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Guest Peter Sidoli

I was fairly horrified to learn that of all the sales of MSFS which goes into millions of copies only a negligable amount are added to with third party addons.The vast majority stay in their green off the shelf state.This means that us MSFS enthusiasts who frequent these forums are only a small percentage of the total sales of the product.(I would love to know the actual figures)I really think that in the next version of MSFS that MS should encourage users into the world of addons and the flight simulator community by having direct links to the main FS sites and telling users of the potential for expanding their FS experience.I would go even further by having a page of links to the main quality addon manufacturers. (Maybe the addon manufactures could buy this advertising from MS with a licence agreement)This way their revenue goes up with increased sales and with the increased revenue the quality will also increase.Flight simming is a large hobby but it has the potential to be even bigger if more people knew of its expansion capability.If Microsoft direct people to the hobby rather than just selling the product as off the shelf software everyone will benefitPeter

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Guest Grahame Myers

Yep! Good idea! You've put into words something that I've been thinking for a long time now. Most of the FS users I know are amazed when they see my installation for the first time (43Gb :-) ),and most of them weren't even aware of the vast and varied amount of addons available.RegardsGrahame (EDHL)

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Guest bobsk8

Hereis a page from their web site. Without actually showing add-on products, I think this is a comprehensive list of web sites to learn more about what one can do with MSFS. I think most people are just not that interested in doing anything except flying the product in it's natural state. http://www.microsoft.com/games/flightsimulator/community.asp

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Guest Peter Sidoli

BobI have been in flight simming for some time and never knew that list existed.It is a very basic list which hardly pushes people who are not as you put it "really that interested" into becoming interested.What I foresaw was something much more "in your face" such as a screen on installation of the product showing how expandable FS can be and where to go.The links have to be on the main installation disc marketing the idea and capability not tucked away on a web site which will require a level of interest to be looking there in the first place.Peter

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Hello Peter,Have you looked at the Learning Center portion of Flight Simulator? I seem to remember that what you ask is precisely that which is included there.Unfortunately, we, like that majority of gamers, are not interested in learning to fly or in all the possibilities of the game (how many people bother with the Flight Instructor or with Adventures?); all we want is to get in and take off! It's the old "Read the Manual" conundrum. Or is that, rather, "You can lead a horse to water..."Best regards.Luis


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Guest bobsk8

Probably Microsoft doesn't want to go down that road. I work for a company that among other things, writes their own software, The last thing that we are going to do, is to advertise to our customers that they can add additional items to interface with our software. What if MS shows a particular add-on, or add-on web site, the MSFS owner buys that program and his FSX crashes the first time he boots it up after the install. There would be MS bashing all over the internet. I think if anyone has the interest in learning more about MSFS and what can be done with it, they will visit some of the web sites listed on the link I enclosed, or do a Google search on MSFS and come up with more stuff than they could read in a lifetime. If they don't want to make effort to research this, then maybe they should just fly MSFS as it is, they probably would be better off.

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Guest

Correct. There are way too many people already blaming Microsoft for problems caused by 3rd party products.Not just in the FS community (and probably less here than elsewhere because it's a small community of relatively tech-savvy users) but overall.People install WordPerfect (for example) which crashes their machine (can happen) and scream bloody murder for Microsoft writing poor software...If Microsoft were to actively promote those 3rd party products they'd be giving them some official seal of approval, leading to even more people thinking those products are somehow directly related to and possibly created by Microsoft themselves and that therefore any problems in them are Microsoft's problem to solve.

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It would be interesting to know just how many Grandma's, Grandpa's, parents or others buy MSFS as presents for kids, teenagers, or adults for that matter. I would not be surprised to find that many of those receiving the software do nothing with it, or at best play with their toy briefly and puts it away forever. This certainly has proven to be the case with many other such items.Happy flying:RTH

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Not to mention the fact that MS can't possibly lend support for every addon out there. What are they going to do when addon company A complains that addon company B got support from MS and wants to know why they didn't?What I could see them do is offering ad space at the back of the manual or something like that to addon developers willing to pay, but it's the same problem - having the money to pay for an ad doesn't guarantee quality either.


