The End Times: Achievements For Minesweeper


Until today, I’ve been of the opinion that anyone proclaiming the Mayan apocalypse will strike in 2012 was a half-witted knobhead, but now I too have the incontrovertible proof of impending doom for all humanity.

Windows 8 is odious for many reasons – specifically because it’s an inept mangling-together of three different interfaces, a disturbing attempt to turn the PC into a walled garden and it stealths a shopping channel into the heart of the OS – but hearing that PC game stalwarts Minesweeper, Solitaire and Majong will be re-released and infected with Achievements as part of it drove to me true despair. All hope is lost. The Earth will burn.

‘Xbox Windows’ is a title Microsoft’s hoping we’ll see a lot more of, as it tries to mash its two most famous brands into one in the hoping of direct-selling games on Windows 8 PCs and tablets. Under this new banner come Win, Minesweeper becomes the Metro-styled Microsoft Minesweeper and offers Achievements and Gamerscore points for such highly tactical endeavours as losing the game. Solitaire and Majong (that latter admittedly not much of a PC staple) will similar treatment, report the strange scientists on

It is the modern age. Such things are unavoidable. I am simply a grumpy old man, I realise this. But I do agree with the prevailing industry fear that Windows 8 is an attempt to restrict the freedom of the PC, and stuff like this only cements my ill-feeling about Microsoft’s upcoming OS refresh.

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  1. Marliquake says:

    game over man, game over!

    • Vorphalack says:

      How many points does that earn you now?

      • Fazer says:

        I always wondered, do the achievement points give you something? Are you ranked against other players? It sounds extremely silly.

        • Humppakummitus says:

          They’re used to define the winner of internet arguments.

          • Blackseraph says:

            I’ll make a mental note of that! Thanks!

          • Premium User Badge

            Rublore says:

            But what if someone has more points than you and states that more points doesn’t mean winning the argument? Does that make it the case, or does the universe just implode?

          • BoZo says:

            You should use that as a logic bomb when Microsoft goes sentient á la Skynet.

  2. Discopanda says:

    It seems like they’re just trying to kill off Windows at this point. Did they take out a life insurance policy on it or what?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      How? So much dumb stuff is being said about Windows 8, and so much dumb stuff is being said about consumerfriendly devices when it’s all going to be a billion dollar success….

      • Nic Clapper says:

        Of course its going to be a success. Come this Christmas consumers who go to say bestbuy or walmart etc will be able to choose between device A with Win8, or device B with Win8.

        • PikaBot says:

          Just like Windows Vista was a huge success?

          • Nic Clapper says:

            Well, I’m not going to say people who build their own PCs, or upgrade just the OS on its own were flocking to Vista. But, the pre-built machines were still selling. So yea, it was a success. Its just forced success.

            As long as people still buy pre-built PCs, 8 will be a success. And MS is making it fairly cheap to upgrade to 8 for other people as well. They know that getting a store in everyones hands is more important then larger profits on the OS itself.

            And, even if MS gives it a shorter lifespan like Vista…9 will still be 8, it will be a store. No way thats going anywhere…having a store is going to be too profitable. They will slap a few new things ontop of 8 tho, and everyone will say wow its so great now! Just like they did with 7.

            Thats the thing…7 IS Vista. People need to realize that every ‘new’ OS that comes out is all of the previous versions, but with a few things slapped on top. There hasn’t been a new Win OS since like…the first one heh. I mean they try to hide it…but it still runs DOS for example. 8 isn’t any different. This time it has quite a different program running on top of it all, so it looks super different, but the old stuff is still buried in there. During beta tho they are finding when people access this old stuff and seem to be trying to deny access to those thing as they go there.

            A lot of times too you’ll hear someone say how fast whatever new OS is….but the thing is its a fresh install on most likely new hardware….so of course it seems faster.

            We honestly haven’t needed any ‘new’ OSs in a long time….we’ve just been forced to upgrade in various ways…

    • Whallaah says:

      Better brace your self, if one of these three headlines will become true:

      Windows 8: Always Online Policy

      Windows 8: Login with Facebook account

      Windows 8: Eats kittens for the Evulz

      • Memphis-Ahn says:

        You login with your hotmail/live/outlook account, actually.
        It’s pretty neat since it transfers your setting across PCs and automatically sets it as default for People/Marketplace/Messenger etc.

        • Josh W says:

          Honestly that sounds awful, there must be an alternative option; up until this point anyone could use a computer anonymously. There was no requirement or expectation that a user would have to be tied to a real individual.

          Even discounting the problems of tying this basic bit of systems infrastructure to microsoft’s global one, it is a massive increase in implicit surveillance, because of the far more onerous personal information requirements of a live account.

          Really really bad idea.

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            I’d have to agree with Josh here that that sounds like a terrible idea.

      • derps says:

        Windows 8: Creates Anti-Lulz

    • varangian says:

      Probably Steve Ballmer has got himself a massive short position on MS stock and Windows 8 is the means to ensure he scores big.

  3. GernauMorat says:

    The horror! The horror! . . . Exterminate all the brutes!

  4. aliksy says:

    Do you have to sign into GFWL?

    • Smashbox says:

      Almost certainly.

    • woodsey says:

      Whether or not you’ll actually physically be able to is, of course, another matter entirely.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      well, the main idea, is that your main login will actually be your hotmail (or other email) account, which will automatically be your various logins on MS’ “cloud” type things, so your settings can easily go between machines etc… signing into windows, will automatically take care of GFWL etc I imagine.

      • Smashbox says:

        Ha! My years of existing on Earth and my ability to use a computer have made my various Microsoft product logins a ridiculous Byzantine web of un-reconcile-able, unmergable accounts.

      • Mikea says:

        Does that mean when my XBox account gets hacked, I’m not able to sign into my computer for 45 days while the customer support guys investigate? ‘Cause if so, super sadface.

    • DK says:

      You have to sign into GFWL.
      The official Microsoft line is that you don’t need GFWL anymore because you sign into windows. In other words, they’ve integrated GFWL into your fucking OS on a basic level. They now FORCE you to use GFWL instead of it merely infesting some otherwise very good games.

