their way to download (like they do currently), so the majority of casual users will by-default give their cash to Microsoft, rewarding Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior, and take money from the companies innovating. This rewards anti-competitive/monopolistic behavior, and punishes innovation.
Intelligent users can still make intelligent choices, but the bulk users will be satisfied with the first thing put before them - Microsoft is using their leverage as the OS provider to ensure the first thing put before the user is Microsoft's own store.

There are a few keys that'll help Steam and Origin and Impulse:
A) They are in good positions to strike up deals with OEMs to provide Steam or another store [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/117208/Alienware_Gaming_PCs_To_Come_PreLoaded_With_Steam.php"]pre-loaded[/url] on the machine. On the other hand, Microsoft is offering OEMs a percentage of Windows Store sales for OEM machines, supposedly. It was in their leaked Windows 8 info from three years ago, anyway.
B) Unlike in the browser wars, purchasing a product may require the installation of a digital store. (Certain games require Steam or require Impulse). This will help to keep Microsoft from completely dominating the market share.
C) Steam already has a huge install base (54 million, according to Wikipedia. 40 million last year confirmed by Valve) and holds each customer's game catalog hostage.

For the record, I like Microsoft - I'm just not in favor of how they sometimes through around their weight. Had it been like this originally (buying software primarily through, or only through, the OS owners stores), I wouldn't complain, but doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have as consumers and as developers, and how much we could [u][i]potentially[/i][/u] be harmed by such a move. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1344547405' post='4967916']
For the record, I like Microsoft - I'm just not in favor of how they sometimes through around their weight. Had it been like this originally (buying software primarily through, or only through, the OS owners stores), I wouldn't complain, but doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have as consumers and as developers, and how much we could [u][i]potentially[/i][/u] be harmed by such a move.
[/quote]

The problem is they COULDNT have done it before - just imagine if Win2K or XP had shipped with an 'app store' built in; the DOJ and EU would have been cashing their anti-trust cheques before the case even hit the court room.

Not to mention that the technology to enable such a thing has only recently really come into being on a 'general' scale - internet connection speeds, stability and coverage has improved a large amount in the few years since Win7 was released and its really only in the last couple of years that general people have gotten use to the idea of 'app stores'.

And as much as we might dislike the idea the general public want them and if MS had stayed out of having an app store it really would be their end which puts them in a very hard place as they need the app stores yet people see it as a 'removal of freedom' despite the fact freedom isn't being removed.
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1344543714' post='4967897']
I'm almost thinking that MS have decided to adopt a tick-tock approach to Windows releases; do something major in a release and suffer the backlash, then shortly afterwards release a new, tweaked version and watch as everyone goes 'oh, this is better than <last version>' thus generating sales.

OK, that would be crazy BUT given that I suspect MS make most of their OS income from companies and most companies are only just getting up to speed with Win7 and unlikely to goto Win8 regardless putting out a 'test' OS (which will unify their PC, Phone and console space as well as giving them a tablet presense) makes some sense if you take the feedback and roll out a better Win9 which companies are more likely to upgrade to.
[/quote]

That's an interesting perspective, and I think you might be close to the truth. A lot of companies are heavily dependent on 3rd party apps which will have only recently gotten Windows 7 certification too, so perhaps MS are well aware of what they're doing, well aware of what the likely outcome in corporate space is going to be, and are reasonably happy to take it on the nose for this release?
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There is so much "buy me" junk already preloaded onto 7, seeing something else will not make much difference in 8IMHO.
(( The system I am currently using, came preloaded with a "game store". ))
True it's going to force Steam and all the other digital game stores to keep innovating, but competition is a good thing.
... I'm waiting for some one to come out with stable copies of Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 ...

The person who called Vista an improvement on XP, should have had to do the computer "repair" work I had to do on that turd of an OS
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1344543413' post='4967896']
And based on Apple success the population WANT app stores to buy their stuff at so MS adding one is just giving the majority what they appear to want.
[/quote]As someone who is neither ignorant, nor lazy, I download and purchase all my tablet software through the official app store (Google Play) for my device. nVidia has an app store. Lenovo has an app store. Amazon has an app store, <Tablet Vendor X has an app store> etc... I don't care. There are nice games, books, and other things exclusive to other app stores. I won't buy them. I even nuked the alternate app stores on tablets I gave away as gifts, because they are a pain in the ass.

