Microsoft: 'We are betting on the Universal Windows Platform'

Company pledges ‘openness’ in controversial platform, says HoloLens ‘built with UWP in mind’ and hints at further connectivity between PC and Xbox
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Microsoft has discussed its ongoing efforts to establish the divisive Universal Windows Platform as a worthwhile service for devs to bring their games to.

UWP has sparked heated backlash from the development community over its alleged closed nature, with Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney condemning the platform to ‘death’ unless it ‘opens up’.

“Gamers, developers, publishers simply cannot trust the PC UWP ‘platform’ so long as Microsoft gives evasive, ambiguous and sneaky answers to questions about UWP’s future,” Sweeney wrote back in March.

Since then, Microsoft has announced much-requested additions to the multi-platform framework, including mod support, unlocked framerates and support for third-party services.

Speaking at Unite Europe, senior product planner Alex Teodorescu-Badia told a room full of developers that the company would continue to advocate ‘openness’ in UWP.

“One of the reasons I’m here is to, as a company, commit us to this idea that if there are barriers to openness, that we will overcome them,” he vowed.

Teodorescu-Badia went on to outline UWP’s seemingly great importance to Microsoft’s future plans for development on PC and Xbox.

“If you’re looking at the future of hardware, the whole family is really betting on this developing, it’s really betting on the future of the Universal Windows Platform,” he explained.

“So if you’re wonder what the best way to be prepared from day one is, no matter what’s next, the best way to do it is to know [that your game is compatible with UWP]. Because that is what Microsoft is betting on, and it is what we know for a fact will be available and moving forward to deploy, whatever comes next.”

As an example, he added that Microsoft’s upcoming augmented reality device HoloLens was “built with UWP in mind”, meaning that devs wishing to build for the hardware should embrace the platform.

In a talk entitled ‘Envisioning the future of Windows gaming’, Teodorescu-Badia also hinted at further connectivity to come between PC and Xbox.

Microsoft previously revealed the introduction of cross-network play between PC and Xbox machines, while UWP enables apps to run on both platforms.

“If you’re wondering what the future of PC looks like, we think there’s more to Xbox Live that you haven’t seen yet, and over the next couple of weeks maybe there will be more that you’ll hear about that we’re very excited to show,” Teodorescu-Badia suggested.

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