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Guest Antony Waterfield

PSS Press Release - 16/1/2008

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In an attempt to halt the current speculation surrounding Phoenix Simulation Software, the closure of their website and the lack of response to support and emails, I would like to make public the following statements.PHOENIX SIMULATION SOFTWARE REGRET TO ANNOUNCEThat the Company and Website have ceased tradingPSS have experienced severe difficulties both of a personal and financial level that unfortunately at this time cannot be remedied. The financial difficulties are mainly caused by the individuals who preferred to use sites like pirate bay instead of paying to support the growth and continuation of PSS and then clogging up our forums with technical support queries for products you don

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Welcome be back, and I'm ready to support and thrust you again.CheersKick

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Thank you a million times over. I guarantee I will be a loyal purchaser of your products!!! Jorge

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Good news, I hope Graham will be able to overcome his problems. These kind of things are always very sad.Regards.Miquel Egea.

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A sad situation for Graham - however, thanks to Antony for stepping in and he will have the full support of the registered PSS users! We all look forward to the future developments!

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Is there any way that the people who pirated the products can be banned from the PSS forums - even if it means ultimately that the reborn PSS manage their own support in another place a la Level D? Great shame that these people have have spoilt the hobby for us and caused the problems for PSS.I will fully support the new company and look forward to seeing it back as soon as possible. Well done guys!John

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Thanks for the update Anthony. I hope you get the ship righted so to speak. I will be here to support whatever may come for FS9.

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Antony,Your father doesn't know me but please tell him that I've been a great fan of his work going back to, and even before, his wonderful freeware SR-71. I own his FS2002 747 and 777 and was stunned by the attention to detail, and by the integrity, of his work.He will be missed, you will be welcomed.

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Thank you for the info, Antony.I think this is all we wanted to read from anyone from PSS BEFORE all this mess occurred. I will be the first to admit that I have had harsh words for PSS and Graham, and the only reason is because I felt a sense of being let down by a company I would consider somewhat a friend in the FS community, as I, along with many others have been there since the 747 and 777 days of FS2000. It was like we were thrown out with the garbage when Graham left.I do hope you employ some kind of more secure download and packaging for your software as other companies seem to do ok. Piracy exists and always will. All companies are victims to it. You just have to minimize it to make sure you make enough money to keep going. And I, along with everyone else, hope you do.Goran

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Antony, good news indeed. I look forward to a better PSS in the months to come.A word or two of advice for you, if I may be so bold:To blame the current PSS woes mainly on pirated software is, well, very convenient and very short sighted. There are other companies providing software similar to that of PSS that don't seem to have had the problems PSS has had. These companies have had their software stolen in the same manner PSS has and they're not folding-up shop. In order to move forward you really have to have a closer look at the real issues that have dogged PSS over the last several years.1) Products released before they were ready. The 777 and 757 are prime examples of this. The early releases were clearly acts of desperation and harmed the company in a very significant way. 2) Very poor customer support. A company does not fare well when its support staff lie to people, accuse people of piracy, delete complaints, choose not to respond to customer queries, publicly berate customers. I am now in the customer support business for a large Fortune 100 company and when we show our new customer support reps examples of poor support, its PSS that we use as a model.3) Download mechanism. Ditch the installer system as it now exists. Other companies haven't felt the need for such a restrictive system and I know people who have refused to purchase PSS products solely because of the installer. People like to have an installation package that can be backed-up to a physical media and reinstalled at any time.I think you can see now that piracy has not been the main issue and I wish you and the new PSS all the best. Mark

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>Is there any way that the people who pirated the products can>be banned from the PSS forums - even if it means ultimately>that the reborn PSS manage their own support in another place>a la Level D? Great shame that these people have have spoilt>the hobby for us and caused the problems for PSS.>>I will fully support the new company and look forward to>seeing it back as soon as possible. Well done guys!>>John That's very hard to do. First you need to identify possible pirates, then you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they actually are pirates. This is more trouble than its worth. Also, its not solely piracy that toppled PSS. Other FS add-on companies are doing OK despite piracy, albeit with a different business model.

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Anthony,great you re trying to coming back but just some advices from a former PSS beta tester in the old great days of FS2000 with 777 and 747 ...and i left just after the beginning of A320 development ...- making better or create a communication inside the team is the main to do - avoiding people claiming they re pilots in real and not at all- listenning when customers said there is a problem (see communication point 1)-never release add-on before it s fully operationnal and not thinking about customers as beta-testers.wish you the best but without all the points over no more chances to climb as your company was.and im not talking about piracy (im against but it doesnt kill your products) or business plan. see youPhil

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AnthonyAs an happy flyer of all pss products (except dash and 757) and also great admirer of your superb panels , I wish you much courage and good luck.Guy

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Mark,Whilst I agree the general thrust of your comments, the generalities in para 2 have less credibility. Rob has formally been providing Airbus support for several years and I have been doing the same for the Boeings for well over a year. To my knowledge neither of us have done any of the things you accuse us of.As to the PSS delivery system, it requires one connection to the internet on initial purchase. After that you can copy/paste the files from FS9 as a backup or carry out a further download into a dummy folder. In either case you can them re-install the aircraft as you wish without the need for the internet.That said, I think we all hope that Antony is successful. Having been testing until last Autumn, I believe that with a new management the development team has much to offer for the future.John Rooum