The only difference between app store A and B is who gets the 20%. So there is no need to support 50 of them as a user.

The Steam thing is kind of funny. Because Steam itself is a unified vendor in the same vein. It offers the same pros and cons. Users have a nice unified place to purchase all their software. They have one account, one collection, and one place to check for updates and etc... We tablet users want that on our platforms of choice too!

It's nice to turn on the tablet, hit one button, and have all my stuff managed and updated as a collection. It's nice to open my Google Play bookshelf, and see all my books there as one collection, and not a ton spread across different readers (kobo, kindle, etc...). If a book I want is not available on Google Play, then I'll get a different one that is.

Tablets do not replace desktops. They are mostly simple consumption devices. You pick it up, sit on the couch, and read a book, flip through a comic, play a game, listen to a podcast, watch a youtube video, look at your facebook, browse the web, etc... All consumption type activities with minimal input needed.

So there is no "freedom" to be taken away.

It's also nice that having a tablet makes for a nice companion to move the consumption activities off the PC, instead of multitasking all these things on one device. Let the PC focus totally on your creation and computation activities, while the tablet has the news or youtube or whatever other consumption activity off to the side.

Surface doesn't change this. Sure they include a physical keyboard, but so do countless other tablets. You can even buy surface like keyboards for your android or iOS device already. It doesn't change anything. It's about as useful as plugging in a keyboard to an PS3. It helps when entering text, but that's a rare activity. My tablet even has an optional keyboard dock that turns it into a netbook. Not buying it was 100$ well saved ;).
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[quote]There is so much "buy me" junk already preloaded onto 7, seeing something else will not make much difference in 8IMHO.
(( The system I am currently using, came preloaded with a "game store". ))[/quote]

So your blaming MS because the supplier you got your computer from preloaded software on it? That 'junk' doesn't come preloaded on Windows 7 (there's no game store on my copy of Win7), it gets installed by systems manufacturers. If you want to avoid it, either build your own system and install the OS, or buy a system that doesn't have an OS installed on it. A third option is to reformat the drive again and then install the OS yourself. Edited by LennyLen
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I'm curious if MS will offer lower percentages to major software vendors. It seems like people like Adobe or Autodesk might be able to throw their weight around a little bit and get better percentages on their splits, which would make the app store more appealing imo.

I guess that's part of the reason they do a 30% split on the first X amount you sell and 20% after. Maybe for software vendors that sell huge amounts of software they'd consider dropping to 15-10%? No se.
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I keep reading Win 8 will be a disaster. I still have not understood why.
I look forward Valve making Linux a viable alternative... Maddog said already he's against Steam and if he happens to be expressing community' intentions then I guess Linux will stay out of the market we care for another 10+ years.
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There is no way that Windows 8 will do what some people describe in this thread so lets make a few things clear.
There are two proposed alternatives for how this OS will function.

1. Windows 8 will close ALL software downloads and installs that do not go through the upcoming windows marketplace, meaning ALL GAMES AND ALL SOFTWARE WILL NOW PAY MICROSOFT 20% OF EVERYTHING THEY MAKE.

That is insane... And will simply mean that noone will install windows 8 and just stick to windows 7.

Much more likely is:

2. Windows 8 will feature a windows market where developers can chose to put their software/games, that will be run by and providing profits for Microsoft.
Which is fine. AAA Developers wont care, but it will be a great opportunity for the Indies to get some much needed publicity.

Putting the marketplace in a more visible location in the OS is fair enough its not like users wont be completely used to it a few months in.

-Exo
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[quote name='Exodus111' timestamp='1344686499' post='4968391']
1. Windows 8 will close ALL software downloads and installs that do not go through the upcoming windows marketplace, meaning ALL GAMES AND ALL SOFTWARE WILL NOW PAY MICROSOFT 20% OF EVERYTHING THEY MAKE.

