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Start a petition to Bill Gates / Revenue alternatives for flightsim

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This idea might sound silly, naive, but petition's have worked before, i.e bringing back the Futurama TV series for one, forget about targeting it at Microsoft or Steve Balmer, aim it at the guy who gave flightsim life, ultimately it's history is with Bill Gates, even though he is not as involved with Microsoft now as he was, i suspect Flight Simulator, like Windows and DOS are product lines that have meant a great deal to Mr Gates.Avsim has 53,000 registered users and who knows how many other silent users.plus the multitude of other related sites. this is a large dedicated fanbase that should be exploited and galvanised to help protect the future of the Flight-sim series.A petition website should be established, where add-on developers could be encouraged to include links to in there software distrubtution's, along with respective facebook , myspace groups, etc, the aim is to use as many outlets as possible to get the flightsim fans voice's heard. Constantly we are told the power of the web, social networking, from the likes of Microsoft / Google, it is time to turn the numbers that have used and purchased Flightsim both past and present into a real pertinent voice. Here , dumb me in 5 minutes thought of some ideas for the future financial viability of the flight sim genre which could be encouraged, think what 100,000 cleverer people could come up with.

  • Commercial add-on / royalties a 5% licensing fee for Commerical developers
  • A Licensed / Payware SDK / Professional tools, have a free SDK Lite
  • Commercial tie-ins with airlines, links to reservations systems, websites, etc
  • Commercial involvement with the airline industry as a whole. (serious how much free advertising do the likes of American Airlines, BA and Cathy Pacific get due to the combination of Flight Sim and dedicated add-on developers.
  • Relevent In-game advertising from in world placed advertisement, i.e billboards, car's on the road etc.

The irony is there has been much debate recently about real life advertising in games and usually how Inappropriate it can be, the thing is Flight sim models the world, it has plus 1 million users (quoted 1 million US FSX sales, + Rest of world FSX sales + FS2004 + all other versions currently being used, i.e most probably more around 3 million users possibly). A Coke or Mc'donalds billboard in downtown FSX Chicago is not out of place if they are in tune with real life, they actually complement the setting. As long as it was done sensibly , this mashup of FSX and real life paid advertising could be done without diminishing the sanctity of the flight sim experience.Now these are a couple of ideas, they might be dumb, they might not be but they might be worth extra thought.Now there might already be petition's existing but the idea is bring them together, ideally somewhere prominent on a site like Avsim which already has a large on-line presence.Remember supposedly Microsoft are currently evaluating the future of Flightsim , this is the time, not 6 months, not a year but now is the time to make your voices heard. Get those creative juices flowing and get those ideas coming.regardsDavid Renton

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sorry to reply to my post striaght away but some more points to consider.According to Phil Talors blog, it looked like the higher priced FSX deluxe was the version which outsold the cheaper standard version. Deluxe sold for a much higher than a normal PC Game RRP.http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2008...-franchise.aspxMicrosoft own's ACE Studio's, unlike many title's which are published and developed by different entities, thus making your slice of the pie smaller. Microsoft retained a greater share of the profits generated than a lot of other game Publishers.Received a metacrtiic score of 80 which is actually quite good for a non mainstream title which at the time could only run well on a minority of high-spec machines.http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/...lightsimulatorxQuantcast stat's for Avsim, indicate that the demographic for AVSIM , (which are most probably indicative of the FSX audience) are College Grads earning the average or higher salary, most don't have children, hence would tend to have more disposable income than average.http://www.quantcast.com/avsim.com#summaryFlight sim is used in the mainstream media quite a lot , even recently (the Airbus New York ditching,BBC)http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7834499.stmwhich ironically made no mention of Microsoft or Flight Sim , Just flight got the mention. If anyone is not doing there job, it's Microosft PR.Flight sim user's tend to make additional purchase's,i.e software addon's, hardware, convention's, computer upgrades etc related to flight sim, i would expect this to much higher than any other Pc / Console Game brandMicrosoft is in a tight battle with Google regarding the buzz of Mapping technologies, i.e google earth/maps , MSN live maps. Flight sim offers a unique technology which can benefit and feed back and showcase this new and exiting use of technology.to be honest Microsoft have always been good at exploiting there product range, the flight sim brand has so many qualities,

  • Cutting Edge Technology, something to be proud of and for competitors to be jealous of
  • has a large loyal, fanbase who do spend money on it and will market it, advertise, extend it for free and at a high standard
  • has the perfect revenue tie's in with related and non-related industries
  • has a healthy 3rd party industry supporting it.
  • fit's in with the latest on-line trends, social networking, media placement

Basically Flight Sim is a microcosm of Microsoft, what they do with it , indicates a lot of where Microsoft is heading, you can either be at the forefront of Inovation , gaining exposure to new techologies and Markets, or you can cease to be relevant. The Flight sim brand is just too valuable financially to let it die, so far Microsoft have only exploited a fraction of what this IP can be worth.RegardsDavid Renton

