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KevMac

Encouraging News from Microsoft

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I apologize if this has been posted before. But I thought this was somewhat encouraging...I found this posted on fsinsider.com, link here: http://www.fsinsider.com/news/Pages/AMessageFromAces.aspx"By now, many of you have heard that Microsoft has closed Aces Studio, the publisher of Microsoft Flight Simulator. This was not a reflection of the quality of the products Aces has developed, the sales performance of the games, or the quality of the team at Aces. This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft

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Well, that 'message' uses the "G-word" ( game ) far too often for my tastes...The "LIVE" thing and the "Zune" things. to me, seem aimed at kids. But thenif you look at who's buying movie tickets these days based on the "#1 this weekend"postings, that is apparently where the money is at these days.... Paul

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Well, that 'message' uses the "G-word" ( game ) far too often for my tastes...The "LIVE" thing and the "Zune" things. to me, seem aimed at kids. But thenif you look at who's buying movie tickets these days based on the "#1 this weekend"postings, that is apparently where the money is at these days.... Paul
Live! = Microsoft Code Word for Pay Rental Fees Every Month instead of $49.99 once every 3 years.So, if your idea of "encouraging" is to be charged monthly for your software, and be locked into a long-term contract to do so, then this is good news.Personally, I won't ever buy flight simulation software this way (or anything else from Microsoft this way). The reason is that, once they have enough people locked into contracts this way, they can slow development cycles to manipulate profit by dumping employees at a moments notice. Improving the simulator in any significant way would just equal a unjustifiable expense ... and so the motivations change substantially in a negative way. I won't fund that development model with my dollars, and neither should you.It's the same reason I won't buy a Zune. I don't want my music controlled by Microsoft's DRM servers. This model has been seen time and again ... where the DRM music seller just decides that it's not profitable enough any more and shuts off the servers, disabling your music collection. Yahoo did it. Everyone is pretty much on to this tactic now - so, that's why they're not buying Zunes.This plan for monthly fees will succeed only in creating a huge market for X-Plane, which could now be flush with former Flight Simulator programmers who will probably have long memories of the way they were unceremoniously dumped.

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People really need to stop speculating and jumping to ridiculous conclusions on this topic. Most simmers are not gamers in the general sense and don't understand where many these terms and product names are coming from - I am a general gamer in addition to being a simmer (I own an XBOX 360, I play PC shooters online etc.), and I know what these things are:"Games for Windows LIVE" is essentially the XBOX LIVE Dashboard system, but for PC games. It's in a bunch of games already (I use it in the PC version of Fallout 3) and it does NOT entail renting the game for a monthly fee. It tracks achievements, lets you text and voice chat with people who are playing games (even on 360 while you're on PC) etc... This is not a bad thing, XBL is extremely well implemented. Yes, there is a "marketplace" on it where you can buy downloadable content for games, but seriously how is that any different from buying something for FS off of any addon developer's store or whatever?This exact same ridiculous kind of hysteria happened when Valve (makers of the Half-Life series) announced they were going to start selling their games online via their Steam application. Everyone went raving mad saying it was DRM, they were trying to screw the community etc... Guess what, none of that crap happened! Steam is now universally loved and many gamers (myself included) buy most of our PC games off of it.Stop speculating and see what actually happens. This community will rip itself apart if people insist on convincing themselves that they know what's happening before it actually does.

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People really need to stop speculating and jumping to ridiculous conclusions on this topic. Most simmers are not gamers in the general sense and don't understand where many these terms and product names are coming from - I am a general gamer in addition to being a simmer (I own an XBOX 360, I play PC shooters online etc.), and I know what these things are:"Games for Windows LIVE" is essentially the XBOX LIVE Dashboard system, but for PC games. It's in a bunch of games already (I use it in the PC version of Fallout 3) and it does NOT entail renting the game for a monthly fee. It tracks achievements, lets you text and voice chat with people who are playing games (even on 360 while you're on PC) etc... This is not a bad thing, XBL is extremely well implemented. Yes, there is a "marketplace" on it where you can buy downloadable content for games, but seriously how is that any different from buying something for FS off of any addon developer's store or whatever?This exact same ridiculous kind of hysteria happened when Valve (makers of the Half-Life series) announced they were going to start selling their games online via their Steam application. Everyone went raving mad saying it was DRM, they were trying to screw the community etc... Guess what, none of that crap happened! Steam is now universally loved and many gamers (myself included) buy most of our PC games off of it.Stop speculating and see what actually happens. This community will rip itself appart if people insist on convincing themselves that they know what's happening before it actually does.
Clearly faulty speculation leads to faulty conclusions. Totally agree. What bothers me is the disappointment I feel towards Microsoft. The last few years brought a never before seen level of interactions with the developers. I recall when this wasn't so, Microsoft was very tight lipped on flight simulator development, though we were told they read forums such as this one. The increase level of interaction created a feeling of loyalty. I purchased the latest product, since I still have all the other versions, going back to version 1 in a green box. Then suddenly, without any word or warning, we hear the developers were fired, with only a vague we-will-tell-you-when-we-want-to way ahead statement. I understand business and I've been involved with IT for over 25 years; the types of decisions necessary for profitability have to be made, but in this case, I naively hoped Microsoft, clearly aware of the small flight simulator community, would've showed respect to their loyal customers. Personally, that is more important than if they ever produce any other flight simulator. These are my words, no one else's. They're not intended to convince others to share my opinion, only to express it in this public forum.