2. Windows 8 will feature a windows market where developers can chose to put their software/games, that will be run by and providing profits for Microsoft.
Which is fine. AAA Developers wont care, but it will be a great opportunity for the Indies to get some much needed publicity.
[/quote]
I agree with you that #2 is more likely, but I don't think #1 would be as large a disaster as you imply. I'd imagine MS would host all the software, so distribution and retail cuts would be taken out of the equation for physical copies, and the split is better on the MS store than other online stores, and it's more visible. I don't think it would really affect the bottom line of any software developers if they forced it. The only bad thing would be the negative press of forcing all software to go through them.

I don't think they'll do that because of the bad press and they'll already have such an advantage there's no reason to prevent people using other things as it would be a small part of the population.

20-30% sounds really bad, but compared to the percentage developers lose today distributing software it's really not that terrible.
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Well the worst thing for consumers is if all devs suddenly raise their prices 30% to offset the MS cut. Which would suck for us.
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A few days ago Valve announced the availabilty of "normal" applications on Steam. When Newell said that he doesn't like Microsoft's new direction he simply didn't like the competition. Edited by Salfurium
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1344548671' post='4967922']
[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1344547405' post='4967916']
For the record, I like Microsoft - I'm just not in favor of how they sometimes through around their weight. Had it been like this originally (buying software primarily through, or only through, the OS owners stores), I wouldn't complain, but doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have as consumers and as developers, and how much we could potentially be harmed by such a move.
[/quote]
The problem is they COULDNT have done it before - just imagine if Win2K or XP had shipped with an 'app store' built in; the DOJ and EU would have been cashing their anti-trust cheques before the case even hit the court room.
Not to mention that the technology to enable such a thing has only recently really come into being on a 'general' scale - internet connection speeds, stability and coverage has improved a large amount in the few years since Win7 was released and its really only in the last couple of years that general people have gotten use to the idea of 'app stores'.[/quote]
I wasn't trying to suggest that Microsoft could've done it before, I'm merely commenting on my own nature, and many other's as well, to not notice the lack of something beneficial until they experience it, or in reverse, to not appreciate the presence of something until it's being threatened. "[i]doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have[/i]".
[quote]And as much as we might dislike the idea the general public want them and if MS had stayed out of having an app store it really would be their end which puts them in a very hard place as they need the app stores yet people see it as a 'removal of freedom' despite the fact freedom isn't being removed.[/quote]
Freedom isn't boolean 'true' or 'false'. Options and opportunities will get narrowed down if smaller digital stores fail, and the ability to avoid one store or another gets reduced when if store grows to a dominant size and starts throwing around it's weight.

[quote name='Salfurium' timestamp='1344710395' post='4968468']
A few days ago Valve announced the availabilty of "normal" applications on Steam. When Newell said that he doesn't like Microsoft's new direction he simply didn't like the competition.
[/quote]
Microsoft has already been part of the competition, as a console holder (mainstream games), a provider XBox Live Arcade or whatever (digital download of indie games), PC games (Games for Windows Live).

Valve has also had competition from Impulse, bought by GameStop (largest Brick and Mortar game store), and from Origin (One of the largest mainstream game publishers), and Amazon.com (largest web retailer of generic merchandise), and also from other minor sources like Good Old Games and the sporadic Humble Indie Bundle. Valve has worked hard to stay ahead, and have actively encouraged (at least publicly) competition, and never (unlike every other store in existence) has required or requested exclusivity deals, as far as I know. Valve has stayed ahead of the competition by offering good deals for developers, good deals for the consumer, and

Valve is frustrated that Microsoft is now coming and forcing their store to be the first store customers see on Windows, in the same way Microsoft complained about Google listing Google's services above Microsoft's in search results (I'm not making a comment about whether Google was 'in the wrong' or 'in the right', I'm just pointing out Microsoft is doing the same thing they found it reasonable to complain about).

To just dismiss all of that with a hand wave of, "Oh they're just crying because they don't want any competition", is a ridiculous reflex surface-level response ignoring Valve's history and Microsoft's history. Of course they don't want competition, they're a business! But that's not what Valve is complaining about - they aren't crying over competition, but [u][i]u[/i][i]nfair[/i][/u]competition from a quasi-monopoly with a history of using unfair competition to gain dominance. Sure, they'd love to complain about competition in general, but they don't because they aren't stupid. But yes, they are complaining about unfair competition.

[quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1344579186' post='4967987']
As someone who is neither ignorant, nor lazy, I download and purchase all my tablet software through the official app store (Google Play) for my device. nVidia has an app store. Lenovo has an app store. Amazon has an app store, <Tablet Vendor X has an app store> etc... I don't care. There are nice games, books, and other things exclusive to other app stores. I won't buy them. I even nuked the alternate app stores on tablets I gave away as gifts, because they are a pain in the ass.[/quote]

I don't mean 'ignorant' as an insult, nor was I calling anyone here ignorant (just so we're clear). I mean ignorant not as 'stupid' (lack of intelligence), but as a 'lack of knowledge'. Many people were 'ignorant' that there even was an alternative to Internet Explorer. Many people will be equally ignorant that there is even an alternative to Microsoft Windows. There will be plenty of people who know and understand, and can make a valid choice between two or more competitive services... the problem is, when the masses don't understand that there even is a choice, they are forced to put up with poor service, and that service doesn't have to actively innovate or improve because there is no competitive threat (just a bunch of minor threats), because it has dominance through ignorance instead of through being a better service (and having to continually improving to make sure it stays the best service from year to year).

As for laziness, I myself am pretty lazy - let me tell you how this would work with me: Ignoring Windows 8's new metro interface for a second, imagine if the Windows Store is integrated into the Windows 7 Start panel. I click the start button, and right under 'Control panel' I have 'Download applications'.
- I'm aware that a [i]better [/i]service exists (this requires [b]knowledge[/b] most consumers don't have) - Most consumers will be lost here.
- I have to download and install the service (this requires [b]effort[/b]?, albeit only a little) - A consumers lost few here.
- When downloading, [i]"Oh no, this might contain a virus! Are you super-duper sure you want to download it?",[/i] says my Microsoft Branded web browser. This creates [b]uncertainty [/b]and [b]fear [/b]in the consumer. - Some consumers lost here.
- When installing the store, "[i]Oh no, this might contain a virus! Are you super-duper sure you want to install it?[/i]", says my Microsoft Branded operating system and virus protection software. More [b]uncertainty [/b]and [b]fear[/b]. - Some consumers lost here.
- Finally, every time I want to play or install a game, I have to click the Steam, wait for it to load, click the game, wait for it to load. Eventually, there will be large publicity around a game I want to play, and then multiple games I want to play, that Microsoft has (using their bulk market share from all the consumers lost in the previous steps) signed exclusive deals with. When enough games that I want have become exclusive to Microsoft, I'll eventually crack, and visit Microsoft's store. - Some non-ignorant consumers lost here due to exclusivity.
- Because Microsoft's store is always in front of my face, whether I want it or not, and because there is less clicks required to get there, and now I already have one foot inside the door, I'll gradually use it more and more out of [b]laziness[/b]. - More non-ignorant consumers lost here due to always-present convenience.
But even if I hold firm, trying to 'vote with my dollar', all the consumers lost from all the other steps (which is the majority of the consumers) reward Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior making it worthwhile to Microsoft.

[quote]The only difference between app store A and B is who gets the 20%. So there is no need to support 50 of them as a user.[/quote]
But there is every need for 5 different services to be supported 100% by a share of the users, rather than 1 service to be supported by 90% of all the users. That need is called 'competition'.

Again, I'm not under some delusion that this is the end of indie game development.
I know that Microsoft isn't blocking access to native applications and web downloads.
Nor am I under the delusion that this is the end of competition or even of Steam.
I'm not under the delusion that, 'Oh teh noes, Micro$ux is going to rule the wrold!' (unlike most people, I actually liked Vista and some (not all) of Microsoft's products).
I'm not under the delusion that Microsoft will have digital sales in a stranglehold forever.
I'm not afraid that game developers won't be able to sell their games.

I'm just afraid that there is the potential ([size=2]not a certainty![/size]) that this will hinder progress ([size=2]not bring everything to a crashing halt![/size]) and innovation for the next 4 or 5 years ([size=2]not forever![/size]), in the same way people complain Microsoft did with Internet Explorer after the first browser wars and before the second - but I was too young then, so I am not familiar with that 'war' first-hand.