    • Ucodia says:

      To use Windows 8 you will have to create a Live ID which the universal ID to which is linked all your account from the Microsoft universe (MSN, Zune, Xbox/GFWL, Hotmal/Outlook, …). This Live ID will actually represent your WIndows user.
      As Windows 8 will have its own integrated Store, I assume that games and DLCs will be purchased, downloaded and uploaded from there. It will be like an integrated Steam with apps in the end.
      I personally think that with such an integration and transparence, we can consider that GFWL is dead.

  5. Ovno says:

    MY god, achievements in minesweeper… the end really is nigh!!!

  6. wcanyon says:

    What’s this about: “stealths a shopping channel into the heart of the OS” ? I don’t understand.

    • Smashbox says:

      Metro™ interface can only run Metro™ apps that have passed Microsoft cert, been added to the Microsoft store and and for whom 30% of the sale price goes directly to Microsoft. You can’t side-load, and the OS defaults to Metro™.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        It’s not the Metro UI anymore due to Metro being a big shopping chain in Germany or something… so now it is the “Windows 8 style UI”

        Why they didn’t just call it the “Tile UI” instead is beyond me

      • Joe Duck says:

        Is there any piece of news saying that the actual cut is 30%? I do not seem to recall it.

        • DrGonzo says:

          They said they take 30% unless you take over, I think it was $20,000 in which case they take 20%.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          link to

          With successful apps on Windows, you’ll make more money than the industry standard, earning 80% of every customer dollar, after an app makes more than 25,000 USD in sales. For the first 25,000 USD of an app’s sales, you get the industry-standard 70%.

          The price tier sets the price of your app. You can offer your app for free or, when the Windows Store supports sales, pick a price tier for it. Price tiers will be available from 1.49 USD on up, in increments of 0.50 USD to 4.99 USD, with higher price tiers also available.

          The cost to register for a Windows Store developer account in the United States is 49 USD for an individual and 99 USD for a company.

        • Ragnar says:

          I don’t know that there is, but that’s not an unreasonable guess. To put it into perspective, that’s about the cut Steam takes, while brick and mortar stores take about 50%.

          • dirtrobot says:

            But closed walled garden fortress Steam is your friend! Not quite confirmed, rumour-driven walled garden with an open gate Win8 is your enemy!

            War is peace!

          • Premium User Badge

            HothMonster says:

            Hate more fun than understanding! SHOUTING!!

          • Henke says:

            LOUD NOISES!

          • Karmakaze says:


          • DK says:

            Apart from Steam being optional and coming with actual advantages. Such as allowing developers to patch their games without Valve taking a massive multi-thousand dollar cut for every patch except patch #1. And having to go through a lenghty certification process for every change they want to make on their game.

            Yeah, apart from all the things Steam does far better than Microsoft, Steam is just as bad as Microsoft. Preach on brother.

  7. somnolentsurfer says:

    Wow. I’d always thought knobjockey was homophobic slang, but I guess I must have been wrong, ’cause that sort of thing wouldn’t find a place on RPS.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Urban Dictionary suggests that it might alternately be slut-shaming!

      There are options here.

      (To be honest, I hadn’t thought anything of the word when I saw it, but your comment has pointed out my oversight! Thank you.)

    • Alec Meer says:

      I’d always thought it basically meant Massive Twat, but have altered just in case it does cause offence.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        yea, I generally treat it as a bit of a generic disparage

      • DrGonzo says:

        It certainly is homophobic.

        • Ovno says:


          a person who literally ‘jockeys’ knobs/penises/cocks/dicks. ie they ride dick all day long. this person can be male or female.

          Nothing homophobic about that, though some of the other meanings are a little less balanced…

          • The Random One says:

            But if you’re using it as an insult, you’re saying that there’s something wrong with riding penises. Either because the target is a man and men shouldn’t like other penises (homophobia) or the target is a woman and shouldn’t enjoy sex acts (slut shaming).

            There’s nothing wrong with riding penises, whatever your gender may be, as long as you ride responsibly.

          • TheApologist says:

            It’s literal referent might not seem homophobic, but in my experience the term has been almost exclusively used as a homophobic slur.

            Thanks for editing it out, Alec

          • Hoaxfish says:

            As a fake righteous puritan all penis-based activity is inherently evil

          • Koozer says:

            “But if you’re using it as an insult, you’re saying that there’s something wrong with riding penises.”

            …What is RPS policy on listing a long string of naughty words that relate to specific activities while not actually denigrating said activities? Eh, I’m sure the gentlemanly/ladylike readerbase can think of plenty examples on their own in any case.

          • Premium User Badge

            sasayan says:

            “There’s nothing wrong with riding penises, whatever your gender may be, as long as you ride responsibly.”

            Comments like this is why RPS comments are worth reading.

          • Josh W says:

            “But if you’re using it as an insult, you’re saying that there’s something wrong with riding penises.”

            I believe that premise is completely fucked, words have vulgar uses that are totally different from their considered ones.

  8. OJSlaughter says:

    “Embarrass yourself in front of your friends on both Xbox and Windows by earning 400 Gamerscore on Minesweeper. Yes you heard us right, Minesweeper!” – Microsoft Press Release

  9. NetsukeMonkey says:

    Cheevos for Minesweeper – I guess this time Microsoft have really put their foot in it!

  10. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    MS are intent on giving Steam & other digital PC stores a half hearted fight for consumer PC gaming funds in the next few years instead of improving their own GFWL services (which were unofficially abandoned in June 2011 when it merged with in case no-one knew that but MS will never publically announce it as they have to maintain legacy GFWL support for years to come its cheaper to keep the GFWL servers running than shut them down altogether) Windows 8 + Xbox For Windows is their answer!! I doubt any hardcore PC gamers will buy Windows 8 that just leaves the casual crowd as its going to be bundled with new MS Surface Tablets as well as other mobile devices like Laptops/Smart Phones.

