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Mike T

Is "Flight" the Windows 7 of Flight Simulation?

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First let's take a step back. If you have flown recently FS9 on any of the newest rigs you know that it absolutely screams. This is especially true if you first ran FS9 on the rig that you had 8 years ago vs a new high end Duo Core, i7 or Sandy Bridge. Now, compare that to Windows XP. The performance of both FS9 and XP are almost linear. The vast majority of Win-tel computers are STILL running XP because the performance is still good and many hard core gamers still swear by it.Next, Windows Vista. There can be no argument that Windows Vista was an absolute disaster for Microsoft because of the poor performance vs. Windows XP. Moving on to Vista added a few features and a fresh new "Aero" interface but little else. The end result was that it bogged down the newest computers and most people hated it. Ironically, FSX was released to be the showcase game for Vista. Also ironically FSX offered prettier visuals but not much else. ATC is still the same, cockpit functionality is still the same, aircraft dynamics are still the same. The big difference, like Vista, is that when you install it performance decreased dramatically. This is true of even the newest systems being bogged down.Now, Windows 7 was released because Microsoft couldn't give Vista away. Windows 7 is great! Performace even surpasses that of Windows XP AND it looks good. Enter MS "Flight"You will observe that neither XP, Vista nor Windows 7 were built from absolute scratch. Believe it or not XP, Vista AND Windows 7 ALL have the guts (kernel) underneath it all of Windows NT circa 1993! Microsoft merely optimized and added new technology on top of the old kernel but make no mistake, underneath it all beats the heart of Windows NT. This leads me to the obvious conclusion that I highly doubt that "Flight" will be a new engine built from the ground up and here's why:Look at the screenshots of "Flight". Whether they are early alpha screenshots or not, they look almost exactly like FSX with a little lightbloom and ORBX Hawaii (if they made one) scenery added...but not much else. There is absolutely no way that a built from scratch engine is going to look amost exactly like the old engine. XPlane doesn't look like MSFS. FlightGear doesn't look like X-Plane. FSX doesn't look like Flightgear. BUT, Flight looks Exactly like FSX with available 3rd party addons! There is no way that the old and new engines will look so much alike unless they are closely related.With that said, I think "Flight" will be evolutionary and not revolutionary, in that "Flight" will be the Windows 7 vs Windows Vista (FSX). So I think Flight will be revamped to take advantage of mulicore CPU and finally use latest GPU technologies such as SLI and Crossfire. This will in turn give Microsoft the ability to drastically improve visuals so Flight will be "prettier" than FSX and provide a more immersive flight experience without ridiculous low framerate numbers as are seen in NYC and SEA. The higher the base engines performace the more you can addon to the sim and still have very good frame rates - like FS9. This will also in turn allow 3rd party developers to not have to scale back features of scenery and aircraft modeling in fear of bringing the simulation to its knees so we can begin to see some extremely realistic add-ons that provide experiences yet seen in the FS world. Things like volumetric clouds, terrain and cloud shadows and other visual effects should become easily possible without destroying peformance. This will also allow proper multi-player cockpit rendering and a persistant shared environment much like MMORPG games can display hundreds of uniquely skinned animations without bogging down - hence the push to link Flight to Microsoft's online games community.The downside is that this will probably break compatibility with existing addons due to the way it will need to interact with the "Flight" engine so prepare to get a second job or mortgage the house to purchase all of your favorite add-on products again! However, if this is the price to pay to get FS9 performance with the visuals of FSX then I am willing to pay the piper. Just some musings....