Maybe it's an irrational fear, but hopefully I explained in a logical way my thought process and my reasoning behind why I don't like what Microsoft is doing. Once more: I'm not against Microsoft having a digital store... they've already had two unsuccessful ones (Games for Windows Live, and Microsoft Store) and one that is arguably only successful because it's the only option for that console (Xbox Live Marketplace). I'm against Microsoft using their dominant position as the Windows platform holder to, again, make up for areas where they have a lack of quality services or products.

So before you dismiss my, or Valve's, or Blizzard's, or Mojang's, or anyone else's statements as nerdrage or Valve-fanboyism or hyper conspiracy-theory delusions, above I've listed my reasons in as clear a way as I can (though as usual, I suffer from being over verbose [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/mellow.png[/img]) - my worries might end up being wrong, but they aren't irrational. There may be flaws in my logic or train of thought, which hopefully there is! But my worries are not without logic or without thought - so don't let your responses be without logic or thought either.

Microsoft's move won't directly harm me as a (hopefully soon-to-be in spring 2013) indie developer, and won't directly harm me as a consumer. But the long term effects [i]might [/i]harm me as a developer and as a consumer, not by directly taking something from me, but by reducing the potential growth of profits (for the developers) and innovation and progress of services (for the consumers).

Honestly, do you trust Microsoft to be primary source of innovation for digital downloads over the next 7 years or so? Their past history has alot of 'no's and only a few 'yes's. Valve's has plenty of 'yes's.
Do you trust Microsoft to be the doorkeeper of the success of indie games? Their past history has plenty of 'no's and only a few 'yes's. Valve's has plenty of 'yes's.
Do you trust Microsoft? Truly? I don't, despite liking alot of their products. They are too big, and too far removed from their customer. Too[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_silo#Silo_effect"] silo-effected[/url] also, to properly support smaller developers or users.

Valve isn't benevolent, but they understand their business depends on their relationship with both the consumers and the developers (large and small), so they have thrived with both.
Microsoft also isn't benevolent, but they understand their business depends on dominating a market almost entirely, and then cutting deals with large corporations, and so they have historically made choices not beneficial with the consumer or the small developer, but only larger developers.

Microsoft also has a history of trying to force their way to a dominant market share and either:
A) Achieving the market share and stagnating for several years until competition catches up.
B) Not achieving market share, and abandoning the market or leaving their product / service to decay without support.

I don't support Microsoft's Windows Store initiative. Clearly I must be a naive and blind Valve fan-boy who's too short-sighted and who resists change. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif[/img]

It's not the end of the world, but that doesn't mean it benefits the world either. I'm not suggesting you support Steam blindly, I'm just suggesting that you actively resist Microsoft's attempt to force it's way into the market that it already has proven it sucks at, and instead let the market continue to duke it out on an even footing to the benefit of both consumers and developers.

Go support Impulse (GameStop) or Origin (EA) if you don't like the dominant market share that Steam (Valve) currently has. Or buy your games digitally from Amazon.com, or Good Old Games, or one of the other 50-odd digital download stores that aren't as well known. Just don't support unfair business practices, as they tend to bite both the consumer and the developer in the butt. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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[quote]I don't mean 'ignorant' as an insult, nor was I calling anyone here ignorant (just so we're clear). I mean ignorant not as 'stupid' (lack of intelligence), but as a 'lack of knowledge'. Many people were 'ignorant' that there even was an alternative to Internet Explorer.[/quote]
This kind of assumes the market would be saturated without microsoft making an app store.

Not to say it's ideal, but IE being installed on every computer had a huge impact on the rapid growth of the internet. Who's to say what benefits we'll get with an app market that size?

We'll obviously get to the point where the market becomes that size, but would you rather wait 5-10 years for a single digital store for PCs with 150 million users or have that next year?

There's a lot to be said for this being a market that suits an oligopoly better (for everyone) than perfect competition. Perfect competition is not always the best model for every market. In many cases it results in the market as a whole being less successful; cases such as power companies, cable/satellite providers, and isps come to mind. Granted that's dealt with differently all over, but their rarely done in any sort of perfect competition.
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microsoft didnt start the app store war. They dont have a choice since if they dont follow suite their profits will be far shorter than the competitors. Why is nobody complaining about Apple, they are the worst for this kind of stuff. They wont even let you install your app store, or anything which even hints at the existence of a direct competitor. Total bullshit. Edited by RivieraKid
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