    Halo4 for instance supports @ launch MS Surface Tablets (not sure in what capacity if its the entire game or just controls/menus) but not PC’s you can see MS are taking an almighty stab at the PC here by also forcing Indie Devs to go Windows 8 only if they want to bring their XBLA games to PC in future or Windows 7+GFWL not both they must chose one or the other according to MS (or self publish themselves on PC when the exclusivity agreement expires in 6-12 months depending on how much clout they had when they signed the XBLA exclusivity agreement).

    In the next 2-3 years I doubt much will change but beyond that the walled garden of Windows 8 App Store & Xbox For Windows Gamertag logons will cause massive changes in PC gaming as we know it today. Kiss goodbye any mod support (who will risk their gamertag getting blocked or deleted when its the OS default username for instance & has all your purchases linked to it!!).

    This is why Valve are so concerned now they know MS are looking to gradually control PC gaming if that happens its big trouble for PC gamers as well as the PC exclusive publishers & Indie scene.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It’s amusing to see that some pre/reviews are actually saying Win8 is shit as a tablet OS as well.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It would be illegal if they forced devs to use Windows 8 to get a game on XBLA.

      Been using Windows 8 for a while now. It’s not closed, not sure where that comes from, the same place tinfoil hat wearing loons do.

      • Baines says:

        Haven’t they already done this? Wasn’t there already a dev who said that Microsoft made them choose between supporting Win7 or only supporting Win8 and getting XBLA?

        Microsoft has already been doing forced exclusives for the right to release an XBLA title. This is only a further extension of that idea. Microsoft isn’t even the only platform holder guilty of such tactics, and both Nintendo and Sony have used such behaviors in the past (and possibly still do.)

        • Somerled says:

          Pretty much

          But it was a matter of what was supported by either GFWL or Win8 and how to get their game on XBLA. Not a straight up restriction on what they were allowed to do, but I wouldn’t bet against MS deliberately limiting support in Win8 and GFWL to influence the decision making process.

    • The Random One says:

      I agree completely with PC-GAMER-4LIFE.

      The end must be nigh indeed…

  11. PleasingFungus says:

    We can only hope that “Xbox Windows” will be as successful as its predecessor cross-platform media branding initiative, “Windows Live”.

    We can only hope.

    • Ragnar says:

      And will then be replaced by Xbox Windows Live, which will in turn be replaced by Games for Xbox Windows Live, finally culminating in Live Windows for Xbox Games Live.

      • Ridnarhtim says:

        “Live Windows Live Games for Live xBox Live” Live

      • shmoodow says:

        Promptly followed by Giantbomb’s Big Live Live Show: Live! on Live Windows for Xbox Games Live

  12. NathanH says:

    The “Good Memory” achievement is a good idea, that’s a fun way to play minesweeper and more people should be encouraged to try it.

  13. Shooop says:

    Is the new management at Microsoft really this stupid? Do they really believe PC gaming is impossible and therefore everyone should buy a console instead?

    This may be true for some people, but there a few of us who like playing games on their PC and are noticeably more intelligent than a boiled vegetable.

    • Brun says:

      That’s the problem – intelligent users are more difficult to please and more likely to find problems/bugs/shortcomings with your product. They cause more issues for Microsoft than normal users.

      • Phantoon says:

        Which causes a problem, because those people all go buy Apple products anyways.

        The other half of Apple users are artists, who generally either own a PC anyways, or live in Portland.

    • FrankGrimesy says:

      I guess MS management thinks that gamers are irrelevant for their core business and don’t care for our whining about GFWL. Furthermore I think that the app store is not even meant for ‘big’ games, and so they fall in the niche we all cherish in buying games from steam/origin/ and mortar stores and not through their store.

      So does their attempt to unify/uglify their GUI encroach in our territory?
      No, really no.

      TLDR, I think its ‘don’t care’ and not stupidity.

  14. UncleSpinnyDervish says:

    Bring it on Microsoft! I survived GFWL, I can survive this.

  15. goyanix says:

    “Metro-styled” should no longer be used! It should be “Windows-8-styled-UI-styled”…

  16. subedii says:

    I would be interested in seeing a writeup on RPS detailing why exactly Windows 8 is so bad.

    I have a rough idea, but now Gabe Newell, Brad Wardell, heck even Blizzard are saying it’s bad news, whilst John Carmack seems to be an outlier and his view on it is merely that it doesn’t offer anything of value to them.

    • Brun says:

      The reason that Valve and Blizzard specifically are saying Windows 8 is bad (besides the obvious reasons) is that they already have large, highly profitable, and mature markets based exclusively on the PC – Valve has Steam and Blizzard has Windows 8’s app store is nothing but bad things for these players because their platforms fill the same space.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Look at it this way… Blizzard has a store, Steam has a store, GoG has a DRM-free store… that’s 3 choices. Add in the Humble Bundle DRM free, indies who run their own stores/direct downloads, etc.

        Take all those away, and replace it with one MS owned store, for better or worse.

        User choice over which services to buy into, or not, is replaced by one run exclusively by MS with full control (and MS are not exactly known for being a benevolent dictator).

        • Kittim says:

          Hi Hoaxfish,

          I too think that Windows H8 is an appalling chimera of an O/S but can you link to where is says that other digital distribution services will be forced to go through MS App Shop?

          As it stands, I’ll be avoiding 8 and unless 9 is a massive rollback into something that respects my privacy and does not look like a phone, Windows 9 will be Windows Nein for me too.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            As I understand it, Steam+friends can be installed as normal, as desktop software (just like windows 7).

            But, the Metro part will be marketplace only. The basic explanation is that only signed apps through the marketplace are considered “secure”, and insecure things are simply not allowed.

            You will not be able to install a Metro-version of Steam, to install Metro apps, as it is a form of unmonitored 3rd-party installer. The same thing happens with iOS, that you cannot install something which runs someone else’s code… though I may be getting this mixed up with something like Java which actively runs that 3rd-party code.

            I’m looking through the marketplace agreement on MS’s website, but can’t locate anything with recognisable wording to match.