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>Mark,>>Whilst I agree the general thrust of your comments, the>generalities in para 2 have less credibility. Rob has>formally been providing Airbus support for several years and I>have been doing the same for the Boeings for well over a year.>To my knowledge neither of us have done any of the things you>accuse us of.>>As to the PSS delivery system, it requires one connection to>the internet on initial purchase. After that you can>copy/paste the files from FS9 as a backup or carry out a>further download into a dummy folder. In either case you can>them re-install the aircraft as you wish without the need for>the internet.>>That said, I think we all hope that Antony is successful. >Having been testing until last Autumn, I believe that with a>new management the development team has much to offer for the>future.>>John Rooum>Once again John I've been too general. The support from you and Rob has been (and continues to be) top notch. My comments of poor customer service should be limited to the Boeing forum only.Regarding the delivery system. The method you described, while functional, is a bit of a chore for a typical computer user. This is, after all, the year 2008 and not 1992. An end user should NOT have to visit an internet forum to learn what directories and files constitute an installed software package. Add to that the potential issues of said end user unwittingly backing up all files save one. There are better installation alternatives out there and there's no reason PSS needs to stick with the current system as it obviously has done NOTHING to curtail piracy. Mark

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John, With all do respect, doing the way you suggest is ,in my opinion, a pain in the butt. Instead of allowing the installer to do the sorting for you, you have to do all the work and possibly make errors in location or some other mistakes. I know where Mark is coming from on that remark.Jorge

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Antony,My thanks for your statement, co-incidentally issued on the day that I made a suggestion here about getting the site back up - even if only for customers to recover their purchases. This is welcome news indeed.PSS have, in my opinion, a huge following of pilots - evidenced by the activity here since your brief 'outage'. There are even more enthusiasts that I know of who have the CD versions, who might not even be aware of the on-line side.I for one am proud to be a PSS pilot, and have flown nothing else since the FS2000 747 and 777. You have fantastic products, and to see you up and running again will be very welcome indeed. You are assured of my continued custom.I have great sympathy for Graham, and I wish him well.Good luck in your endeavours, and I look forward to seeing PSS fully functional again and creating some more brilliant products.Thanks also to AVSIM and to the unofficial support team who have been looking after us here. I don't post, but I read a lot and learn a lot more.With Best RegardsPaul

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Mark,Quite right. I've been around too long. When I started it was only freeware and it was all manual installations so we were soon used to playing with the file structure and aircraft.cfg etc. Today's paying customers are quite right to expect a one click installation and then get on with flying. {The word dinosaur springs to mind?}Also I found the discussion going on on the FSX forum on piracy very interesting and particulsrly Phil Taylor's input.John R

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>Is there any way that the people who pirated the products can>be banned from the PSS forums - even if it means ultimately>that the reborn PSS manage their own support in another place>a la Level D? Great shame that these people have have spoilt>the hobby for us and caused the problems for PSS.Actually, the much easier solution is to run your own support forum and only let registered users read and post there.In order to register on that forum, users will have to provide valid customer information (like name, order #, email etc.). If one cannot provide this information, he cannot register an account. Pretty simple.There could still be a "open" area for those who have not yet purchased and just want to get information or ask pre-order questions. But for real support, you need a valid account and you can only get one by proving that you actually own a legal copy of the product.Just look at how Level-D handles it.

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when will the install servers be back up? I am ready to fly the 757 and 777 again, I was forced to do a system restore to factory settings and lost everything, I can't wait.

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HiPSS definitely raised the Fsim bar back in the FS2000 days and sincerely deserve credit.The hobby has evolved because of pioneers like PSS but they severely fell to the wayside with terrible customer support later on in their era. The release of the Airbus was bug riddled and for me unusable as I remember the flight model constantly nose diving and doing strange things. This is when I stopped purchasing/using PSS add-ons. I think they sealed their own fate. To heap everything on software piracy is absurd and arrogant, users were regularly asking for fixes/support but it seemed PSS were unwilling to answer or address these issues instead they would hide behind a heavily guarded/moderated forum and delete posts that they felt were damaging to their business. I know this may sound scathing but in my opinion reflects the truth surrounding their demise, it would take a major breakthrough/release to ever get me to purchase any re-badged PSS product now, the Airbus series left a bitter taste in my mouth but nonetheless I wish the new admin every success and hopefully they will remedy the old PSS business/customer service model

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I agree. Blaming piracy is comical. It seems that PSS doesn't really understand what happened to them. I do have to wonder about the sincerity of Antony's words and whether or not a new PSS is doomed to a fate similar to the old. I expected some feedback from Antony by now, at least to address the issues we've raised in response to his original comments. His statements about piracy and the fate of his father were so very unprofessional and non-business like.

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Mark,Again, although none of us really know, I have to agree with your second sentence. But {and there always is a but} I have watched the PSS forums since before the 777 release and there were obviously problems that have not been mentioned in this thread but which were far more intractable.Putting a positive spin on the PSS statement, I suspect that Antony had to choose his words very carefully, particularly if he is in negotiations to raise capital. For similar reasons, I would not expect to hear more until he has made some progress. However, he would certainly been helped by a bit of PR advice!John R

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