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Geofa

The trickle down effect

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Just wondered what simmers think the trickle down effect of Fs going down will be in other areas outside the sim?For instance, Saitek has been coming out with new products-the yoke, throttle quad, mag/landing gear unit , Ch has likewise come out with a new yoke and has a whole slew of products. There are countless other hardware manufacturer's out there-cockpits etc, avionics units....Now I would think many/most present simmers have bought much of this stuff. So where is the new market going to come from? How long before these manufacturers decide it is not really viable to continue these items with a shrinking product? There will always be a small nitch segment for rw flight training-but will the few that stay in the business have to jack prices way up for a shrinking market or just get out completely?What happens when my flight yoke or rudder pedals break in 5 years, and no one makes them anymore? That would kind of end simming for me, even if I was able to sustain fsx for that long.

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I'm not worried a bit. If you can be sure of one thing in this world it's that when there's a market there's a product! That's actually the definition of "marketing". A market there is, even if it's not a huge one.. The main thing that I see happening and probably pretty soon is a sim that will be able to run in a variety of OS and configs, not just proprietary environments, which will make things way easier for developers. That's just where the slope is.

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Well... ok... I'm a marketing manager so I can suggest that's not exactly the definition, but I know what you're saying.Sometimes, the product creates the market, too.In the case of hard peripherals (rather than software addons), I believe that so long as the companies innovate, we'll continue to see them sell products, assuming people will continue simming.Andrew

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Just wondered what simmers think the trickle down effect of Fs going down will be in other areas outside the sim?For instance, Saitek has been coming out with new products-the yoke, throttle quad, mag/landing gear unit , Ch has likewise come out with a new yoke and has a whole slew of products. There are countless other hardware manufacturer's out there-cockpits etc, avionics units....Now I would think many/most present simmers have bought much of this stuff. So where is the new market going to come from? How long before these manufacturers decide it is not really viable to continue these items with a shrinking product? There will always be a small nitch segment for rw flight training-but will the few that stay in the business have to jack prices way up for a shrinking market or just get out completely?What happens when my flight yoke or rudder pedals break in 5 years, and no one makes them anymore? That would kind of end simming for me, even if I was able to sustain fsx for that long.
Geof; We are not going to lose the Flight Sim: Microsoft is merely moving the technology ahead in a huge leap instead of slowly moving - as it has been - at a snail's pace. Let me paste a piece out of my earlier post which responded to this same "Doomsday scenario":
I've been in IT since inception of the MS simulator, and Microsoft's new direction - under Mr Ozzie - will not get changed. Once an announcement of this magnitude has been made - it's pretty much irrevocable. The company - rightly or wrongly - appears quite firmly committed to cloud technology. Our efforts would be akin to deflecting the Titanic while sitting in a rowboat, and pushing it's bow with a ten-foot pole.http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-12/ff_ozzieThe stand-alone application on the desktop is obsolescent right now. We have many, many full-blown first-person shooter games online which use client-server technology: most - if not all - major ERP systems are client-server based: Many email systems are client-based. Did you use Google lately? Many sim guys already run Radar Contact, ActiveSky, WideView, etc., on second, third and fourth linked pc's.. those pc's could actually be next door, in the next state, or even in another country..We don't rely on 56k modems anymore and we don't run 10 meg - or even 100 meg LAN's anymore. The bandwidth available to the average household is often a meg or better - with national and international fibre backbones that offer the ability to talk to a remote server, disk or otherwise, as if it were your own desktop. Bandwidth is the God, and it's getting faster by the minute.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OC-3#OC-3Like it or lump it - two or three years from now we're going to have a small FSxx client on our desktops which will provide the interface to a much larger server - or many servers, spread globally and servicing multiple geographical areas (rather than the whole world in on shot) where our personal hangar is - at the airfield of our choice, with whatever addon aircraft we have purchased (as we do now), with online weather, and online traffic, online ATC - for the princely sum of $10 or whatever a year. That client will have the ability to stand alone, but the Flight Simulator will be primarily a client-server application. I cannot predict the what the weather or ATC will look like, or how/what part the third-party devs will play and interface, but there most certainly will be downloadable addons just as there are now, but also many devs will switch to providing the service - like NaviGraph does, rather than the desktop application.... It will be different - more like the existing "fly online" or Vatsim - and it may well be better.Oh, yes, I almost forgot - Vista won't be around. :(

