Flight Simulator developers have called on Microsoft to clarify quickly its plans for the massive flight franchise that's found its way into the defense sector. Failure to act could see Microsoft lose a familiar and successful operation to open-source and cross-platform competitors as partners drift away in search of …
End of an Era
There were some good flight simulators from other companies, but the ad-ons were missing and they didn't catch on.
And maybe Microsoft aren't telling us something about Windows 7.
I think I might have bought Fs 11 for the zeppelins, but my wallet is screaming at the thought of the hardware it mightt have needed.
I bet the X-Box market gives a better return on investnent.
Fly me a Jumbo, Dumbo .....
Microsoft ESP ..... Perfect for Flying Machinery with Pin Point Power Accuracy into Tall Building too?
Although surely things have moved on since then and it is now more Individually Personalised for Deadly Accurate Delivery.
Of all the things they could have got rid of - they scoot right past the useless rubbish like Zune and cut Flight Simulator!
This is the program which in the early days was the real benchmark of whether you produced an IBM clone PC "Does it run Flight Simulator?"
Just an unbelieveably stupid move from MS. They've got a successful, well-loved and high profile product - and they kill it.
God alone knows what Microsoft's strategy for PC gaming is. With their diabolical Games For Windows Live "service" and the closure of many of their games studios over the last few years, perhaps they just want to kill PC gaming, and then expect everyone to buy their console toys.
What's cut and what's not...
Interesting that MS has cut this actually profitable section out entirely, while contiuing to churn out the unpopular tat that is the Zune. What they use to give them strategic direction I do not know...
And let the great multitude of FLOSS fanbois shout in one accord...
FORK! FORK! FORK!
Ahhhh what? You can't? Suckers!
A swelling in the ranks?
Perhaps the FOSS team will now find a sudden swelling in their volunteer ranks of highly talented and experienced volunters....who then go one to make squillions creating bespoke add-ins.
Meanwhile MS continues to run around squealing "The sky is falling!"
Bye bye microsoft
I was just in the middle of contemplating whether to buy a new high powered PC so I can upgrade to Flight Sim X when this news broke.
Flight Sim is about the only game I play these days, and about the only reason I still stick with Windows as my primary OS. The death of FS means no reason to stay on windows now. If I do buy a new PC it will probably be a lot lower spec'd, and will be running Ubuntu.
Thanks Microsoft, you just made the decision to abandon your products so much easier for me!
FlightGear should be what they look at
FlightGear is the open source equivalent of FlightSim. Its rough around the edges but there is much of the same functionality as in FS.
Here is a perfect opportunity for 3rd party flight sim companies. Dedicate an engineer to the help polish FlightGear and use the remainder to work on content. No more dependency on Microsoft. Every expansion could even contain a full version of FlightGear on disc so people get be up and running for the cost of the expansion.
Only reason I kept windows ...
... on a machine was was MS Flight Sim. So it's not all bad news.
Never played it much myself
I'm not interested in FS - every version I ever looked at seemed to me to be more sluggish and demanding than the last. I never found any trace of the use of DirectX either - as if the render engine was on CPU mode.
No really, FS is and always has been a turd as far as performance goes.
But whenever I go to a store and check out the game section, I see FS add-ons by the dozens. All kinds, for all tastes, I imagine. That has to mean success, no doubt about it.
And they kill it off, just like that ? Hey Monkey Boy, you're bleeding money with every XBox and Vista is a big gaping hole in your pocketbook, and you kill off something that is bringing in money by the truckload ?
Good Lord, I should be chairman of MS. No way I can screw things up worse than you, Ballmer.
Is far more realistic than MS flight sim, but doesn't quite have the variety of plugins that can be bought off the shelf.
If there are businesses that exist just to create add ons, then why not switch to X-Plane (and advertise the fact)?
Zune might (OK, there's no "might" about it) be entirely crap, unstable and unusable, however it is one of the pillars of MS's attempted domination of everything in the home - phone, media centre, communications, storage, media player, video on demand, games on demand, etc. This domination will allow them enormous influence and give them a huge, regular income. Flight Simulator, no matter how good it is, does not fit into this plan.
