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Lars Peter Hammer

FS9 what to expect?

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People will always complain when they think THEIR needs have not been met. You are correct that making MSFS an open platform on which 3rd party developers could add improvements was the best thing that happened to this franchise. By doing that, MS doesn't have to spend as much time catering to the enthusiast market and let the 3rd party developers do that.Microsoft must focus their efforts on the core of their audience. And guess what? It ain't us. It is the average Joe that picks up the box, installs it, and then does barrel rolls in a 747. That is who MS designs the complete program for and who provides the lion's share of the revenue MS makes from this program (and what allows MS to continue to support it). That is why we don't see all the fancy bells and whistles that some are asking for. That is why those default planes don't have FMC's and complex, realistic panels. The average user (who probably makes up at least 80% of the market) would actually be turned off by the learning curve.The latest version of MS is an evolutionary advance off FS2000. The next version will be an evolutionary advance from FS2002. And so on. It's a wise move for MS not to mess with a graphics engine that still works well (not perfect, but well). That way, we won't need 5GHz processors with 3 GB of RAM. Improve and tweak; that's what they are doing. And it would appear, at least from the early reports, that they are doing it well.Those are just my personal viewpoints on the matter.

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There is another point here that is almost always overlooked. From the presentations at the conference Reno, it was clear to me that the MS team is just as fanatical about this hobby as we are. I, for one, am so tired of this idea that FS is a product of a monolithic evil company I could scream. The MS Team is comprised of walking, talking people, most of whome fly and most want to give us a great product because it's what they fly when they are not behind the sticks of their own airplanes. At Reno, the lead for the group told the story of several members of the team sitting in one of the programmer's offices at 1 in the morning, eyes glued to the screen of a machine running the first working build of the AI traffic, watching as the flashing light in the distance of the very first AI plane emerged from the darkness and landed on the runway. Everyone was transfixed. No green eyeshades. No calculators and accountants running around trying to figure out how to take another $54 from Propeller Head on AVSIM. I'm sure that if they had their druthers, they would make a sim that includes everything on most of the wish lists, right down to a flushing lav and smokey bar with a cold beer for the lay-overs. But its a business, MS knows its market and it allocates its resources in ways that will make it the most money. And has been pointed out well, it is not in MS's best interest to compete with third party publishers because the market is just too small, and they wouldn't do it as well. Best, Colin

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