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Geof; We are not going to lose the Flight Sim: Microsoft is merely moving the technology ahead in a huge leap instead of slowly moving - as it has been - at a snail's pace. Let me paste a piece out of my earlier post which responded to this same "Doomsday scenario":
I did read your post. I'd like to think that is the future-after seeing and going thru the demise of three other sims with similar visions that never came to pass I am not that optimistic. I do hope I am wrong. I think the first sign of things going bad will be reductions or eliminations from the hardware flight sim manufacturers. After all, they are going thru hard times too, and will likely have to trim also.

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I did read your post. I'd like to think that is the future-after seeing and going thru the demise of three other sims with similar visions that never came to pass I am not that optimistic. I do hope I am wrong. I think the first sign of things going bad will be reductions or eliminations from the hardware flight sim manufacturers. After all, they are going thru hard times too, and will likely have to trim also.
True enough, but I don't personally see a one or even two-year recession wiping out an entire (flightsim) industry, Geof. The ACES team members will be snapped up by the industry - even back into Microsoft, and perhaps back into a similar job once the dust has settled.. This is a huge and radical change in philosophy for them. They are morphing away from the desktop. We got past the 2000 internet boom implosion, a few companies are gone and a few have taken their places. We'll get past this one..... As the man said "Change is good, Donkey" :(

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Going to the AVSIM FanCon reinforces tha fact that even if the large companies stop supporting flight sim products, there are a host of mom-and-pop-working-in-the-garage operations that are happy to support out-of-date sim equipment. It might get harder to find quality equipment, and you may or may not be able to go to your local box superstore to get what you need, but people will continue to build and engineer great peripherals. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I think flight sim'n is dead. In about two years the developers will start closing up shop.

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I think flight sim'n is dead. In about two years the developers will start closing up shop.
Flight Simulator might be dead, but flight simulation is most certainly not dead. It will leave Microsoft behind, just like it began without Microsoft.There's a huge market for real flight simulation (not a Live Experience Flight Game/Facebook ... but a real flight simulator).It remains to be seen if the future will support a "pay" model (such as X-plane) or the open source model being pioneered by FlightGear.Either way, there's a long history behind us ... and I'm sure a long one before us also.Microsoft just won't be there to hinder it, or profit from it.