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I disagree that when you say that Flight looks almost exactly like FSX. If you looked at my Comparison Screenshots thread, you would see what I'm talking about. The aircraft lighting looks much more realistic...you can't get that look with ENB. There are tree shadows. You can't get that in FSX.It is also possible that if they are using a new engine, that they look similar. Looking at websiode 2 and then the screenshots, I do see improvements in the ground textures. Textures control a lot of the "look and feel" in flight simulator. Maybe they are using a new engine, but are slowly replacing the old textures....Other than this, I do agree with your post! ;)And personally, I hope there is no backwards compatibility with existing add-ons! Nail%20Biting.gif

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........Next, Windows Vista.  There can be no argument that Windows Vista was an absolute disaster for Microsoft because of the poor performance vs. Windows XP.  Moving on to Vista added a few features and a fresh new "Aero" interface but little else.  The end result was that it bogged down the newest computers and most people hated it.  .....
this sounds like your personal view ..... Vista was a charm for me and the people I know.

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I'm not sure your arguments are strong enough to back up your musings, but I also find it hard to believe that Flight is built completely from scratch. I'm pretty sure that the Flight team is a small one with limited manpower. I'm sure a lot of coding is shared with FSX and even older versions of FS. Vista was a disaster, which is why it was repalced so rapidly by Windows 7 and forced off the shelves of retailers. It might have worked for some, but overall it wasn't what it should have been and many corporations had to go back to Windows XP and Windows 2000 because of all the trouble Vista caused on existing software and hardware.

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New engine or not?Lets look at the last vid.,(just talking about something already out in the open here....:( ) if Flight was based on a brand spanking new engine do you really think we would see a back plane sinking wheel in the runway?Did we not see that problem in FSX (contact point) and they would do the same mistake again with a new engine from scratch......seriously??Naaaa! you guys can put 2 & 2 together right?

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I'm not sure your arguments are strong enough to back up your musings, but I also find it hard to believe that Flight is built completely from scratch. I'm pretty sure that the Flight team is a small one with limited manpower. I'm sure a lot of coding is shared with FSX and even older versions of FS. Vista was a disaster, which is why it was repalced so rapidly by Windows 7 and forced off the shelves of retailers. It might have worked for some, but overall it wasn't what it should have been and many corporations had to go back to Windows XP and Windows 2000 because of all the trouble Vista caused on existing software and hardware.
If your logic is that when I new version is release the old version was ###### ... too funny.  Some hate everything MS does!

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If your logic is that when I new version is release the old version was ###### ... too funny. Some hate everything MS does!
Where did I say or even imply that it was my logic? I work in a large corporation on implementing and testing new and updated versions of software. We have over 14,000 workstations - all running on Windows operating systems since the 1990s where NT replaced IBMs operating system OS2. Vista didn't work for us and we had to go back to XP. During 2010 we've been testing Windows 7 and it works much better (on the same computers where we tried Vista). As I said, it worked for some, but was failed by many huge and important Windows customers.

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let me guess... your internal software didn't run on Vista quite the way you expected it to?

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Internal software, external software, network, printers/fax/copymachine drivers, general performance and security issues... The list is long. There are problems with all operating systems, but the Vista ones proved too time consuming to overcome...

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Nah Vista was different. They literally broke the OS, and expected everyone to conform to new "safe" standards. About the equivalent of a self imposed Y2K bug... thankfully they came to their senses.

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Lets look at the last vid.,(just talking about something already out in the open here....:( ) if Flight was based on a brand spanking new engine do you really think we would see a back plane sinking wheel in the runway?Did we not see that problem in FSX (contact point) and they would do the same mistake again with a new engine from scratch......seriously??
This is not a mistake. It is rather a sign of early development. There is nothing wrong with the contact point system. Who ever is working on the Boeing Stearman obviously wasn't finished editing the contact points.