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Even if FSNext should ever be only available online under the payment of a monthly fee, all in all it shouldn't be a problem, for any of us, to pay - say - $4 per month on a 2 yrs timespan, instead than a one-off $49.99 payment.This doesn't really makes the difference - for us - expecially for who's spending dozens of $$ per month buying addons.But it does for Microsoft, who would double its incomes on this product.I anyway don't care too much about that.M$ is there to make profits, we're here to enjoy our hobby at a reasonable fee, and until such a fee will be affordable to my pockets (and I'm not as rich as Bill Gates is :( ), I'll keep enjoying FS.The only one thing I still cannot understand is how they can state to stay committed to the FS franchise for the future if they've unceremoniously fired the whole development team......If Ferrari plans to still sell its dreamcars equipped with leather seats, shouldn't be going to layoff its leather specialists :( .......

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Stop speculating and see what actually happens.
Who is speculating?What has actually happened is that Microsoft has fired all of its Flight Simulator programmers. With all due respect ... that's not speculation. That's real. It impacts the community, especially the community of programmers who's families were impacted and whose lives have been torn asunder. Microsoft should have expected some negative repercussions from such a move.Microsoft has also announced that selling software isn't a viable business plan. The company is laying off programmers, and hiring advertising salesmen. That's not speculation. I read that today on CNN. It's being pushed as the good news at Microsoft. They're hiring!XBox Live! costs $49.99 per year. Flight Simulator X cost me $39.99 one time. Not every year. That's not speculation - it's Microsoft's announced strategy for Live! experiences. Live = Expensive.I'm not trying to bash Microsoft. Rather, I'm offering the customer feedback that I'm not interested in paying a monthly subscription to enjoy a flight simulator. That's too expensive. And since Microsoft thankfully doesn't have a monopoly on flight simulators, I don't have to pay that price.I think that's good feedback that the company needs to hear.

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Who is speculating?What has actually happened is that Microsoft has fired all of its Flight Simulator programmers. With all due respect ... that's not speculation. That's real. It impacts the community, especially the community of programmers who's families were impacted and whose lives have been torn asunder. Microsoft should have expected some negative repercussions from such a move.
I'm referring specifically to speculation about what is going to be done with the Flight Simulator franchise. Just because the programmers who made FS up to this point aren't there anymore does not mean other people (or even some of the same people) can't continue the series in the future.
Microsoft has also announced that selling software isn't a viable business plan. The company is laying off programmers, and hiring advertising salesmen. That's not speculation. I read that today on CNN. It's being pushed as the good news at Microsoft. They're hiring!
This is what it says on that page:"Microsoft announced Jan. 22 that it would be cutting up to 5,000 jobs in the next year and a half. But it's still looking for software design engineers, financial analysts, human resources, administrative and marketing and sales talent, particularly in online ad sales."Software design engineers = programmers.In the very statement that is the subject of this thread, they stated that the closure of Aces had nothing to do with the sales of FSX. The sim outsold FS9. People here are making the mistake of equating what the hardcore sim community (us) thought of it, vs what the general PC game buying public did. It was a best-seller, sold well in excess of a million copies. Microsoft isn't firing people because selling software isn't profitable. There's more going on than we all know, I absolutely guarantee it.
XBox Live! costs $49.99 per year. Flight Simulator X cost me $39.99 one time. Not every year. That's not speculation - it's Microsoft's announced strategy for Live! experiences. Live = Expensive.
XBL is not a game, it is the online community componet of the Xbox 360 system. You can buy a 360, a copy of Gears of War 2 and play the game to you heart's content without spending another dime. What you're paying for with an XBL subscription is the ability to have a solid stable system for multiplayer - it does cost money to maintain such a system: the voice chat and stuff like that actually works well, it has an unmatched system for keeping track of your friends, what they're playing, every game supports it so things are standardized etc... As an XBL subscriber myself, I feel it's more than worth the cost of a single game per year to have that type of infrastructure for multiplayer.Put it this way - how many people here wouldn't be willing to pay $50 a year for VATSIM to ensure that it's well supported, has new features in constant development, to give back to the developers who make it etc? It's basically exactly that type of idea.And btw, the Games for Windows thing that is used in stuff like Fallout 3 is FREE.
I'm not trying to bash Microsoft. Rather, I'm offering the customer feedback that I'm not interested in paying a monthly subscription to enjoy a flight simulator. That's too expensive. And since Microsoft thankfully doesn't have a monopoly on flight simulators, I don't have to pay that price.I think that's good feedback that the company needs to hear.
Nothing MS has said even remotely suggests that they intend to make Flight Simulator a monthly subscription. This is precisely the type of unfounded speculation I'm referring to. You guys jump to conclusions and think you know what MS is doing and we're likely years away from having any idea what that actually is.