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Microsoft just won't be there to hinder it, or profit from it.
Fat chance. I'll give you 3-to-1 that you are dead wrong on that one.People here keep saying that Microsoft was crazy to end a "profit-making" product like FS. Nuts. They keep quoting things like MS made $40 billion last quarter...then say FS was a profit-maker of $40 million. Do the math. Divide $40 billion into $40 million and see what PERCENTAGE of profit FS was to MS in its' current form. FS was a miniscule part of the overall MS profit base in its' current form. Many companies have scrapped minimal profit making products in preparation for a more technological version of the same type product.There was once a very well known person who roamed from corporation to corporation as a Chief Executive. He was talking to one of his regional supervisors one day, and explaining to him his new idea about starting another service that would directly compete with an already profit-making portion of HIS OWN company. His idea was to grab more of the market away from other competitors. When he got done explaining the plan to the supervisor, he asked him what he thought about it. The supervisor said,"I don't know what you call it, but where I come from, we call that Pissing In The Soup."It makes perfect sense to stop producing Flight Simulator NOW in its' current form, if you are planning on taking the technology of it in a brand new direction...one that would ultimately compete with the current product you are trying to "upgrade". FS11 is dead. So be it. But Flight Simulation from Microsoft is far from being dead.MS will be continuing in the Flight Simulation genre for a long time. Flight Simulation is going to be around for a long time, and anybody who thinks MS isn't going to be part of it after 25 years of being in it is nuts. The way we do it 5 years from now will be totally different than running it as a separate software program on your computer. Paul J got it right in his post above. The days of stand-alone programs on a home computer are becoming obsolete. Storage space requirements, the diversity of hardware bases, and the lack of knowledge of the individual computer users on how to set up and maintain a computer and software application like Flight Simulator are the biggest problems in producing stand-alone simulation products. 80% of all posts in these forums are "HELP ME!" posts for people who don't know how to manage their own computers to run the software correctly. Or manage the software itself...just look at how many problems are caused by adding addons to FSX and screwing up the Scenery Library or causing conflicts with other addons. Many of us do have IT experience, and/or many years of Flight Simulator experience, and know how to avoid these things. A new FS user is totally lost, and it causes too many problems for the user, the software manufacturer, and addon developers. Getting the "software program" off the home computer is the way to avoid this, and as Paul J pointed out, we are now in the position to start DOING that sort of thing...running from remote servers, etc. And that goes hand in hand with the current MS president who said, "Developing software for a computer is not the future." He's no dummy...he's gonna get you to CONNECT your computer to a server-oriented platform that will allow even BETTER Flight Simulation experiences in the future. And it will eliminate a whole bunch of "end user" problems at the same time.Flight Simulation is going "online", or "Live", or whatever you want to call it. And if you don't think Microsoft is going to be part of that...FalconAFPS - And we will still use "joysticks" and "yokes", and all the other stuff when it does...so I'm not worried about the "hardware manufacturers" getting shut out from it.

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Falcon-makes sense and I hope you are right. I still think we will see repercussions with some hardware manufacturers though.If going live makes it work for everyone I am all for it.My evening tonight-1) Plugged the iphone on-it said there was an update for it. Started a backup of the iphone -it crashed in the middle and said it won't backup. Every time I put a new update on the iphone it wipes everything out. What to do...2) Decided I'd instead take look a closer look at xplane -got 5 crashes that my video driver had crashed followed by an application freeze-finally gave up on that one for the night.3) Then finally got part 4 of some megasceneryearth I have been trying to download now for 4 days now-never successfully. After constant tries-(I probably have tried 50 x in the last 4 days for area #13) I got it. Thought I'd go flying to check it out-got my opening airport-scenery looked great-put the throttle in for takeoff-got the windows blue screen of death.Yes- a reboot would have probably taken care of some of these problems in between flight sims-but at I least I think it shouldn't be that hard to have an enjoyable evening.Of course this was after a day of trying to take care of some business with two separate companies-you know 1/2 hour of press 1 if you want this, press 2 to for English-etc. all with the hopes of being connected to a human being-only to be disconnected when I finally got the human. That only took 3 trys for each. When I finally got the humans they could barely understand me and I could barely understand them due to the quality of the internet phone service I have.I thought all these things were supposed to make our life easier?Charles Lindberg at the end of his life felt the airplane was one of the biggest mistakes-as getting everywhere faster had actually reduced the quality of life. I am starting to wonder about computers etc. ..

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"I thought all these things were supposed to make our life easier?Charles Lindberg at the end of his life felt the airplane was one of the biggest mistakes-as getting everywhere faster had actually reduced the quality of life. I am starting to wonder about computers etc. .."I call it "technology coming around to bite us in the butt". My other phrase for the phenomena is "personal gridlock". I realized about 10 yrs. ago that I had less and less time for leisure and finally figured out that it was at about that time that I was spending lots and lots of time updating, fixing, troubleshooting, etc. stuff for both my business and home computers. I have since quit trying to be on the cutting edge all of the time. If the newer version of software doesn't give me anything that I really need, then I don't update. It tends to break the cycle. I may not have the latest and greatest (well, I guess my new flightsim approaches that) , but my systems do what I or my customers need them to and that's what counts.Jeff

