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ahuimanu

Longevity

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The last 3+ years has taught us that Microsoft is very erratic and borders on being rudderless with a faulty compass. Given the unceremonious demise of MS Flight, we have all reflected in various ways. Fortunately, FSX seems to still have quite a bit of life left and the add-on market is as good as it ever was.

 

However, I am thinking about all the false starts and missteps that Microsoft has taken over the years and, with the product approaching its sixth year (or perhaps fifth if the Service Packs and Acceleration is taken into account), my ability to trust is not complete.

 

Tonight I was thinking of similarly impactful space games such as Elite, Freelancer, and (perhaps) EVE online, in terms of games that define a genre. In any case as I was reviewing the Wiki entry on Microsoft's Freelancer, I was reminded of how Microsoft promptly pulled the plug on that game about 5 years after release (released 2003 and shut off in 2008). By "pull the plug" I don't mean simply that support was withdraw. Rather, I mean that any online services were terminated.

 

I can think of three (two of which are fairly important) aspects of FSX that would suffer from such treatment:

 

1) Activation Service (we must activate our product online)

2) Weather from Jeppesen

3) Multiplayer lobby (is it GameSpy?)

 

In fact, from what I can gather, we passed the end of the product life cycle for Flight Simulator X in January of 2012.

 

Again, my ability to trust Microsoft has waned about entirely given recent events. Since acceleration and SP2 came out 5 years ago this Fall, I am beginning to wonder. I don't use the built-in weather any longer, and I don't use multiplayer, however I will likely need to reinstall someday and will need to activate. I've purchased a backup copy of FSX Gold about a year or so ago, but I am concerned that one day the other end of the activation line will just go dark.

 

My investment into FSX is quite deep (certainly 1000s of dollars), and that is my risk, but this might be moot if the lights go out. While I see Aerosoft realizing the need for diversity and embracing XPlane, I wonder about all the other high-quality add-ons coming down the road, like PMDG's upcoming releases. If the lights are pulled, what then?

 

Anyhow, these are just some thoughts. I wonder if anyone can provide further insight? Perhaps we will find a way to bypass? Or, perhaps activation could be disabled as a last act of kindness?

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I think the future you're looking for is ongoing with Lockheed-Martin and Prepar3D. At this point, it's essentially FSX with some bug fixes, but they're actually developing it and more add-on developers are getting on board. Some people with lower spec computers are saying that it's usable when they couldn't run FSX. I know one who's ecstatic that he can finally wave goodbye to FS9 and experience what so many of us have.

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I think the future you're looking for is ongoing with Lockheed-Martin and Prepar3D. At this point, it's essentially FSX with some bug fixes, but they're actually developing it and more add-on developers are getting on board. Some people with lower spec computers are saying that it's usable when they couldn't run FSX. I know one who's ecstatic that he can finally wave goodbye to FS9 and experience what so many of us have.

 

I would go the Lockheed route if I thought the development community would, but it is only spotty thus far.

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very erratic and borders on being rudderless

 

This defines the CEO of Microsoft. My opinion of course.

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This defines the CEO of Microsoft. My opinion of course.

 

So very true. I just wonder if the house we have left is truly built on sand.

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