Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

October 2, 2012 -

Markus 'Notch' Persson, creator of Minecraft and co-founder of Mojang, decided to take to his blog today to respond to an editorial by games journalist John Callaham entitled "Notch: Don't be a hypocrite about Minecraft and Windows 8" over at Neowin. In his blog post, entitled "John Callaham: Don’t be a goat murderer," Persson responded to Callaham's claim that the Minecraft creator was being a hypocrite for railing against Windows 8 for being a closed system even as he put his game on several closed systems including Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.

Persson clearly felt that the headline of Callaham's editorial was beyond the pale.

In his post he explained that he supports plenty of closed systems but he expects the PC to remain an open and free environment as it has been for many, many years. He then explains why Windows 8 having a closed marketplace that redirects users via the new UI is a bad thing:

"For every user Microsoft convinces to use the Modern UI, they have one more user they get to choose what programs they can see. They get to certify programs and control the experience. This is great for them (and possibly arguable makes for a smoother end user experience as well, but that’s debatable if it’s good), but it places faaaaar too much power in the hands of a single entity."

He closes by throwing in an amusing personal attack on Callaham to make his point that personal attacks for having a strong opinion are not cool.

You can read Callaham's editorial here and Persson's response here. Thanks to SeanB for the tip!


Comments

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

"You have to fist launch in the Modern UI then find the setting to switch to the Desktop. That is not easy at all."

I understand the point Notch is trying to make here and really I agree with him. But to clarify, reaching the desktop from the new UI is not a difficult process. Its just one button in the Metro UI, clearly labeled, with a picture of whatever your current wallpaper is. One click. Sure its one click that wasn't really needed in previous versions of Windows but it is not anything close to what we could call difficult

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

The danger is the huge progression it means. For example, the last few version of Windows have introduced new features, not always popular. But, by design, you often could turn them off. However, after a couple of Windows version, those new features can no longer be switched off and you're suddenly stuck at a point where upgrading means changing to using that feature. Now apply this scenario to the new UI. Sure, you can go around now with only one click, like you could disable Aero or other features before. But at some point, say Windows 9 or 10, you won't, and that's why the stance REALLY need to be made here, else the battle is lost, it's just that people won't have yet realized it. And it doesn't matter if you can bypass it by being crafty, the majority of users will use their system as it is intended and that will basically kill your market.

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

Sure, you *can* run anything you like under the Desktop UI. However, Microsoft is going out of its way to make that as painful as possible. You cannot automatically launch into the Desktop. You have to fist launch in the Modern UI then find the setting to switch to the Desktop. That is not easy at all. That is what sucks about it. That is what Notch is complaining about it.

I am also sure that the stupid bios restriction that Microsoft is peddling is also an issue. If that bios restriction is in place, you cannot install Linux or any other OS on that computer. That is not good for a number of people.

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

I am also sure that the stupid bios restriction that Microsoft is peddling is also an issue. If that bios restriction is in place, you cannot install Linux or any other OS on that computer. That is not good for a number of people.

Last I knew, that restriction was only a serious restriction on the ARM architecture -- x86-based stuff (like the computer I'm using to type this post) not only allows people to add their own certificates, but is explicitly required to allow the entire secure boot option to be disabled completely. (And let's be honest here, it's not exactly like there's a shortage of ARM-based tablets without any sort of boot lock.)

That's really part of the problem with Windows 8. If there's anywhere the Vista comparisons are accurate, it's that there's so much bullshit and paranoia surrounding any mention of the OS that it's almost impossible to figure out what's true and what isn't.

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

Thing is, adding your own certificates, while more 'official' then jailbreaking, it still poses a significant barrier esp for non-technical users.

It remains to be seen how open the x86/64 implementation actually is.  There are all sorts of ways lazy or 'microsoft friendly' manufacturers can technically meet the 'can be switched off and take new certificates' requirement while still making it a pain.... esp suppliers like Dell who, for tech support reasons, might not want their systems runing anything other then windows.

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

Thing is, adding your own certificates, while more 'official' then jailbreaking, it still poses a significant barrier esp for non-technical users.

Somehow, I can't imagine there's much of an overlap between "non-technical users" and "people who would be interested in installing a non-Microsoft operating system on their existing Windows PC".

Re: Dueling Editorials: Notch v. Callaham on Windows 8

"You have to fist launch in the Modern UI..."

Actually, that sounds kind of badass!

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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