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" the very statement that is the subject of this thread, they stated that the closure of Aces had nothing to do with the sales of FSX. The sim outsold FS9. People here are making the mistake of equating what the hardcore sim community (us) thought of it, vs what the general PC game buying public did. It was a best-seller, sold well in excess of a million copies. Microsoft isn't firing people because selling software isn't profitable. There's more going on than we all know, I absolutely guarantee it."I have to always take exception to the statement "hardcore sim community (us) thought of it"...I have been a hardcore simmer for 30 years and a rw pilot for 20-I have created freeware add ons for Fs as well as other sims-and also beta tested Pro Pilot and Fly. I think I well meet the definition of "hardcore" or even "serious".I thought very well of fsx at its' release and still do. I even beta tested fs2002, fs9, and fsx so am quite familiar with them. Yes, fsx for the first time I can remember was a little more oriented to GA-finally! :( There is a side to aviation (I believe the last statistic I read in the US at least GA constitutes 80% of the aviation traffic vs. airline carriers) that is not not oriented to commercial carrier operations that is just as "hardcore" and just as "serious". Perhaps even gliders too.So "us" is not necessarily "us"...My experience in my business is every time they get rid of the "team" a new group comes in and makes the same mistakes that were learned many years ago over and over.But they say those who don't know history will repeat it.

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"Thank you for your understanding of our decision and for your continued support"I don't understand Microsofts decision to sack ACES.What the hell does "This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft

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I admire media relation departments who write three paragraphs of feel good, sound good, yet manage to say mostly nothing. An art really. It would be nice to read "The Flight Simulator franchise is part of our strategic realignment and we are committed to the next release of the product line, and to you, our loyal customer". Ok, if a media person wrote this, that would be a "carreer changing moment" as they also say in media relation departments. That's also what we probably all want to hear, and that is not likely to happen.I'm with Ryan that at this point, the one thing the community shouldn't do is speculate given how prodigiously little reliable or verifiable information we have. From what I can tell, the only reliable information at this time comes from ex-members of the ACES team and the folks from our community who have worked closely with them. There is a lot of uncertainty, and it is natural to think about the options, and quite different to start thinking the hypothesis is factual.There's nothing about pay to play, DRM, arcade, nor fact based information about potential new products or fixes. I also note that MS typically doesn't say anything about when they release software, with the exception of some operating systems and development tools going through beta programs. Even then, actual release dates are typically a closely guarded secret, one such reason is to avoid rampant speculation. Besides, if you've ever released software on your own, the one thing you cannot do is set yourself up for failure by announcing a product release date that you may or may not meet or allow hype to get to a level so high that the product disappoints.What I'm doing right now is wait for the dust to settle. It was a supernova at MS, so it may take a while. Hopefully better factual information will come out. We should focus on the amazing product our community does have. FSX has a significant potential being realized through the add-on community with innovative products, and I am thankful as a dev myself that the FS team saw it to open the software quite a bit over the prior release. This makes the contributions by the community far more reachable than with any prior release, and they are churning out at a fast pace. Until we get more data, let's just enjoy what we have now and think about ways to support our hobby in a constructive and positive manner, and keep our hopes high that most things fall into place sooner or later.Etienne