Should Flight Simulator be moved onto the X-Box then compared to the mainstream games (e.g. the family games that make the Wii so popular) it would be a very niche and non-family/mainstream product and therefore hardly worth bothering about. It's no accident that MS is massively subsidising the x-box hardware and the marketing of its games and actively encouraging family games and the home-brew x-box live game developers. MS want to dominate the home entertainment market (games and video) and this involves getting their own custom and locked down system into as many homes as possible. Anything that helps with this is good (Zune), anything that doesn't isn't good (Flight Simulator).
Austin Meyer should...
...start heavily promoting X-plane. For the truly nerdy, you can build and fly your own designs. Or crash them as the case may be. Must build a big black helicopter.
From MS dept of strategic planning
Do Apple make a flight simulator ?
No, then we don't !
Now where's my OS-X for dummies - I need to know what features will be in Windows 8
It was said that the only reason FS survived was that Bill liked to play it, now he has left (and can buy his own airforce) expect to see Chair-simulator for Balmer.
They made the Flight Sim,...
What do they need the developers for now? They already wrote the software.
Software writers do not get royalties. These developers were stupid to work for Microsoft, when they knew their work would be exchanged for a ridiculous hourly salary, and no royalties.
As long as businesses keep treating software writers like this, no one should be surprised.
I'm an MSFS person (have been using it since version 3 and nearly every version since), but I have tried X-Plane. On paper, its aerodynamics engine is a more accurate and precise engine than MSFS, but in practice it still comes down to how well the particular aircraft is modelled in the particular flight sim. Comparing the default X-plane planes to the default MSFS planes, the X-plane ones tend to win. However, many of the add-on planes for MSFS significantly improve the realism vs the default MSFS planes, and even the default X-Plane planes.
The problem for X-Plane, IMO, has been that there just aren't as many high-quality payware (or even freeware) add-on aircraft for it. I've also considered the virtual cockpits in X-Plane to be inferior to MSFS's too (and I'm sure that can be corrected in any high-quality add-on). I would like to switch to X-Plane, but until the above two issues are rectified, it's just not an alternative. Maybe with MS effectively killing FS, I'll be switching to X-Plane. But until then, it's just something different, but not necessarily better.
No big loss really.
Well no version of MS flight simulator ever worked very well (I have used many versions over the years including X). They were all without exception laggy and unrealistic. X-plane on the other hand is much more realistic and responds much better than any MS flight simulator version ever did. It's only unfortunate that the configuration complexity and setup and learning curve on x-plane is as high as it is. It's not a simple out of the box experience that MS flight simulator had, even if the MS experience was soon discovered to be pretty crappy.
Goodbye MS flight simulator. You will not be missed.
End of an era
Used this baby since FS2 - might even have been on the Atari ST and pre-Microsoft. i was 6-7 years old ish. used every version since and built my current pc specifically around getting the best out of FSX.
i have to disagree with the people complaining about lagginess. if you try and run fs2000 on a 286 with16MB RAM then it's going to hurt.... fsx is a beast there's not doubt, but personally i'm more than happy with what my Q6600, BadAxe2 mobo, 4Gb ram with vista, and a Geforce 8800 GTS (320MB) can do with it. dx10 'preview' a little dodgy in accelleration though.
this is a travesty. fully understand the 'strategic direction' etc. and the world\home\front-room domination game they're playing, but we don't care about that. we dont' care who we buy what from and what sticker is on the box (unless there's mac boys around!). if it's good, it will get bought.
whereas FS has been a mainstay of profitability for microsoft with a long-lasting loyal customer base (albeit a little niche). and this is how it ends?!
how many of us who use FSX\FS9 have been using this product since the early days? buying upgrade after upgrade. why? because it was a good product (little details side).
interestingly (and with the obligatory wikipedia 'pinch of salt'), have a butchers at this:-
end of an era. what a travesty. hopefully fsx will keep us going for a while - the aces guys should form up their own company and make quality add ons for fsx. i would happily pay reasonable prices that would enable me to eek more out of fsx. i'm sure others would too.
boo microsoft. (and i'm a secret fan boy of their corp enterprise products for my sins.) i think they've dropped the ball here.