          • Kittim says:

            Thanks for taking the time to reply Hoaxfish.

    • Obc says:

      i would appreciate it too. i have read some stuff but i still don’t really have a clue what exactly is the problem. what part is closed off and for whom? how will it affect me, work pc’s and more importantly video game developing and playing?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The problems are many and varied, ranging from issues with screen-size/multiscreen (the larger the screen the more you have to move the mouse to hit “hot corners” on different edges of the screen), multitasking (you can only have a main+sidebar on screen at a time, and if you have too many things open Windows takes it upon itself to shut some down), in “app” advertising (music and video player have adverts for Justin Bieber’s latest, or Batman), to the more abstract things like the new “walled garden” aspects of the Metro UI half.

      It’s frankly too much to cover in one post, and most of the real detail/discussion is found on much more “techy” sites (as opposed to entertainment/gaming sites like RPS). Indeed, if you simply open up a game of Doom 3 and play all day, you probably won’t see many of the issues that people are finding with Win8.

      • FrankGrimesy says:

        No, really, where are the problems?
        Just to reduce the complaints you bring, yes I don’t like the new startmenu UI, and dislike the ‘touch-like’ gestures you have to do with your mouse for some things.

        But outside of those two innumerable things.
        What is it?
        When I get a application from the windows store, I could get in-app advertising, you say. So what? currently I get offered a ‘search bar’. Yay, it’s currently much better.

        So where is the drawback?
        Does windows suddenly get worse, because people buy applications from the store to get information they could get for free from internet sites? (It sucks nevertheless, but all alternatives have an equal amount of awkwardness)

        Does your workflow suffer because starting new applications takes you to an ugly place?

        I too don’t get it.
        I dislike the metro GUI, but I only see positive effects from the app store, in that the ‘small applications space’ gets united and cleaned up. OSS won’t die. Firefox won’t die. PC-gaming is already dead, since some analyst said so.

        So what is the ‘big’ problem?

        • Brun says:

          Pretty much everyone that posts on RPS is what Microsoft would consider a “power user.” Being one is basically a requirement of being a PC gamer. You keep holding up things like the Windows Store as things that will make things easier and faster for users – but typically, things that make things more convenient for normal users come at the cost of throwing power users under the bus. The reduction in flexibility and freedom is definitely not something power users want.


          that the ‘small applications space’ gets united and cleaned up

          Let me finish that sentence for you:

          The small applications space gets united and cleaned up under the control of Microsoft.

          It’s the same reason people dislike Apple’s ecosystem. Microsoft’s isn’t as bad as Apple’s, but it’s still worse than it was in the past. It’s a step in the wrong direction.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          The advertising example is exactly what happened to Xbox’s recent overhaul of their UI… so heavily invested that you have to scroll through multiple things before you get the games section, let alone what you want to actually play. So, not an easily ignored sidebar (I can and do ignore those, without using adblock plugins) but one that pushes you into unnecessary “scrolling around”. The specific apps I mentioned are default apps… no need to take a trip to the app store to get them, they’re already part of the OS you paid for.

          Workflow is not just about where you were, it’s about how easily you can both see and move between all your active pieces of work, and how readily you can re-arrange (it’s almost the core reason for a “desktop” emulating real desks). Mucking about on the internet barely has workflow beyond the occasional tabbing, but actual computer use, like programming, documentation, certainly benefits from a level of control Metro doesn’t offer. The “metro” start screen is fairly disorientating in so far as it obscures your whole screen, doesn’t show anything about what is currently running, or even the time. Mouse movement is all over the place as you chase different corners of the screen, rather than a regular dip down to a specific corner. It’s a bit like keeping your eyes closed every time you go to the kitchen for a snack.

          Firefox is already being “denied” by MS in regards to Metro browsers, with only IE being allowed access to certain “tricks”. Sure, Mozilla can carry on anyway, by MS has weighted the game. (though the EU might step in again)

          The app store is fine, if it’s just a competitor along side things like Steam, or Adobe’s download service, etc. Apple’s own app store, something MS is happy to mimic, and MS’ XBLA, show how badly things can work. With their exclusive hold on those platforms, developers are essentially subject to the whims of a disinterested 3rd party. One that can block, ban, or just generally obstruct with no alternative path.

          It’s fairly obviously that retraining windows users for Win8 will be a messy horrible task…. because the start screen is accessed via an invisible effect. People who just about understand that the Internet is not just “the blue e” will have to understand that in order to access programs they’ll now have to “try and push out of the lower-left corner with the mouse”, to shutdown is “push out the right side”. The tablet-ness has poor discoverability. Shortcuts, and other tricks, are the domain of computer savvy users only.

          I do like some of the ideas the (live) tile arrangement brings to “Start”, but the rest can be appalling if you’re really trying to do something, especially if you’re split across both desktop and metro UIs of the OS.

          If you live on the Win8 desktop there are some improvements… but you might as well use Win7 if that’s the extent of your use.

          But as I said, this is a handful of the issues. I’m not going to link to the multitude of other tech sites that cover these aspects (usually one at a time), as the “pre-release” status of the OS is still nebulous enough that some issues have been improved (multi-screen hot-corners is better than the pixel-hunt it was, but still not perfect).

          • psyk says:

            “The advertising example is exactly what happened to Xbox’s recent overhaul of their UI… so heavily invested that you have to scroll through multiple things before you get the games section, let alone what you want to actually play.”

            Already installed games or when buying games?

            for installed games –
            Click the guide button on the controller
            scroll left
            click “my games”

            for buying games
            Click the guide button on the controller
            scroll left twice
            click “game marketplace”
            scroll right

            Fucking move to “home entertainment system oooo look at me center of your living room” bullshit instead of pure games console RAWRRRRRRR
            RANT END

      • Solidstate89 says:

        Windows DOES NOT take it upon itself to shut down applications. Stop repeating this.

        It’s only for Metro apps as it’s a way to conserve battery life and RAM usage for tablets (both ARM and x86 based) so if it’s an old process that hasn’t been used it will shut it down.