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"Thank you for your understanding of our decision and for your continued support"I don't understand Microsofts decision to sack ACES.What the hell does "This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft

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What the hell does "This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft

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To clear up all the false statements. :( Games for Windows - LIVEIS FREEXbox LIVE is not free, you still get the cross platform compatibility stuff though (like adding friends, messaging, voice chat) with EITHER platform.and Xbox and Games for Windows LIVE are GREAT services that are well maintained, and have great support and systems to keep most of the people with a bad attitude, or things that allow them to cheat, from playing online.Proof Here: http://www.gamesforwindows.com/en-US/Live/.../AboutLive.aspxThis news sounds really good though and I hope the ACES team does not hesitate to come back to Microsoft when things are back to normal. I say this because I want Flight Sim 11, and Microsoft's ESP platform looked like it was gonna be killer.I agree with everyone though that the word "game" is used far to often when they describe Flight Simulator, and it sounds like they are going to turn it into a game like Ace Combat or something, with little realism. Maybe they want to turn Flight Sim into a game and make the enthusiasts and people seeking realism buy Microsoft ESP in the next release? I'm just hoping that whatever they release in the next ESP or flight sim or whatever is going to include FULLY detailed planes with a difficulty setting where newbies can use the GPS 500 or whatever is easy and the experienced can use FMCs to interact with the FMS. It doesn't have to be on all airliners but just at least one plane! Gonna post this in the FS11 wish list thread, just came to my mind.No disrespect fsx_missionguy, but before you make a speculation like that, at least visit the website and read information on the service!

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XBOX 360 = Cancer!
What a ridiculously childish and offensive comment to make..

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Are we like drowning men clutching at straws? :(

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Until the "sources" have names attached to them, I woundn't spend any time worrying about it.
I would say the same thing to. Fudzulla or whatever is called sounds like a speculative future news deal that doesn't seem to hold water as of yet. The first link about Aces closing down etc, and a possible much of it seems a bit more viable to me, and hopefully to others.

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No disrespect fsx_missionguy, but before you make a speculation like that, at least visit the website and read information on the service!
Go to this Games For Windows page and click the Join Now button.http://www.gamesforwindows.com/en-us/live/...s/livejoin.aspxTell me what happens when you click the Join Now button.I get redirected to this XBox Live link.https://live.xbox.com/en-US/Flows/SMError.aspxHere is what I see:Let's just say I'm underwhelmed by the Live Games for Windows experience.I have no inside knowledge of what is going on at Microsoft, except for what Ray Ozzie tells me. Ray told me (and you, and everyone else who reads Wired magazine) that the future of software is services that are paid for by the month.Why sell people software once when you can make them buy it month, after month, after month after month? The strategy seems pretty clear, since it's out in the open and public knowledge and has been announced by Microsoft's Chief Software Architect.Again, I'm not bashing Microsoft's strategy. It just underwhelms me and I don't think people will pay money for it, and thus that it will fail and Flight Simulator, unfortunately, will be taken down with it.I'm not encouraged by this future.

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As encouraging as the blurb on FSInsider is, let's look at the facts:a) The whole team is gone, and with it decades of experience and knowledge - that's not easy to replace:( At this point in time, 6 people will archive the code for 6 months - no new developments for at least 6 months (and the term archiving suggests a much longer time period until the code will become reactivated)c) While official press releases say that there is a vague commitment to Flight Simulator, the same official sources (when hardly pressed) admitted publicly that at this point in time absolutely no decision has been made about the future of MSFS.d) MS will not sell the source code (the Aces team did inquire about that).e) Several Aces members have expressed that this is the end of an era.All these facts worry me. I have no doubts that at this point in time MS has the best intentions of reactivating MSFS at some point in the future, but with the team gone this is going to be expensive. And as time goes by the code will age and reactivation will become progressively expensive. The question is how much is MS be willing to spend on reactivating the code despite all their best intentions. I don't know the answer to that, maybe I worry too much, but the same thoughts are shared by some Aces team members...On the other hand, there is no one keeping us from enjoying what we have right now, and that's exactly what I'll do!

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On the other hand, there is no one keeping us from enjoying what we have right now, and that's exactly what I'll do!
Exactly. Hopefully also some of the longer awaited addon AC will start to land sooner then later.

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