I'm a student PPL pilot. One of the reasons I never gave up my dream (25 years) was Flight Sim.
Sure, there were much more fun titles out there (like F22ADF, and more recently IL2) - but FS8,9 and X kept that flame alive. The "deluxe" edition books with FS8 and FS9 explained principles of flight pretty well, and the interactive lessons are easier to follow than the standard textbooks. Practising instrument navigation is pretty much as real as it gets.
I doubt anyone else but MS would have went to the trouble of including better and better functionality. Hi end professional sims used to cost a fortune, and had a 10th of the functionality of Flight Sim. Sure, you can't do part of yourFAA certification on FSX (you can with X-Plane and suitable hardware) - but Flight Sim *did* consistently raise the bar for others.
FSX had things missing, but I'm sure the next release would have addressed a number of them (like realistic ATC).
Oh, and like many others - the main reason I ran Windows at home was for Flight Sim.Hey ho!
m$ shitesim sucks !
I have shitesim '98. I will not part with more money to try later variants of this shitware.
I am pleased m$ isn't progressing shitesim any more. This opens up the market for proper flight simulation software. Falcon 4 was leaps ahead of shitesim when it came out.
To cite a few inaccuracies in shitesim '98 :-
1) gliders are supposed to encounter thermals to get lift. the 'sailplane' 'flys' with a glide ratio that would make a plastic pig strapped to a piano look aerodynamic, and makes the same sound as a piano strike ! Needless to say despite hunting out some cumulus, no lift can be found.
2) the extra compass. works the wrong way round. good thing I did scouts, or I'd be fucked.
3) why is the autopilot not able to function correctly in accelerated mode ? All we're talking about is timeslice simulation, and yet an accelerated descent of a 737 from 30000 to 2000 ft will crash into the sea on autopilot. **CRAP**.
Now onto the 'features' :-
1) the help text is useless, as to be expected with m$. reams of drivvel with no substance. for instance, how do you shutdown an engine ?
2) the interface is useless. I can't think of a more piss-poor pile of tripe than the m$ shitesim UI. Woe betide you if you were mug enough to install the whole pile of crap to disk. Once you screw up the UI you can never get back.
3) the manual is a comic. there is more technical information in the bloody beano. this is **supposed** to be a technical game - time m$ got with the program !
4) as real as it gets ???? not likely.
5) the game is so bloody boring - and it doesn't need to be - that you have to crash into something to make it less so. Hmmmm ?
Hope all the m$ guys out of work on this can get jobs at proper companies that **REALLY** make use of their skills.
Remember back (pre FS3) when you could go to a store and find 5 or 6 flight sims that were all entertaining and delt with specialised aircraft and had aerodynamic engines that fit that aircraft (rather than the one size fits all rubbish you get now).
Remember when every flight sim had a career mode or something to aim for and it wasn't just flying your latest peice of payware from spot to spot
Remember when Navigation was interesting and you didn't have that godawful GPS screen
Rememebr when you could actually LOOK at approach charts and see what to do
Rememebr when they came with a manual that you could read and approach plates you could have open
Remember when you could buy a flight simulator for 80 bucks and not have to worry about laying out another 600 for PC upgrades
Rememebr when you could find an interesting upgrade (FSpassengers comes to mind) that was actually for the current version of your flight simulator
I for one welcome the removal of Satans flight simulator in the hope that it will actually stimulate the people that are now prostituting themselves on payware planes to be innovative and bold enough to actually produce new things.
hearing rumours of the xbox 360 version's features sounds pretty original for microsoft
using the x-mote you have to keep the plane level by twisting the x-mote as you land in bad weather at various airports around the world
for owners of the x-fit board they have hostess simulator where people in first class order drinks and you have to keep a tray of drinks level while walking on the x-fit board in bad weather
also theres lots of other party games, involving keeping the plane level during bad weather
sounds to me like they've taken the simulator to the next level
No flight simulator = More catastrophic crashes
I am a pilot for Britain Airways - I failed most of my courses when I was a pilot student and subsequently was sent packing... I thought my dreams of a career as a pilot were over..... that was until I discovered Flight Simulator. For the first time I knew what an aileron was and what the sticks in the middle were supposed to do! I played FS for about three weeks solid, went back to pilot school and aced the entire semester! My uncle (the pilot school's head examiner at the time) told me that "you'll make an excellent pilot one day" the day I graduated and I've never looked back! Have a safe flight, I hope that I'll be your captin one day! Bonjour.