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this sounds like your personal view ..... Vista was a charm for me and the people I know.
No, not my personal view. I am an MSDN Universal and Technet member and have had Vista since it was in pre-beta. Side by side, Vista is absolutely slower than XP. This is not my opinion but exhaustively tested by hundreds of independent sources. This is also true that the corporate world refused to go to Vista. As a matter of fact I am a consultant to many global Fortune 100 companies and every single one of them made Dell and HP remove Vista and go back to XP on all new pcs and laptops after they tested it in house. As a matter of fact, Dell and HP started charging a $30 fee for XP but where including Vista for FREE and they STILL had them remove it. Companies would rather PAY for XP than get a free copy of Vista. Doesn't sound like my personal opinion to me.If it is my personal opinion I would highly doubt that Microsoft stock would get hammered after the release of Vista and abysmal adoption rates. I also doubt that Microsoft would have killed released Windows 7 so soon after if Vista was so great to the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm glad Vista works fine on your PC as well as the people you know. Unfortunately, millions of other people beg to differ. However, you should read side by side Vista vs 7 reviews and see for yourself that the status quo that you think is great might not be so great after all.

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No, not my personal view. I am an MSDN Universal and Technet member and have had Vista since it was in pre-beta. Side by side, Vista is absolutely slower than XP. This is not my opinion but exhaustively tested by hundreds of independent sources. This is also true that the corporate world refused to go to Vista. As a matter of fact I am a consultant to many global Fortune 100 companies and every single one of them made Dell and HP remove Vista and go back to XP on all new pcs and laptops after they tested it in house.If it is my personal opinion I would highly doubt that Microsoft stock would get hammered after the release of Vista and abysmal adoption rates. I also doubt that Microsoft would have killed released Windows 7 so soon after if Vista was so great to the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm glad Vista workes fine on your PC as well as the people you know. Unfortunately, millions of other people beg to differ. However, you should read side by side Vista vs 7 reviews and see for yourself that the status quo that you think is great might not be so great after all.
I also was not able to run vista well at all. In my opinion, Vista was release prematurely. Microsoft did not have all the bugs worked out and gave the world a mess of an operating system. Windows 7, however, is a day at the beach. I have not found a single bug since I started using it when the RC version was out. It also performs/runs very fast on my computer.

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This is not a mistake. It is rather a sign of early development. There is nothing wrong with the contact point system. Who ever is working on the Boeing Stearman obviously wasn't finished editing the contact points.
Seriously what are the chance of the same thing happening in Flight with a new engine like it did in FSX.....and what are the chance of MS working on fixing the problems in FSX to make it Flight?Do I wish MS would come out with a new engine...absolutly....after seeing the sinking wheel my money is on FSX been reworked.

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I also was not able to run vista well at all. In my opinion, Vista was release prematurely. Microsoft did not have all the bugs worked out and gave the world a mess of an operating system. Windows 7, however, is a day at the beach. I have not found a single bug since I started using it when the RC version was out. It also performs/runs very fast on my computer.
Agree 100%. I dumped Vista at Wi ndows 7RC1 and quite frankly I would be just as happy running RC1 as I am running RTM because it was that good and stable. The industry was astounded at how well Windows 7 performed in beta - Microsoft got it right. The trend continues with IE9, which does have a few quirks in beta but is arguably the fastest browser for Windows 7 even beating Chrome. MS seems to be getting it. They got lazy with Vista and I dare say, FSX and they took a beating for it. As a matter of fact the unfortunate similarities between FSX and Vista end with over 1400 of the Vista team being laid off along with Aces...coincidence? Oh, and I could add insult to injury with Windows Mobile 6.5 but I won't, the bad times are behind us. :-)Sometimes you just have to clean house, refocus and dust yourself off. I'm a big Microsoft fan but have been disappointed with them until Windows 7 when they began to turn things around. Windows 7, Office 2010, Windows Server 2008R2, Exchange 2010, Windows Phone 7 and soon IE9 show that Microsoft got a hard wake up call and have been born again hard. Every one of my large clients are either deploying or in final testing for all of the above mentioned products because they are among the best products that MS has released since they've been in business. I am really looking forward to Flight because Redmond is on a winning streak and Flight will ride that wave.

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Yes but Windows 7 is not as secure as Vista was.. Vista was locked down tight..... windows 7 reopened up the gates to exploits as old as the hills.