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Guest panda234

There are some good arguments against it, but the bottom line is that a lot of people (me included) wouldn't buy the product without the availability of addons. I don't know the answer, but it would be nice if there was a way for MS to make purchasers more aware of some of the addons out there while still making the sim functional enough that it can be used right out of the box. But then what happens when some kid gets FS9 from grandma for christmas and dad buys him an addon from a company that dosn't support the product and all of a sudden you have a family in an uproar. Maybe MS dosn't want to go there. It's a dilemna, but there are many people out there smarter than me that might have the solution. It would be interesting to know total sales of FS9 and how many bought 1 and how many bought more than 1 addon. billg

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Guest bobsk8

>It would be interesting to know just how many Grandma's,>Grandpa's, parents or others buy MSFS as presents for kids,>teenagers, or adults for that matter. I would not be surprised>to find that many of those receiving the software do nothing>with it, or at best play with their toy briefly and puts it>away forever. This certainly has proven to be the case with>many other such items.>>Happy flying:>RTHI know of 2 people where I work, that bought MSFS, tried flying it acouple of times, were disappointed that it "wasn't as good" as some of the X-Box and Play Station games involving aircraft, and that was that. For MSFS, they actually had to learn something and they weren't willing to invest the time or effort. Another problem with promoting add-ons by Microsoft , is this ( and I guarantee this would be a least a couple of threads on this forum alone). "Why doesn't MSFS include these features in the basic product (for free) instead of telling you that you need to buy more software to make MSFS work correctly?" I can hear the whining now :)

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>I was fairly horrified to learn that of all the sales of MSFS>which goes into millions of copies only a negligable amount>are added to with third party addons.>>The vast majority stay in their green off the shelf state.>>This means that us MSFS enthusiasts who frequent these forums>are only a small percentage of the total sales of the>product.I'm surprised that this a surprise, Peter. 98% of golfers play their entire life with one, maybe two, sets of off-the-shelf clubs (and shoot over 100, I might add!). 2% spend half their life in the pro shop worrying about whether they have the right flavour-of-the-month driver.98% of car drivers buy a car, drive it, sell it. 2% stick stripes on it, add fairings, replace the carbs, bore out the cylinders, add gauges, change the seats.98% of .... oh, you get the message. Statistics by Beaumont, by the way, not scientific. There is no way that MS would, or should, endorse third party products. Many of these add-on companies come and go; some are bona fide, some are schoolkids operating from bedrooms. Quality control would be a nightmare, and would all reflect on MS themselves. They get unfairly bashed enough already. They provide teaser links to some key sites and that's really all they need to do. Any keen hobbyist can do the rest if they have half a brain.What's more, the shelves in most major computer stores are covered with add-ons for MSFS. I don't see the issue.MarkP.S. Mind you, my daughter wonders why there isn't a Barbie for flight simulator ....Mark "Dark Moment" BeaumontVP Fleet, DC-3 AirwaysTeam Member, MAAM-SIM[a href=http://www.swiremariners.com/cathayhk.html" target="_blank]http://www.paxship.com/maamlogo2.jpg[/a]


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Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumont

VP Fleet, DC-3 Airways

Team Member, MAAM-SIM

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>Another problem with promoting add-ons by Microsoft , is this ( and I guarantee this would be a least a couple of threads on this forum alone). "Why doesn't MSFS include these features in the basic product (for free) instead of telling you that you need to buy more software to make MSFS work correctly?" I can hear the whining now

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Guest smoys

>...with the increased revenue the quality will also increase.A good idea but I disagree that increased revenue will necessarily translate into increased quality. MS earns a great deal of revenue (compared to third party producers) on FS but the game still, after 25 years, carries over a fundamental flight model flaw from the SubLogic days. Heck, we still have the Dash8-100 flying around with the main gear installed backwards! And systems modeling remains abysmal even after all these years, and though third party producers have made some substantal gains in systems modeling over the last few years (bless their hearts), they are still limited in what they can do by the core FS code. In fact, they may have come as far as they can with systems modeling given the restrictions in which they must work. Nonetheless, the idea of easily connecting casual users to these producers through the FS interface is an intriguing idea.Mike

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Another thing you have to consider is that Microsoft has never been in the business of providing top quality applications. They shoot for the vast middle ground of function and learning curve.There are two problems with Flight Simulator in my mind.(1) Most computer users and games have no desire to engage in a simulation. They don't want to know how to start an aircraft engine - they want to fly. FS comes very close to that line - we all are over the line into the simulation end.(2) The learning curve - if it takes a manual and more than 15 min to get going - they ain't gonna stay with it.The biggest obstacle to more use of freeware and some payware addons is the lack of solid installation programs.Almost every time someone post on a forum to a newbie "do it yourself manually - don't use installers" they drive someone out of the hobby.The people we want to use FS, the people we NEED to keep FS going are not a generation who know how to edit text files, identify file structure and usage, identify correct folders.Installation programs are an art form in themselves - but a solid installation program VASTLY increases the potential audience.

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