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Guest cw1011

Microsoft's Presentation Of FS2004 To The Market

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It is unfortunate but Microsoft apparently does not appear to see the trauma that is created with the methodology they employ for the release of a home entertainment product such as Flight Simulator. Many people have a significant amount of time invested in the Flight Simulator either in the development of addon functions or simply enjoying the experience. Microsoft has once again chosen, as they have done in past releases, to ingore this segment of their customer base.Why would they do such a thing. Well, what does it cost Microsoft to release an upgraded product to an existing set of sophisticated customers versus simply placing it "on the shelf". We decry that Microsoft fails to support the various people who supposedly keep the product alive - people that create addons and those that use them. Actually we do not know this to be true. The reality may be that if this little community did not exist that Microsoft would continue to have sufficient sales of Flight Simulator to sustain its continuing evolution. If Microsoft follows past practices of eventually releasing SDK documentation, and associated tools, one year after the release of the new product, this is then fairly clear evidence that the market position of the simming community is much lower than the general population. I suspect that the SDK information that belatedly is released is part of the normal documentaion cleanup needed after a hectic product release. At that time there is little cost to its production and it serves as a "mid-term stimulus" to revitalize the dedicated small Flight Simulator community. If a significant majority of the revenue for this product comes from sales to "normal people" and not to dedicated simmers, then this market approach makes sound economic sense.Today our community is fraught with a total range of emotions - from outright joy to total frustration. If you account for this range of feelings with a 50% to 50% distribution the cost of supporting, with SDKs and tools, the remaining portion of the community is quite high per unit of sales. I believe that most of the Microsoft Flight Simulator staff actually like to support those that seek to improve the product but the question is - does it make marketing sense for Microsoft to do so given the cost versus the return.Since we do not know the perceived market distribution for this product one can only speculate, as I have. The Flight Simulator community may actually be a significant piece of their market. However, the tardy nature of the release of in-depth information about new products leads me to believe otherwise. A suggestion would be for Microsoft to release some target dates for SDKs and any new tools. And, perhaps they might re-evaluate the market potential of the Flight Simulator community given the strong impact of the Internet and in particular sites such as Avsim.Dick KLBE


regards,

Dick near Pittsburgh, USA

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<<>>I don't know the numbers on this product so like you can only speculate; but I know a bit about marketing and world markets through my own career experience.It is an educated guess, therefore, that in reality the "Flight Simulator community" is insignificant in the scheme of things. Useful to Microsoft, yes, because we're like a permanently retained beta team that costs them nothing and yet provides highly experienced input at times (myself not included!). But they have a global market in key major store chains and smaller outlets in a great number of countries; they have to work on the assumption that most people will use Flight Simulator just as it comes out of the box. Hence, a number of compromises that they would not arrive at if they were producing this for Boeing technicians or a national training school.Those who moan about "old planes" and "why haven't they fixed the left hand flowlommygrommet on my panel?" should probably keep that in mind occasionally. As Loda Ball-Chitt once said: "I'm not always right but I'm never ever wrong".Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg


_________________________

 

Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumont

VP Fleet, DC-3 Airways

Team Member, MAAM-SIM

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Loda Ball who?? :-)Sounds like a loda b*** to me :DSorry, couldn't resist it - but who is this person anyway?David

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>Those who moan about "old planes" and "why haven't they fixed>the left hand flowlommygrommet on my panel?" should probably>keep that in mind occasionally. The flowlommygrommet works on MY system! You just gotta RTFM.:)vgb


 

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I think that you answered your own question.Dick KLBE


regards,

Dick near Pittsburgh, USA

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Guest cw1011

Two points:1. The product has been in release for approximately 3 weeks - its not even available in many parts of the world yet. It seems a bit unrealistic that MS would rush to create a patch without a comprehensive set of fixes they might want to consider. Believe me, if the average joe has trouble installing and running this sim as I think they are, MS knows about it from their support logs, from the auto-crash reporting etc. 2. The group of users that buy add on aircraft, upgrade to super computers etc. for flight simming is a very, very small subset of the entire universe of customers. We are under the thin part of the curve - important yes, but they are not making their profits off of the people who rush out top buy the latest offering from Dreamfleet, PMDG or PSS. Just a couple of thoughts. Colin

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