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cmpbellsjc

Has Microsoft ever considered this?

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The other day I was looking at the screen shot forum and saw a few post from a fellow using X-Plane. I had never really considered using X-Plane, but after seeing some of his screen shots I was impressed by the cloud shadows and the way the sky environment looked. From what I understand the flight dynamics are supposed to be the best in a home PC flight sim. So, the question I have is, has Microsoft ever considered buying Laminar Research, in a move like they did with Bruce Artwick (SubLOGIC). They could then combine the best eye candy with the better environment and flight dynamics. I am sure this question has probably been posted sometime in the past but I have never seen anything on it. Seems like we could have the best of both worlds if these two companies could get together. I doubt I am going to even try X-Plane until the scenery and other eye candy features catch up, but if they keep updating it looks like it could be a really killer sim in a few more years. I look forward to any replies on this, especially from Phil or any of the other MS guys.Regards,Sean

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I've only seen X-Plane once, many years ago. But if the clouds are that good and the sim delivers good frame rates then there have probably been sacrifices elsewhere. The scenery on the version I saw was not that good.This reminds me of Fly! (10 years ago) which had stunning clouds but the ground textures were spartan by Microsoft standards. Whilst I don't doubt the ability of the X-Plane programmer if better clouds could be produced by Aces I'm sure that would have happened by now.Cheers,

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I tried X-plane and still have the previous version on my hard drive. Now I'm no expert in any sim so here's my impression. It's a good sim with good flight dynamics. It comes with an aircraft and scenery designer and there's lots more aircraft and scenery available, payware and freeware. With the default I found it hard to locate airports visually. Some of the screen shots on the forum are amazing, but I could never duplicate the scenery. I found FSX more pleasing to the eye and went back. In the end it's a personal preference.BTW, I hope MS doesn't buy it out: we need competition to keep development going.

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>The other day I was looking at the screen shot forum and saw>a few post from a fellow using X-Plane. I had never really>considered using X-Plane, but after seeing some of his screen>shots I was impressed by the cloud shadows and the way the sky>environment looked. From what I understand the flight dynamics>are supposed to be the best in a home PC flight sim. So, the>question I have is, has Microsoft ever considered buying>Laminar Research, in a move like they did with Bruce Artwick>(SubLOGIC). They could then combine the best eye candy with>the better environment and flight dynamics. If X-Plane's flight dynamics were as great as it's "hyped"; then we'd all be using it. But................they are not! I've been using third party aircraft for MSFS for years, that generally fly rings around most X-Plane aircraft. The MSFS addon --- Better rudder control, better slips, more realistic for aerobatics, and much better simulated spins.As to scenery, it's hit and miss. In some areas X-Plane looks better, but it's a lot of generic scenery around the world. To populate most airports beyond runways with no buildings, you have to do it yourself, or look for addons.I do own X-Plane version "8", and have used the demo's for many years. However, I always seem to gravitate back to MSFS.L.Adamson

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I bought the latest version to show my support and also give them some $$$$.I daily read page after page of "what" Microsoft needs to so, well truth is they do not NEED to do anything.One thing that needs to happen is some competition.And I regetfully IMO report that X-Plane the latest version is not it.I really,really,REALLY tried to let it grow on me and give it some time but X-plane even with its gigs and gigs of new scenery feels and looks overall 10 years behind.

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The flight dynamics are the #2 thing (performance being #1) that MS need to work on. They haven't changed since FS2000.X-Plane uses blade theory to produce its flight dynamics, but it has a catch: take an aircraft outside the envelope, and X-Plane loses it completely.Apparently the FS flight model actually has a lot of potential, but for some reason are uber secret about it. I find this strange as the heart of a FLIGHT sim is the FLIGHT dynamics! It's no good all the aircraft handling like Cessnas. This is where X-Plane excels.I think MS also need to concentrate a little less on the ground eye-candy, and more on the weather dynamics. They could do so much more than they're doing at present, and quicker, too. The big problem is that FS as it is, is inefficient and needs re-coding from the ground up.They need to look at Falcon - the flight dynamics are something else.Best regards,Robin.

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>I bought the latest version to show my support and also give>them some $$$$.>I daily read page after page of "what" Microsoft needs to so,>well truth is they do not NEED to do anything.>One thing that needs to happen is some competition.>And I regetfully IMO report that X-Plane the latest version is>not it.>I really,really,REALLY tried to let it grow on me and give it>some time but X-plane even with its gigs and gigs of new>scenery feels and looks overall 10 years behind.Its all about personal preference. I bought X-Plane 8 and upgraded when version 9 came out. FS-X hardly gets any playtime anymore and whenever I start FS-X I'm amazed I ever put up with that inconsistent framerate.

