Windows 10 Cloud Being Called “Ransomware” By Epic Games CEO, Is It True?

Windows 10 Cloud under attack from Tim Sweeney, who calls it "ransomware"

Microsoft’s latest version of Windows 10, Windows 10 Cloud, is not even announced yet, and Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney is already calling it “ransomware” even though there appear to be no facts supporting his accusation.

In a tweet on February 7, Sweeney said:

“Windows Cloud is ransomware: It locks out Windows software you previously bought and makes you pay to unlock it by upgrading to Windows Pro. Firefox blocked. Google Chrome blocked. Google search blocked as web browser search option. OpenGL, Vulcan, OpenVR, Oculus VR blocked.

Microsoft is making a huge move against the whole PC ecosystem: @Adobe, @Autodesk, #Valve, @EA, @Activision, @Google, @Mozilla. All blocked. Windows Cloud will steal your Steam PC game library and ransom it back to you…for a price.”

This is hardly the first time Sweeney has attacked Microsoft – like in March 2016, when he claimed that UWP was an attempt to monopolize games development on PCs.

This time he’s after Windows 10 Cloud, which we suspect is the lightweight version of Windows 10 that is being offered to OEM notebook makers at highly reduced license rates – or, perhaps, even for free.


With UWP, Sweeney asserted that Microsoft is trying to go the Apple way and create a walled garden around UWP apps. But even there, that’s not Microsoft’s intention at all.

We believe that their true purpose for UWP and apps developed on that platform is to allow developers to easily port their iOS and Android apps into Windows Store using Microsoft’s own dev platform, while also bringing those apps to Windows 10 Mobile. Nothing suspicious there.

ALSO READ: What is Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and What is a UWP App?

Now, with Windows 10 Cloud, it appears that Sweeney is completely off the mark with his accusations once again. His claim that Microsoft is making a “huge move against the whole PC ecosystem” are largely unfounded, or at least that’s our opinion.

First of all, we already know that UWP apps aren’t the only apps that can run on Windows 10 Cloud.

Second, there’s no evidence (yet?) that users won’t be able to download and install other browsers like Chrome or Firefox. We also know that there is an option to run converted Win32 apps, although it its current development stage it still throws up errors.

But even if those things are true, we don’t see a problem with that. However, Sweeney’s claims that Microsoft will “ransom back” additional functionality in exchange for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro are completely off the charts.

To illustrate why that’s the case, you only have to look at the freemium model of software and apps marketing. Companies give you their apps or software to download for free, and then ask that you upgrade or make in-app purchases to get additional functionality.

Windows 10 Cloud will be no different if it locks down certain features and asks customers to upgrade to another version for added functionality.

So, if he’s calling Windows 10 Cloud “ransomware”, then every single free application that requires an upgrade or in-app purchase for added features is guilty of the same thing.

You could argue that an in-app purchase can hardly be compared to a forced software upgrade that unlocks stuff that’s already free, like Google Chrome, for example. That might be true, but consider this: if Google Chrome wants to be on iOS or even Android, for that matter, they have to develop an app, don’t they?

So, even if Sweeney’s contention that it’s a lock-down scenario were to be true, we’d show the other side of the argument: Microsoft is doing exactly what Google and Apple did, but in a different way – and that companies that want to be part of Windows 10 Cloud need to develop UWP apps for the Windows Store.

That why we think Sweeney’s assertions of Windows 10 Cloud being ransomware are over the top. Let us know in the comments section whether you agree or disagree with this point of view.

Thanks for reading our work! Please bookmark to keep tabs on the hottest, most happening tech and business news from around the world. On Apple News, please favorite the 1redDrop channel to get us in your news feed.