        It will not just randomly shut down your desktop movie player or your browser or your game. For crying out loud.

  17. MrStones says:

    *Calculated risk* – come within 6 spaces of a mine
    *Danger close* – come within 3 spaces of a mine
    *The power is MINE* – fully upgrade both left and right click
    *Criminal MINE-d’s* – Complete the game with full negative alignment

    Sigh R.I.P. Minesweeper

    • LionsPhil says:

      Don’t Blow It — Get to the last pair of unrevealed/unflagged tiles on a maximum size grid and not have enough information to avoid having to guess which is safe
      Metal Defector — Use the ‘xyzzy’ cheat and still manage to lose
      Mine’d the Gap — Set the mine density so low that you win the game in a single click

      Hmm. It does actually occur to me that at least one of their achievement descriptions explicitly refers to landmines, after the whole hoo-hah in Vista/7 about rebranding it to flowers and seamines and other such things for reasons of cultural sensitivity.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Only one step away from dubstep edition

  18. LionsPhil says:

    I was flabbergasted enough when I fired up Minesweeper in a Win7 release candidate VM and was told it may run poorly due to the lack of 3D accelleration.

  19. marcusfell says:

    Linux is looking good…

    • LintMan says:

      Yep. And suddenly Valve’s move to support linux is quite explained. And none too soon.

    • Kittim says:

      Been using MS since 3.1 (yes I’m old) and aside from a brief flirtation with O/S2 Warp stuck with them.

      But I have to agree, Windows 8 looks to be MS’s nadir.

      I tried Ubuntu 64-bit in a VM a couple of weeks ago and must admit that I was surprised at how painless it was.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I don’t think having used Win 3.1 really qualifies as “old”. You can be around for that era and still be the youthful side of 30.

        • DrScuttles says:

          Indeed, you can be a few years shy of 30 and have fond memories of Workbench, DOS and Windows 3.1 and upwards.

          Of course, in internet years 30 is like Christopher Lee old.

        • jezcentral says:

          If you think there is a youthful side of thirty, you are old.

        • LintMan says:

          LOL, I thought he was talking about MS DOS 3.1, not Win 3.1. For me, DOS 3.2 was the earliest PC compatible OS I used, so I thought he had me beat.

          Now I feel really really old.

  20. DrGonzo says:

    Really would like to hear where the theories of a closed OS come from. It has the new UI overlay, which is incredibly easy to not use, and a store which most people will probably never even notice.

    It isn’t closed, allows you to run anything you want on it, except it has a better interface imo. Boots in half the time, runs faster and is generally just an overall improvement over Windows 7.

    But noooo, it’s Windows 8 and it’s eeeeeeevil and closed. Coming from a writer who uses an iPad it’s so hilariously stupid it’s embarrassing. This is the crap I was tweeting about. Carry on with your objectivity without me.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      my post from the “Gabe Newell says it’s closed” comments: link to

      basically, the metro bit is a walled garden (much like iOS and XBox), the win7-style desktop is not.

      Obviously MS is pushing Metro as “the future”, and their marketplace as the only way to get into that future… via a toll gate.

      • Brun says:

        This. Windows 8 might not be totally closed, but Microsoft is planning long-term here. The reason that Windows 8 seems like a mashup of Metro and Windows 7 is that it is intended to bridge the gap between the present (Windows 7) and the future (Metro). Its purpose is to gradually familiarize people with Metro and start slowly transitioning them toward that style of thinking. This is evident throughout the design of the OS – it’s the reason why there’s no more start menu, for example. The removal of the Start menu is meant to FORCE users to use the Metro Start Screen to launch programs, to FORCE them to get familiar with Metro.

        So the real question becomes, what will Windows 9 look like? How much more of the OS will the closed ecosystem (Metro) infect? Windows 8 may still be relatively open, but people don’t like it because with it Microsoft has begun to close the door.

        • Tasloi says:

          My thoughts exactly. MS themselves refer to the desktop as legacy nowadays so not a big jump to conclude that it’s on the way out to be fully replaced by Metro, Tile UI or whatever they call that abomination. It’s why i’m not hopeful Windows 9 will be any better, chances are it’ll be the fully closed OS most people are worried about.

      • MacTheGeek says:

        La Petomane Thruway? What’ll that asshole think of next?

        Anybody got a dime? Somebody’s gonna have to go back and get a shitload of dimes!

    • Alec Meer says:

      The issue is that MS are *trying* – frankly not very successfully in Win 8 at least as the trad. desktop is still underneath – to make it closed rather than it *is* unavoidably closed. They’ve seen iOS and they really, really want to do that on ‘their’ platform.

      Clearly you and I and everyone here will find a squillion easy ways around it because we will tend to go straight to the desktop/traditional interface, but they’re hoping the less tech-savvy user will be entirely unaware there’s a software ecosystem outside of all the stuff Metro’s trying to flog them from its calming coloured squares.

      A game dev is thus going to want/be easily convinced to be on Metro if that’s where the audience is, and then they get into all the licensing, approval and tithes necessary to be so.

      • psyk says:

        Who are these mystical computer users? If users that are that dense still exist then education needs to take a massive step forward.

        • LintMan says:

          They’re not that mystical. For many many people, their PC is not the toy, gadget, hobby, or obsession it is for me, you, or most of the people on this site. For them, it’s just a tool, an appliance, to get at their email and facebook, browse the web, look at some photos, and maybe write an occasional document.

          Like someone telling me the new fall fashions will focus on a new polyester blend, the underlying OS matters not a whit to them. Until I discover my new shirts are itchy, or they’re confronted with having to learn the new UI. But by that time it will be far too late for it to matter because the purchase decision is over.

          And since their basic needs (email, facebook, web, photos, office) will be right in their face in the new UI, many of these users will never bother learning how to get back to the desktop and thus get trapped in the walled garden.

          • Kaira- says:

            This also ties in very neatly on “the coming war on general computing”. I’ll quote the short description:

            The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.

