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Wobbie

Do we need Microsoft?

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Well, do we? Yes.. Just for the, dare I say it, GAMING engine they have given/sold us. That is all. We all know that our joy, fun & excitement has come NOT from Microsoft, but from all those freeware & payware guys out there.I think that the developers have been waiting to see what Flight is all about & now we could see a whole bunch of releases for FSX & FS9, as, I am sure, the developers have seen the possible limitations of Flight. Another take... From what i gather, scenery & planes will have to be purchased thru Microsoft LIVE.Look what happened with Apple & the iphone market. You want extra apps, you buy & download them. We all know how successful that has been.. Maybe the same with Flight? just a thought!

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Well, yes, maybe. Only Microsoft and Laminar Research (X-Plane) and perhaps Aerofly have provided platforms for serious simmers. Those platforms are not single plane sims like the DCS A-10C, but platforms that allow a range of planes from a little Cessna to the big Airbus 380 while providing a scenery coverage of the entire earth from the U.S. to Australia which is where planes fly in the real world. Although Microsoft didn't "invent" aircraft simulation, they (Bill Gates) had the foresight to buy out subLogic and turn it over to his programmers. Austin Meyer developed X-Plane as a personal trainer with no intent, initially, to provide it for the masses, but his ingenious flight engine and the availability of satellite earth terrain images turned X-Plane into a serious contender which is fiercely defended by its adherents and which continues to improve. So Bill is gone, and Austin Meyer and his crew are ramping up the ante to compete, for now, with FSX and FS9, while Microsoft is testing the waters with a "new" sim.But stop and think what sells and what doesn't. These sims have staying power because they are open-source for add-ons and they cover the earth. They are also off-line sims (or can be) that do not need online login for verification. While online connections can provide additional content (think photoreal scenery), thet also assume bandwidth that far exceeds what many of us are forced to live with except for a simple "phone home" to help prevent piracy.So as Microsoft looks to a new sim to generate revenue following the market saturation of FSX, they will have to either offer a better version of FSX, or do something different. X-Plane is now utilizing multiple CPU cores and the new high-end graphics cards. FSX is locked to the CPU and isolated from the massive GPU power available today. We see a lot of push to "cloud computing" which, I think, is being resisted by most computer users. So a new flight engine is needed at Microsoft to take advantage of hardware improvements, and Microsoft will no doubt provide a LIVE connection to further control its product while limiting 3rd party developers from code access. I'm eager to see the power of the new flight engine, but with such strict ties and the necessary link through Windows LIVE (which may or may not also exclude Mac users), I think Microsoft can be ignored by the serious simmer until they open things up and give us access to what we already have in FSX and X-Plane.On the other hand, it disturbs me that there is so much negativity out here in forum-land. I'm seeing the same frustration voiced here and elsewhere, most of it because Microsoft has teased us with pre-release screenshots and videos, yet has not told us the scope and intent of their sim. Chumming the water is an accepted advertising technique, but if the lead time is too long and details are more frustrating than enticing, it does more damage than good. Is Microsoft reacting to the release of X-Plane 10 (a wonderful upgrade for those of us with adequate hardware) in time for the holiday season? Or is it having trouble integrating the necessary (to us) sophistication that is so obviously lacking in the demos? Let's hope things are better than they appear, otherwise Robin may well be right.

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I think if microsoft were a bit more clear in their product release info, apparent frustration wouldn't be so evident.For example they talk about a product based on a "legacy engine" is that FSX? We have no idea of timescalefor purchaseable addons, so people that like to fly their favourite plane in a prefered geographical area have somewaiting to do. The notion that microsoft wants to appeal to a broader market while satisfying it's current simmercustomer base seems to be contradicted by the apparent lack of support for squawkbox and existing 3rd party sceneriesfor example.I don't want to be negative, the "flight" situation may look very different in 12 months time or when it's releasedbut the lack of clarity by microsoft hasn't helped.

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No we don't need Microsoft if someone else comes up with viable platform that 3rd party developers will embrace.As they will have to re-code from scratch for a different platform, FSX is going to be the default simulator for the next couple of years at least unless Microsoft have played a huge joke on us with the Flight beta.Nobody has managed to steal Microsoft's crown in the last 20 years, however it looks like Flight has thrown everything into the melting pot. Let's see what comes out.