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Not going to make a long response and appreciate your elaboration and willingness to make a petition, but...If you want this to work you will have to send the petition to Microsoft (I mean address it to Microsoft) or you should address it to Steve Ballmer. He is the CEO of Microsoft now (and ever since he came in, things have been terrible! :()

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David, Yours is a great idea - maybe we could get the Seattle local TV news to feature a special on the idea of a petition once we get at least 50,000 to sign - seems that even if not everyone that is a member of Avsim, Flightsim, and all the rest of the great flightsim websites, love FSX as is, they at least want a continuation and further development - especially if they have a bit of say so in what the priorities are - things that need to be in the core engine but not what the third parties can add (plus some serious performance improvements). Maybe we could get a nice video together that shows the variety of its use - not as a competitive game but as serious training and fun for our children, young adults, and seniors in these days where few of us can fly for real. Post it on youtube, send it to the TV stations, and get all of us petition signers to view it a few times in order to get its stats way high. Maybe then Gates could grasp its significance - I'd like to know how large a number of small business employees(third party add-ons and other professional groups) there are, website volunteers, plus the serious users that employ ESP/FSX in systems to train our soldiers and commercial/instrument rated pilots. It just isn't clear to Microsoft how LARGE our community is because they don't make direct money from all of us - even if they only ge $60 apiece from us, each of us spends maybe. Also, this product is used worldwide - everyone wants the idea of a worldwide database. GoogleEarth isn't as satisfying as FSX when visiting the mountains in Nepal or wherever. With todays impressive photoreal scenery, we can fly over areas we've never seen before. What we really don't know is why it was shelved - did the team get too big, did ESP fall short of expectations, were sales projections too low - no way of knowing. And since we don't know, it is hard to aim our efforts at reversing the decision. No matter, it still would be worthwhile to see just how large a group we are and if we can unite.ThanksDave

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sorry me again,Hi Gman , i guess i believe maybe foolishly that the Flight sim history is more personally tied to bill Gates and sadly it is Microsoft that made this decision. I don't think the community is asking for charity on an undeserved product or that it is a financially not viable product, but possibly they haven't seen it's true potential yet and what it actually represent's in term's of what Microsoft can be about when they try, anyway some more idea'sAirline simulatorsi know nothing about the traininging sim's airline's use, i suspect though there incredibly expensive , most probaly not cutting edge and not as adaptable as Flight sim, hence Microsoft ESP, which could off bankrolled FLight sim consumer for years to come.Cross Marketing Why does'nt Microsoft differnet product range's cross promote, in MSN Maps you could have adverts for flight sim, or on the context menu alongside 'drive from here' why not 'Fly Flight sim from here' which redirect's to the FSX homepage, Microsoft researchhttp://research.microsoft.com/en-us/Microsoft spends millions on research product's, the enormity and complexity of modelling the dynamic nature of flight mechanincs, weather systems's, air traffic flow etc surely would be of great interest to the greater community and possibly sponsered by interested parties.another Mainstream media mentionhttp://www.justflight.com/newsDetail.asp?newsID=10622 in a week, just for the BBC , sorry but how many mentions does Halo 3 get 1-2 years after launch, games like halo are of the moment, a product like Flight sim will usually always be called upon at any point in it's product life cycle when the media need a flight recreation. everytime it's on CNN, BBC, that free exposure, use that Microsoft.

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Hi whitav8, some great ideas there, the thing about FSX users on the whole i believe is they understand technology,they know what is capable, myself i'm a developer and network admin primarily with MS products, if anyone understands the true power of the internet i think it's the people who frequent the boards of avsim and FSX enthusiasts, they not your average Wii gamer. Remember Microsoft accountants and marketing need a reason to keep this title alive. admittedly with the credit crunch times are hard, but that we hope is a temporary thing.With the developing nations , like China and India massively increasing there Air fleets and becoming more tech involved, Microsoft have a key advantage , they have been in this market the longest , they (ACES) have the expertise that cannot be recovered by outsourcing to some dev team elsewhere. This is like space exploration to an extent we are just at the beginning of this capability, finally with multi core processor's , abundant storage and the consumerisms of the PC , this market isn'nt mature, it just a toddler, now you have 3 million Flight sim users, in 10 years, you could have 20 million users if you played it right.As broadband and mapping technology become more advanced and viable , this is the time when you want the knowledge , the now how, remember Flight sim can scale up to Governmental departments, the Airline industries, even the commercialism of space with Virgin Galactic one and and increase emphasis of space exploration, this is a market with is ripe for future expansion and Microsoft with ACES hold a key part to play if they want.It would be a shame if Microsoft lost the lead like IBM lost it with PC's. the irony should be noted.

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This idea is EXACTLY what came to my mind when I first read about the disbanding. I would prefer that the letters get to Bill personally. If anyone would have any pull it would be Bill and to get him to relive the time when he felt exhilarated to own a company that was exploding financially. DOS, Windows, Flight Simulator are the roots of Microsoft however you want to cut it. Sure none of us know the real numbers that the bean counters have today but I can't believe it's a problem to have 100 people employed and allow all of us to have a Flight Simulator that we always look forward to and them to turn a profit nonetheless even if it's under expectations!

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