            The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no airplanes, only computers that fly. There are no cars, only computers we sit in. There are no hearing aids, only computers we put in our ears. There are no 3D printers, only computers that drive peripherals. There are no radios, only computers with fast ADCs and DACs and phased-array antennas. Consequently anything you do to “secure” anything with a computer in it ends up undermining the capabilities and security of every other corner of modern human society.

    • Sic says:

      You’re not seeing the bigger picture here.

      This is the completely opposite direction anyone sane would want an OS to go in. Operating systems are just that, platforms for running applications. Any amount of bloat that doesn’t actually do anything for the consumer is not supposed to be there; and if you think it does, you’re not looking at this from the perspective of the user.

      Metro and the app store does absolutely NOTHING for the desktop consumer. It is MS response to a lot of actors going for lock-in style platforms. It is solely bad.

      Whatever improvements they might have done at the kernel level or outside the lock-in ease-in is negligible as long as they are moving in the direction they are moving.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        Got it in one, I want my operating system to allow me to configure my hardware and run my applications nothing more, all the other shit that Metro does I either don’t want or have another program to do it. And as for the interface being an overlay, it isn’t from what i hear, the desktop is the overlay to Metro with Metro constantly running in the background.

      • FrankGrimesy says:

        No it is not, it is the same way all OS are going. Cram as many things into the OS as possible, to reduce the work programmers and users have to do.

        Why should the OS bring more drivers then absolutely necessary? Because it is convenient for the user.

        Why should the OS bring an application store? Because it is absolutely awesome for developers and users.

        You don’t have to search for ‘generic music player name’ anymore, you can just look one up in the store. It is (more or less) safe, because the (OS/store) developer pre-screens the applications. Due to certain requirements, you can be sure, that it doesn’t take 5 minutes to load, doesn’t continually phone home, or just annoys you on a constant basis.

        What is there not to love?

        For a low first time investment, you can easily get your program into a store which doesn’t try to f*?k you over. You have instant access to a user base which can easily buy your work. You don’t have to organize the payment system, it is done for you already.

        Yes, certain things cannot be put onto the app store (e.g. big fast games, steam, …), but does this hinder any current or future program to run on Win8 or be bought through other channels? NO

        So does Win8 really impact our games? No! Does it have any sideeffects other then a hate for its startmenu GUI? No …

        So please explain to me, what is the large impact/outcry outside of ‘We hate the new GUI’. (And outside of a investor in Steam/Origin/… who has fear of losing the ‘small games’ crowd)

        • onsamyj says:

          Actually, is there a MS policy against in-app purchases? Or it’s just going to be a really big cut: MS taking 30%, then Valve taking another 15% (is its 15%?)?

          And why Valve can’t release something like Steam Social for The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Metro-UI, with news, friends and group interactions, and similar staff, but without store itself, like they did for Android (you can buy in Android app, I know).

          • FrankGrimesy says:

            Sorry, I don’t know. They have a model for doing in-app purchases as this shows MSDN page. But I would guess the cut is the same 30%.

            Valve can offer a app that allows you to purchase games from their store (giving a cut to MS) and providing access to many of their services from the app. Though they cannot launch games from within their app.

            Edit: There seems to be clause that you can use your own payment system for in-app purchases. If that is the case, MS cannot get demand money from you, but I am uncertain See this

          • onsamyj says:

            Or they can ignore this whole situation: Steam is the brand of PC gaming. Like with Xbox in US (afaik): “all my friends are playing The Game on Xbox, so I’m going too (sorry, PS3)”. Somehow all these “less tech-savvy” users installed Steam on their machines without one-store-to-rule-them-all, right? Nothing going to change it. And so with, Origin, GoG and bundles – if it is a good product, obviously.

            There is similar situation on Android: there is Google Play, but there is Amazon, B&N and others. Or you can download app from developer’s website. And, as Google, MS need to push Win 8 on many-many platforms, and be friends with many-many hardware companies – there is no chance in hell they going to close OS like Apple.

        • LintMan says:

          “So please explain to me, what is the large impact/outcry outside of ‘We hate the new GUI’. (And outside of a investor in Steam/Origin/… who has fear of losing the ‘small games’ crowd)”

          The problem here is that MS is wrapping their operating system is a new UI, while acting as a tollbooth to all developers who want their software to use that new UI. The Metro app store is not only a store, it is a gatekeeper, and all must pay for entry. Only the MS Metro app store can install software for the Metro UI, which means you can’t buy Metro software at the local shop, you can’t get it from Steam, or GoG or HumbleBundle or Blizzard or Gamestop or Gamer’s Gate or direct from the developer. Only from Microsoft, with 30% of the profits going to them. Sure, all those other outlets can still exist, but they are relegated to the ghetto of the desktop compatibility mode, and excluded from Microsoft’s “future” of Metro UI. Don’t expect MS to make much effort to make sure that things are easy and convenient for desktop users going forward. Actually, you can probably expect the opposite.

          So the results of the walled-off Metro app store?
          – More expensive software (because MS takes a cut of everything Metro, going forward). Forget things like Steam sales or Humble Bundles for Metro apps.
          – Less software variety (MS can pick and choose what apps are allowed in the store. Ie: probably no “offensive” apps, as defined by MS)
          – MS already is bludgeoning developers with requirements like “no XBLA access unless you provide exclusive Metro support”
          – MS already poorly manages their current store, charging devs outrageous fees to release a patch, resulting in buggy software going unpatched because the developer can’t afford the ridiculous patch fees.

          So, it’s not that MS is making an app store that’s a problem, it’s that MS is making an app store that is the sole source of entry into the UI that MS has designated as the “future” of their operating systems going forward, and that MS has already abused its leverage and position of power with its current XBox app store, giving us little reason to expect better from them on the PC.

          • FrankGrimesy says:

            – More expensive software (because MS takes a cut of everything Metro, going forward). Forget things like Steam sales or Humble Bundles for Metro apps.