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I am in 100% agreement. I remember GI Joe. Not the sissy small plastic second version sold in the 1980's. The original full sized man doll that made Ken from Ken and Barbie look like a whipped sissy doll. We are talking man toy here. Well, it was a kid's toy, but masculine with the guns and tents and stuff. You could get add on's for that bad boy. I got the deep diver add on. He could go deep in my bathtub without drowning while rescuing Ken who fell off his rubber duck. What you could not get for it was pink uniforms, dresses, flowers and tea cups. What was made available, tents, pilot uniforms, frog men gear, and the stuff macho Joe needed to save the world. Getting back to Flight. It appears lite in the loafers on the onset. Surprised they didn't add purple polka dots to the planes color scheme. But Flight can be man toyed up with hardcore add on's. We, the GI Joe generation will get it manned up, whip it into shape. Not by requesting sissy add on's, but the right stuff, hard core add on's, making it realistic. This business of flying through hoops and tokens, save that for beginners. After flying through hoops, they will want to do some real flying, get rid of their Ken doll, and get them some manly GI Joe type flying. Flight is like a fly trap. Once you get hooked on flying, you stick with it. The desire to fly will draw them in. The difference between one sim vs another, outside graphics are the add on's. FSX was manned up with hard core add on's. The add on's that make FSX and XPX popular, the best sellers, will be the same add on's that will be best sellers for Flight. Human nature dictates that men want realism, women want realism also. We do not want some clownish pink token type add on to fly through. I say we speak for the masses. We are the majority, we are the spenders of money, buyers of add on's. We are the voice and influence over the direction of Flight. Flight will build what we request. The money dictates the product. Our money, our influence, their profit.

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Well, do we? Yes.. Just for the, dare I say it, GAMING engine they have given/sold us. That is all. We all know that our joy, fun & excitement has come NOT from Microsoft, but from all those freeware & payware guys out there.I think that the developers have been waiting to see what Flight is all about & now we could see a whole bunch of releases for FSX & FS9, as, I am sure, the developers have seen the possible limitations of Flight.Another take... From what i gather, scenery & planes will have to be purchased thru Microsoft LIVE.Look what happened with Apple & the iphone market. You want extra apps, you buy & download them. We all know how successful that has been.. Maybe the same with Flight? just a thought!
The purchasing of scenery & planes is no different than buying from a FSX company like IRIS or Justflight. Actually it could be even better. As with FSX 3rd party ,you buy from a dozen or more places. That means there are a dozen or more account,serial numbers.license and activations that have to be kept up with. I hated steam at first. But after understanding the positives of it (all your software is Central located) its great.Just today I had to reload a FSX 3rd party add on. The key won't activate and now I have to wait days for or when the developer decides to answer my email.

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Well, do we? Yes.. Just for the, dare I say it, GAMING engine they have given/sold us. That is all. We all know that our joy, fun & excitement has come NOT from Microsoft, but from all those freeware & payware guys out there.
I don't want a simulator that I can't tinker with, and install my own add-ons. That is not a platform. And as for everything coming from once source - well that's a kind of nice idea but not with the restrictive conditions MS have applied in the case of Flight. Steam cannot be compared to GFWL. Steam does not prevent a user from manually installing add-ons.You can see with games like STALKER and Rail Simulator that they can be based on a games platform like STEAM and still allow the user to create and install add-ons without restriction. Of course Rail Simulator also has plenty of DLC but it's not the exclusive source of add-ons. Micorsoft want to lock everything down so that they can have FULL control over the add-on development, and take other developers' money. To me that's greedy and unreasonable. It's not the way to stimulate creativity.No I don't need Microsoft. I need third party developers and a platform that inspires them to be creative.

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I need MS only when they create products that I need or desire. If FLIGHT turns out to be only about collecting aerochaces, flying under bridges and doing stupid unrealistic mission then I don't need MS for anything anymore. The only reason I own a PC is to play FSX. With no FS 11, I'll be getting a neat little MAC instead. When I'm finnished exploring Aerosoft's Antarctica in FSX I will have played the game to death...

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The only reason I own a PC is to play FSX. With no FS 11, I'll be getting a neat little MAC instead.
me too...

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Look what happened with Apple & the iphone market. You want extra apps, you buy & download them. We all know how successful that has been.. Maybe the same with Flight? just a thought!
MS Flight should take a look at the App Store for the mac. Like the app store for the iPhone/iPod/iPad, it's a convenient place to find all kinds of apps for Mac OSX which otherwise would remain largely unknown to the broader public. It has all kinds of apps and games in all price ranges, including freeware. But the existence of an app store doesn't prevent you from downloading and installing other content through other sources. This would also be a business model for Flight that would benefit all parties involved, and would not kill freeware. On the contrary. Developers who choose not to use Microsoft Live would not benefit from the larger exposure the online store would offer, but that would be their choice.As usual, MS looked at Apple for a successful innovation and tried to copy it, but ended up not getting it and doing it completely the wrong way. (Unless of course WE are getting it the wrong way, and the addon market for Flight will not be as closed as we understand it).Paul

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Apple's App Store is far from perfect. It's hard to find apps unless you know exactly what you're looking for, and it is flooded with irrelevant and horrible content. MS would be faced with the same dilemma with a DLC store for FLIGHT. Also, there are a lot of legal issues involved in terms of freeware using ©, ® and content.

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