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Maybe the reverse would be better, X-Plane buying out MSFS. Quite posssibly less to be fixed in X-Plane than what is needed in MSFS. Plus, it appears X-Plane is geared towards flight simulation instead of the game direction MS is taking.Richard

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>I bought the latest version to show my support and also give>them some $$$$.Here are somethings to chew on awhile...1) There is no "them." X-Plane is essentially a one-man-band (Austin Meyer). One dev , one owner, lots of volunteers...2) I'm fairly certain that your purchase will help support the 2007 Columbia 400 - he traded in his still fairly new SR22 - (and other expensive toys) he now owns that was paid for by the profits from X-Plane...http://www.x-plane.com/adventures/41_oshkosh2008.htmlhttp://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/N842X.html

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I really like X-Plane, because there is no other simulator with which i can exercise my shopping flights to Lidl and IKEA.Who needs ai traffic, airplanes which are looking like airplanes, seasons...

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He reminds me of a rapper (or a preacher), riding around in Bentley while the audience tries to scrape together loose change to buy the next album (or "donate" to God).There is nothing wrong with making money and building a good life for oneself, but flaunting one's wealth to one's audience is not recommended. We've already seen his house, his corvette, his Segway, his airplane, etc. For sure, hard work is to be rewarded, but I really he'd really want to keep his fat bankbook to himself.As the owner of an IT consulting firm here in Chicago, I can't go to my client site is my 07' Benz S55 and then tell them that I need to charge more for my consultants on-site. It's hard to cry "please support my work" over the hum of a new half million dollar Columbia 400!

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>>Apparently the FS flight model actually has a lot of>potential, but for some reason are uber secret about it. I>find this strange as the heart of a FLIGHT sim is the FLIGHT>dynamics! It's no good all the aircraft handling like Cessnas.>This is where X-Plane excels.>I won't kid anybody....My number one complaint about X-Plane, is that it lacks in the "feel" department. IMO, it reacts like a puppet on a string to stick inputs, and seems to miss something in regards to dampening, inertia, and a few others such as power to weight. It's X-Plane that I can't tell much difference between large and small aircraft----not MSFS.As I said previously, some third party addons for MSFS are really good in the flight dynamics department! Not perfect, but convincing!I don't think that X-Planes excels in the flight dynamics department............period! If I did, I'd be using it a lot more, but usually bag it after a half hour or so. It's either twitchy or subdued, depending on settings; and my "pilot" brain just doesn't seem to get the cues to fill in the gaps between virtual and reality, that I find in MSFS, especially FSX.I believe that some people think X-Plane is more like flying, because it usually is quite fluid. But to me, it's what I'd visualize a magic carpet ride to be. Just smooth and graceful, but lacking in the feel and reactions I've mentioned above.L.Adamson

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Some people strive to be a member of the ACES team.Other people just strive to be Bill Gates. ;-)So yes you can program a flightsim for a salary and have a nice job, healthcare. morgage, etc. A small part of the revenue goes into your salary the rest goes to your boss and the share holders.ORYou take a risk and are your own boss and as long as you're succesfull all the revenue is for you.Guess which person realy realy cares about how succesfull his programing project is :-)BTW do you realy think Austin still does X-Plane all by himself without payed help? If a one man band can program something with the quality that is X-Plane 9 then surely a whole proffesional team of developers can make their program 10 times beter?

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His accomplishment is really quite something, if you think about it and I see nothing wrong with his enjoying his success as he sees fit. Since the demise of Fly II he has been the only commercial alternative for a civilian flight sim vs. Microsoft. What is he supposed to do, buy a beat-up, high hours 172 for appearances sake? He's not accepting donations folks like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. He's not providing a public service.He's selling a product that people want to buy. Good for him. Colin in Portland

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>Here are somethings to chew on awhile...>>1) There is no "them." X-Plane is essentially a one-man-band>(Austin Meyer). One dev , one owner, lots of volunteers...>>2) I'm fairly certain that your purchase will help support the>2007 Columbia 400 - he traded in his still fairly new SR22 ->(and other expensive toys) he now owns that was paid for by>the profits from X-Plane...Who cares what he does with his money? Are you jealous? He hasn't forced me to buy XPlane. I bought it willingly. Could it possibly be that FSX has caused serious flight simmers (like me) to jump ship to another product that works out of the box without stutters, config file changes, graphic card updates upon updates upon updates AND STILL it doesn't work smoothly as XPlane does? I was flying XPlane 9 with my MacBook Pro 128k ram and it performed screamingly better than FSX which wouldn't even give me the time of the day on a box like that. And just wait until more developers jump ship and start providing payware/freeware airports and planes for XPlane. The things that can be done with version 9 are amazing. Will you scrutinize them for their profits?I'm proud to fly that sim the majority of my time because instead of wasting time configuring my computer I simply hop in my cockpit and fly and enjoy the day.Personal preference is all that it is.

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It may be an exaggeration, but MSFS only seems to innovate in responce to competition. They weren't the first with Dynamic weather, GPS, Round World, (somewhat) realistic looking clouds, (somewhat) Accurate Ground Mesh, and the list goes on.A little healthy competition is a good thing.Now some are migrating to X-Plane for performance reasons, and MS will make performance a priority in FSXI. Who woulda Thunkit??? :-)Best Regards, Donald T. FLYing? It's cool. Trillions of birds and insects can't be wrong.