            No, it cuts costs, so that 90% of application do not make a profit, like most iOS apps which are too cheap to allow a developer to profit from development.
            Sorry, but prices for small applications tanked. There is no shareware anymore (outside of a couple of exceptions).

            – Less software variety (MS can pick and choose what apps are allowed in the store. Ie: probably no “offensive” apps, as defined by MS)

            So don’t go the desktop route. Yes, this will be supported in the next 10 years or so. Is it really so bad, that you cannot do it as an metro app?

            – MS already is bludgeoning developers with requirements like “no XBLA access unless you provide exclusive Metro support”

            Yes bad thing, this must stop. You are right, this is a very bad thing, and must be changed, but saying Win8 is the end of the world, detracts from this bad thing.

            – MS already poorly manages their current store, charging devs outrageous fees to release a patch, resulting in buggy software going unpatched because the developer can’t afford the ridiculous patch fees.

            Sorry, but I don’t like this example, fez, the only developer who really complained about that, was told that this is bad before going into the contract. Did moan when it suddenly happens to him, and then we as players moan, that patches and zero-day bugfixes are bad for us players. We cannot have all, “A discouraging policy to continuously patch games, and no policy to punish game developers who patch too much after release”. But I disgress.

            Currently its a certain fee, they publicized the rates, and when you don’t accept the fees, develop desktop software. Please do that multiplatform to allow yourself to switch your OS if necessary.

            So sorry, I don’t see your ‘future’ problem with the app store, because there are too many problems with the current model of forcing costs on to developers to publish applications.

            On another note, I really hope the multiplatform endeavors of the store competitors pan out, so that we can have (more) competition and innovation in the software store space, and not this 95% windows, 80% steam, 10% origin, x% rest, mono-culture.

            The only point I am making is, that neither windows 8 nor the windows app store are this apocalyptic disaster for the windows software environment and pc-gaming in particular.

          • Barnaby says:

            Just because many people on the internet use hyperbole and tend to overstate things, it does not mean there aren’t extremely valid complaints wrapped up in all of it. People saying “so what is the big deal?!?” aren’t paying attention. I just read through two whole pages of people explaining what the problems are. If you don’t see what the issue is then you aren’t paying attention… Or ideologically, you are broken.

            It might not be the worst thing ever, but it’s pretty clear it is a step in the wrong direction.

          • LintMan says:

            “No, it cuts costs, so that 90% of application do not make a profit, like most iOS apps which are too cheap to allow a developer to profit from development.
            Sorry, but prices for small applications tanked. There is no shareware anymore (outside of a couple of exceptions).”

            iOS applets are a whole different market than real commercial software like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Quick Books Pro, Call of Duty, etc. What do you think will happen when they have to give MS a 30% cut of all their software sales? Do you honestly think that will drive the price DOWN?

            “So don’t go the desktop route. Yes, this will be supported in the next 10 years or so. Is it really so bad, that you cannot do it as an metro app?”

            So DON’T go the desktop route? That doesn’t seem to make sense. As far as “is it really that bad to be shut out of Metro?” – Yes, because it is highly likely that MS will over time make it a royal pain for desktop users and developers. How? By refusing to fix interoperability and usability issues that crop up with the desktop, by gradually introducing incompatibilities that inconvenience desktop users, and refusing to support desktop with whatever new advancements it adds to its OSes in the future. MS does this crap ALL THE TIME. Refer to DirectX 10 only being available in Vista when they admitted they could have had it in XP. Or look how Visual C++ languishes compared to the love they heap on Visual C#. Hell, in Visual Studio 2008, if you only choose to install Visual C++, the setup program FORGETS TO INSTALL THE ACTUAL C++ COMPILER. You HAVE to install the other languages to get it to install the C++ compiler.

            “Yes bad thing, this must stop. You are right, this is a very bad thing, and must be changed, but saying Win8 is the end of the world, detracts from this bad thing.”

            Nice straw man. Where did I say Win8 is the “end of the world”. I see it as a shitty power grab by Microsoft with far more bad than good coming out of it.

            “Sorry, but I don’t like this example, fez, the only developer who really complained about that, was told that this is bad before going into the contract. Did moan when it suddenly happens to him, and then we as players moan, that patches and zero-day bugfixes are bad for us players. We cannot have all, “A discouraging policy to continuously patch games, and no policy to punish game developers who patch too much after release”. But I disgress.

            Currently its a certain fee, they publicized the rates, and when you don’t accept the fees, develop desktop software. Please do that multiplatform to allow yourself to switch your OS if necessary.”

            Why are you anti-software patching. Software patches are a good thing. I like developers that support and fix their software. I WANT developers to support and fix their software. I DO NOT want MS to tack some outrageous fee onto this process to discourage developers from doing this. I don’t care is MS announces the fee to developers up front – it’s just a shitty, unecessary thing to do to gain them more money. AFAIK, Steam doesn’t charge devs to patch their games, and neither does Apple, nor the other software distribution places. What is the consumer benefit of MS charging devs $10000 to release a patch?

            “So sorry, I don’t see your ‘future’ problem with the app store, because there are too many problems with the current model of forcing costs on to developers to publish applications.”

            What costs? In the current world of things, software gets patched ALL THE TIME without cost to MS. And now MS is forcing itself into the process and claiming the devs need to pay for it’s “costs”.

            Imagine that I just put a gate in between you and the grocery store you shop at. Now, everything you want to buy has to go through me, and I insist that the grocery store pay me 30% of their sales, and they must also reimburse me for my “costs”, such as keeping the gate oiled, scrutinizing your purchases, and handing you your packages. Sound like a bargain to you?

            “The only point I am making is, that neither windows 8 nor the windows app store are this apocalyptic disaster for the windows software environment and pc-gaming in particular.”

            What people here are talking about is Microsoft’s vision for the future, and what those implications are if they succeed. Just as with any threat, it is useful to consider the worst case scenarios. It’s quite possible that Win8 will be the new Vista and people will stay away in droves. Or that Metro apps will be relegated entirely to crapplets and the spectre of further anitrust action forces MS to sustain desktop support. But awareness is important.