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Seriously what are the chance of the same thing happening in Flight with a new engine like it did in FSX.....and what are the chance of MS working on fixing the problems in FSX to make it Flight?Do I wish MS would come out with a new engine...absolutly....after seeing the sinking wheel my money is on FSX been reworked.
I'm not sure how much simpler I can make it...the sim is in early development. Do you expect a flight simulator in alpha testing to be flawless?

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I'm not sure how much simpler I can make it...the sim is in early development. Do you expect a flight simulator in alpha testing to be flawless?
With Microsoft, I don't even expect the RTM to be flawless!!Regards, Mike Mann

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The question surely is can Microsoft produce a jolly good tea simulator.? Will it be good enough to fool the tasters of Sri Lanka ? some of the finest tea producers in the world,Yours Tutankhamen

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Windows Vista was the Windows 2000 of its time and I didn't buy them. Windows 7 is the Windows XP of the present and I bought them both. If you care as in remembering and get to know MS a little, they have their old reliable "modus operandi" and they stick to it. Graphics are still essentially polygons and until someone comes out with something different and substantially better there will be no need and no reason to rebuild the old FSX engine from the ground up but just improve it. MS, Intel and the GPU manufacturers community have plenty in their plates with x64 and multi-core processing for the time being and near future.IMHO!Cheers,MAB

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Seriously what are the chance of the same thing happening in Flight with a new engine like it did in FSX.....and what are the chance of MS working on fixing the problems in FSX to make it Flight?Do I wish MS would come out with a new engine...absolutly....after seeing the sinking wheel my money is on FSX been reworked.
I have decided to not jump to too many conclusions based on an early marketing video. And a "new engine" can be a blessing and a curse as has been noted in other threads (dmaher wrote some good notes about the pros and cons of such a wish. Having done some game development in a former life like he has I think he is spot on).Maybe they just used FSX to show the aircraft at this point and they aren't showing the scenery yet. Maybe the model wasn't done yet. It is too early to make a judgment on such things.

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It is too early to make a judgment on such things.
Not for the "hard-core" simmer, it isn't. After all, judgments are just another term for opinions. And opinions are like..., er, you know. Every one has one.It's taking those opinions and preaching them as some sort of truth that should be avoided, IMO. Friendly banter and the whatnot are a good way to pass the time until the fog lifts and the light of the sun shines brightly on FS11. :(

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Not for the "hard-core" simmer, it isn't. After all, judgments are just another term for opinions. And opinions are like..., er, you know. Every one has one.It's taking those opinions and preaching them as some sort of truth that should be avoided, IMO. Friendly banter and the whatnot are a good way to pass the time until the fog lifts and the light of the sun shines brightly on FS11.  :(
If you wanna know the release timing, keep reading ........I have on good authority that FS11 will be released in the future.....  :(

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I have decided to not jump to too many conclusions based on an early marketing video. And a "new engine" can be a blessing and a curse as has been noted in other threads (dmaher wrote some good notes about the pros and cons of such a wish. Having done some game development in a former life like he has I think he is spot on).Maybe they just used FSX to show the aircraft at this point and they aren't showing the scenery yet. Maybe the model wasn't done yet. It is too early to make a judgment on such things.
Point well taken BUT how can one say it's to early..? Do we know how far they are in Flight? They may have only 10% of Flight done or they may have 90% of it done...I don't know that myself, the only thing I know is this, if MS was working on a new engine I'll bet you a lot that we would see it in action (cause that's what they will be selling right?) and we would not see the same problems we can already see in FSX, seriously what are the chance of that happening?We can all say, it's to early, they are not done with this or that, the only thing I'm saying here is this "I see one of the problem we already have in FSX in Flight" so to me they are fixing what was wrong in FSX and they are adding stuff to make Flight ...let say...DX11 compatible.FSX engine is a very very good engine for flight simulation (trust me on this one) you'll be surprise to see how good this engine is bugs free...

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