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Jeff/Geofa,Good replies in both posts. And they illustrate the problems encountered by anyone who uses computers, be it an individual with one home computer, or a company/institution with thousands of them. The problem is the majority of the end-user base, in both cases, lacks the knowledge to keep the computers running properly, ESPECIALLY when it comes to getting "maximum performance", or even ACCEPTABLE performance OVER TIME, of the computer(s).The education level of the average computer user has NOT kept up with the technological advances of the computers they use. If it did, there would be no need for IT departments in companies to keep the computers running properly. But without specially-trained IT personnel today who are FORCING the end users to do things like work station maintenance on their desktops (through regularly scheduled applications that run without the end user having to run them), the computers would cease to function in just a few months. Want to bring a network down in less than a month? Allow the end users on it to handle your "system security" for you. Trust them...they'll run all those anti-virus and anti-spyware programs for you themselves. Well...maybe as soon as they quit surfing the 'net to all those sites where the spyware and virus's are coming from in the first place.What's the first thing an end user does when their computer isn't working the way they EXPECT it to work? They call up the IT department and complain about it. Why? They don't know how to "fix" it themselves. They haven't got the education nor experience in how to do it, so they depend on someone else. That's not their fault. I'm not saying it is. But the fact is MOST computer users, unless they have been specifically trained, DON'T have even the BASIC knowledge needed today to keep even a single home computer running properly. Start running complex programs like FSX on it, which ALSO requires knowledge of how the different parts of the software program interact with each other (so you don't screw up the "software" every time you add an addon to it), and we are now right where we are. The Flight Simulator series has evolved into a software application that is TOO COMPLEX for your average home computer user to USE anymore. They lack the basic knowledge on how to keep the computer running right, plus the knowledge of how to keep the SOFTWARE running right also. So we see all these "help me" posts in the forums. These forums have become the IT departments for Flight Simulation.Companies like Microsoft will still develop "software" for computers. But the nature of that software will be changing in the future. Instead of developing and selling an individual software package for EVERY computer in the world, we will see more "connecting to a central server" type of service, much like IT departments use to backup end user workstations today. It is already prevelant on the Internet now...there are numerous "programs" you can use on your home computer by just connecting to the program on the 'net. You don't need an individual copy of it on your own computer.Now...and here's the "what if" part...and it will probably ###### off some people...but there is NOTHING to say that the future of Flight Simulation HAS to be based on a "home computer" platform. In fact, it probably WOULD be much easier to develop a fully functional Flight Simulator for a DEDICATED platform that wasn't going to try to be used for a bunch of OTHER stuff. Enter the "boxes". Fully self-contained. No upgrading of hardware components, swapping out video cards every time a new one comes out, changing drivers, ad nausium. You buy the "box" with the flight simulator application designed specifically for it. You end up with a "common" user base, all using the same equipment, and 90% of your end user "problems" are solved. You can still allow for the attachment of joysticks, yokes, rudder pedals, etc to enhance the experience. But the concept is a realistic one based on the amount of problems encountered by the end user community today with the current state of simulations.So...you may be faced with a "new problem" in the future. If you really want to continue in a hobby that changes the way it is done...WILL you? If you get your jollies by arguing whether Intel or AMD is better...or whether the PC or the MAC is better...or whether FSX or XPlane is better...then you are gonna be disappointed. PICK one...then get on with your life. And let others have THEIR choices without you feeling it necessary to lambast or blame anyone for anything just because it isn't what YOU would do.Respectfully submittedFalconAFEDIT: My use of the word "you" in this post is not aimed at any one individual, but the community as a whole. Thought I'd better explain that after reading the post again.

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Just one question with this "live" stuff.What happens when all the internet providers (mine already has) start putting limits on bandwith usage every month?Will we actually have to go back to interacting with people/family? :(

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