    • onsamyj says:

      Because bad, scary news is better than real ones.

  21. Phantoon says:

    I should make a version of Minesweeper where every space is a person, and if a landmine goes off, that many people die. I will call it art, and people will argue about it like they did that shitty call of dudey game, and it will still be better than all of this crap.

  22. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    This Xbox Windows thing could be a good thing, I doubt Microsoft would want to pour some shit on their Xbox brand which, let’s be fair, they’ve done quite well with for a fisher price toy. In that sense I can see a future where games actually update correctly, serial numbers work and matchmaking is worth a damn.

    Hell, it can’t be any worse that GFWL… can it?

    EDIT: What is this madness? Just make it all steamworks for crying out loud.

  23. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    I always despair when people refer to Mah Jongg as a singleplayer game…

    • psyk says:

      :D haha

      Able to recommend a good computer version of mah jongg?

  24. Meanmachine says:

    Microsoft Games Studio and the Windows division no longer knows what a PC game is. Its just something to get achievements on for them. FREAKS!

  25. bwion says:

    Eh. I can see where people are coming from with the fear. *If* the app store takes off and *if* Microsoft quietly (or not-so-quietly) phases out the desktop side of Windows so that their gated community is the only way to use your PC and *if* they maintain absolute control over what can be installed in Metro (sorry, Windows 8 Styled Completely-Non-Infringing User Interface Product Cheese Food Spread), then we’ve got a problem.

    Fortunately, the app store’s almost certainly going to be a ghost town a year from now, the desktop isn’t going anywhere, at least until such time as desktop machines and traditional laptops themselves are deemed obsolete and it’s nothing but tablets and phones out there (hint, this will never actually happen), Microsoft won’t be allowed to do anything that even hints at a monopoly (because unlike other computing companies, they’re, um, evil or something), and so forth.

    This is clearly Microsoft suddenly realizing that tablets and touchscreens exist and flailing about trying to get their foot into that market. Which isn’t to say that they probably wouldn’t love to make traditional PCs into a closed moneymaking system for them, but I can’t say that I’m terribly worried right now that that will actually ever happen.

    • psyk says:

      All devs are going to stop making backwards compatible software and completely kill any profit they could make. :p

      We still have people using xp

  26. Lemming says:

    Looking more and more like alot of us will be playing Mines instead, then, courtesy of Linux Mint.

  27. ScubaMonster says:

    I hope software and game developers start taking a closer look at Linux now. I’d dump Windows in a heart beat if Linux actually started getting real native support. (no, Wine is not the solution, it doesn’t work with a lot of crap).

    • psyk says:

      If they can guarantee that my 20+ years of games will work then sure. No dual boot is not an option.

      • Kaira- says:

        Funny thing is, the older the game is, the more likely it is to run on Linux as opposed to Windows. At least according to my anecdotal evidence.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I would abandon windows in a second if linux could support my games.

  28. captain nemo says:

    Another winner from Steve “Me too” Ballmer. I wonder does he go to fancy dress parties as Steve Jobs ?

  29. ACid says:

    Any news on the paid DLCs? I’d like to see a different ending. Some extra high-end content would be nice too.

  30. MythArcana says:

    Not buying or using Windows 8. MS needs to stop trying to best Apple and come up with something viable, original, fresh, and visually ergonomic. That horrible desktop looks like a short bus colliding with a paint store.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      The desktop looks pretty much the same, minus the transparency, and if there isn’t a built in option for the old transparency, you can get a really basic theme to change that. If you are talking about Metro, that is a separate thing you have to pull up, and never have to use if you don’t want to.

  31. NightShift says:

    I can already see the “MINSWEPPER SPPED RUN ALL ACHIEVEMENTS” videos about now.

    Also, I’d love to sweep this game under a mine.

  32. Solidstate89 says:

    The sheer amount of FUD and hyperbole surrounding Windows 8 on the ‘Net is enough to make me nauseous. This whole post and the comment section just reeks of ignorance and blind hatred.

  33. MadTinkerer says:

    “that latter admittedly not much of a PC staple”

    SPEAK FOR YOURSELF. Someone is clearly ignorant of the gajillions-of-games-on-one-CD-and-some-of-them-are-not-solitaire-variants genre. Many of those not-card-games are Mahjong variants.

    Fun fact: in Japan, Mahjong is basically their equivalent of Poker and is popular with Yakuza as well as casual players.

  34. El_Emmental says:

    RIP Minesweeper… :'(

  35. uh20 says:

    these kind of things make me glad i already am aquainted with linux

    i sure hope microsoft does not turn like this soo soon, but if they do, you can find me on the ubuntu help site

    we have normal minesweeper XD

  36. moondog548 says:

    I certainly hope Mojang sues for Trademark infringement.

  37. Noodlefighter says:

    Looks like Windows 8 is an attempt to kill PC gaming and promote Xbox

    • Deuteronomy says:

      How do you figure? I installed steam yesterday and downloaded a couple games, if anything win 8 seems to run them better. The whole experience with win 8 feels smoother and better thought out. Going back to 7 on my laptop is painful.

      • UberMonkey says:

        At the moment you’re essentially right — if you can ignore Metro replacing the start menu then Windows 8 is technically just an upgraded version of Windows 7. The concerns are with the future this represents. If casual users take to Metro then game developers will be compelled to develop for Metro, meaning they’ll likely end up signing exclusivity agreements (MS loves these) making the only channel for digital purchase the MS store.

        Worse than that, if Metro is as successful as MS hopes it will be it’s not entirely impossible that we’ll see a Windows 9 that has no “legacy” desktop at all, creating a true walled garden much like iOS. This seems like a leap (and it probably is, at least I hope) but I have no doubt that this is something MS would consider a “best outcome” to the Windows 8 experiment.

  38. JP says:


    Gets better and better every 6 months.

  39. drewski says:

    This makes me chuckle, but it won’t make me interested in Windows 8.

  40. D3xter says:

    Just always remember what Microsofts “Vision” for Windows/PC Gaming is before you decide spending money on this crap: link to