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And just wait until more developers jump ship and>start providing payware/freeware airports and planes for>XPlane. The things that can be done with version 9 are>amazing. One problem, is that versions of X-Plane change rather quickly compared to MSFS. And what works in one version may not work in the next, let alone all of the in-between beta versions. This makes it awful tough for developers that actually spend many months or even a year or more on a specific product. I'd even go as far as saying.........that's why you never see the detail in X-Plane addon's, that you do with MSFS.L.Adamson

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Ray I agree with you. I had bought Fly! as well and the clouds were stunning. It was a much better sim performance wise than MS and its too bad that development could not continue. Bill

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>One problem, is that versions of X-Plane change rather quickly>compared to MSFS. And what works in one version may not work>in the next, let alone all of the in-between beta versions.How much of this is personal experience? I have several commercial X-Plane add-ons. The stuff I bought for X-Plane 8 works without problems in X-Plane 9. I also have no problems in the current 9.20 Beta (even though its just a Beta).Yes you get more updates with X-Plane and sometimes stuff breaks in the newer builds. Thats why veteran X-Plane users keep popular builds installed and use a test install for the newer stuff (just to be safe). Even with FS-X I see people not instaling the latest service pack because it breaks some things so its not that different.>This makes it awful tough for developers that actually spend>many months or even a year or more on a specific product. I'd>even go as far as saying.........that's why you never see the>detail in X-Plane addon's, that you do with MSFS.The reason we didn't see the MSFS detail with regard to aircraft is because for a long time Austin kept the external 3D models limited (as you know the X-Plane 3D model is also used to do the flightmodel calculations). From version 8 and onward you can use a seperate 3D model (just for looks). The X-Plane community is slowly adapting to these posibilities so they slowly get new add-on aircraft with the same 3D looks and animations that we have in FS9.Scenery add-ons don't have these problems. Its also relatively simple to convert Fs9 sceneries and use these in X-Plane. So the quality of scenery add-ons is almost even between FS and X-Plane (you miss AI traffic and scripted animations). X-plane now also has a free plugin to convert Google earth images to photo scenery (just Like FS-X has) and in my opinion (and on my machine) the X-Plane scenery engine produces sharper, clearer images then FS-X does.My experience with X-Plane is that the add-on community is improving rapidly and their aircraft add-ons are reaching a level comperable to early commercial FS-9 add-ons. In comparisson FS-9 / FS-X add-ons seem to have little left to improve on (the standards are already high and popular aircraft have several add-ons dedicated to them). The high level hardware needed to run FS-X also limits the progress complex add-ons can make without ruining the framerate.I hope MS learns from the current situation (design choices in FS-X and THE competition from X-Plane). I hope it will lead to lots of improvements in FS - Next. I agree with the notion that the FS franchise needs a good competitor to accelerate improvents. The competition that X-Plane provides will in the end proof benifitial even to those that never used it.

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I've looked at X-Plane, but tell me what is it lacking?From what I have briefly looked at, it appears not to cover the whole world.Correct me if I am wrong, I don't think it covers Oceiana at all.if that is the case , it is limited.

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It does cover the entire globe, one just needs to install 80 gigs of data. I am starting to do flight to Thailand and I use X-Plane 9 as the Thai coastlines are lightyears ahead of any MS sceneries.

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>Who cares what he does with his money? Are you jealous? He>hasn't forced me to buy XPlane. I bought it willingly.Not in the least! DO try to read what I wrote in the context of that which I quoted...It was nothing more nor less than a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment concerning this statement:"I bought the latest version to show my support and also give>them some $$$$."...as though Austin Meyer were some poor schlock who was barely making ends meet and desperately needed the "support." :-lol

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>It does cover the entire globe, one just needs to install 80>gigs of data. I am starting to do flight to Thailand and I use>X-Plane 9 as the Thai coastlines are lightyears ahead of any>MS sceneries.Since topography is one of my greatest interests when it comes to flight simming............it's also the main reason I use X-Plane with the global scenery disks.What I've found, is that it is all hit and miss. In some areas X-Plane has the best detail, and in others, it's MSFS. And then it's also a combination of man made objects such as buildings, dams, roads, etc; and how they are presented for the final combination of scenery and objects.L.Adamson

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Thanks for all the replys guys. I didn't expect so many. Sounds like both have their pro's and con's. It will be very exciting to see how flight sim changes in another 10 years from now for both the MS versions and the X-Plane versions. What really sparked my interest was the article published in either PC Pilot or Computer Pilot last month on X-Plane. I had never really taken a look at X-Plane up to that point. Then some fellows starting posting some screens in the screen shot forum and I was really interested based on the cloud shadows and how the sky environment looked.Looking back to when I had a C64 running the SubLOGIC version, I never would have though that 30 years later the sims would look and perform the way they do now. Perhaps MS not getting together with them is good and will spark more competition between the two, providing better content for us, the end users.

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