Another nail .....
.... in the coffin of PC gaming as a whole???
Thanks for explaining those abbreviations for us
Don't know what I would have done or I how I could have grasped the meaning of this story were it not for the repeated and oh-so-helpful expansion [in brackets] of the sim[ulator] abbr[eviation].
I think you're missing something
in the screencap from flightgear... like their copyright notice...
Like this one that's on this exact same picture:
MS do this to everyone
"We took the bait, and now we don't know where we are standing. And we are talking about a big company that's not about to fold [Microsoft]. We almost feel like someone is not really paying attention," Halpbern said.
In database land they did exactly the same to Sybase about 15 years ago. In essence they took the code, didn't pay a lot for it, forked it, and then threw Sybase out the side door wondering why they'd ever signed the contract that let MS do this to them. (others can fill this in better than I, I worked for Oracle at the time so might have been fed some FUD too).
They can't be trusted and have a long track record of shafting people. OSS, for all its faults, can be trusted because you can always pick it up yourself if you have to (assuming you have the wedge, of course).
Heinz Marketing Ploy, I'll bet.
Anyone remember when Heinz (UK) made it known, that they were going to stop making the famed 'Salad Cream'? Clever, that bit of marketing trickery, did wonders for dwindling sales!
Now where did I put my betting slip for this new scam?
Re: No flight simulator = More catastrophic crashes
"I am a pilot for Britain Airways"
I barely fly *British* Airways these days, let alone *Britain* Airways.
You're All Missing The Fricking Point...
Quckly now, who is responsible for Microsoft's current monetary ills? If you said the current downturn in the global economy I might say maybe to a small extent. If you said that complete effing idiot Steve Ballmer, that's a start; but consider those even worse effing morons that wrote Vista. Vista has been a complete and monumental failure. It "enjoys" a whopping 10% adoption rate after two years. Because of this, Microsuck has had to extend the service life of XP at least twice since Vista's introduction. That's one reason they are rushing at light speed to debug and release Windows 7. I believe that Vista's failure, more than any other reason, is the cause for Microsuck panicking right now and killing off Aces, and other units. What does this really tell us?
In a nutshell it tells us that Microsoft is beyond effing stupid. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and the rest of the top Volish morons stopped listening to their customers years ago and that's why they've lost so much money recently. Killing the Flight Simulator franchise is even more unbelievably stupid. Here is a solid product that they've made a lot of money from during the last 27 years that still, even with consoles competing, has quite a few income producing years left had the effing dumbasses continued it.
Flight Simulator has vast support not only from loyal users but also thanks to the many 3rd party developers that have continously provided top quality add-ons for each new version. This open system is one huge reason for the outstanding success of Flight Simulator and has kept the product fresh between fairly long release intervals.
Now then, the problem is that Flight Simulator is an extremely complex platform. It is not a game, but a simulation. It requires a team with extensive aviation, weather, physics, modeling, art, and database expertise, among other talents. If you think that in a year, or two, Microsuck can hire a new team to quickly pick up where Aces left off you are sadly mistaken. It would take years for a new team to develop a new version of Flight Simulator. By then, the gap will already be filled by others so, effectively, Flight Simulator is dead. It will survive for a while thanks to the talented 3rd party developers, but all it will take is a new platform, such as Windows 7 or later, that can't run it and...game over...pun intended.
Other than George Bush, I believe that Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and those incredibly inept Vista developers are the best cases I know of for retroactive birth control. The damage they've done is not reversible.
Will someone please come out with a better operating system for the great unwashed masses soon so we no longer have to deal with these effing pricks anymore!
Thanks for reviewing Flight Sim 98, a game released 11 years ago. Oh also substituting shite for flight, pure genius.
In this lesson...
Yet another lesson for the hard-of-thinking who continue to partner with and become wholly dependent on Microsoft. Depend on Microsoft - get burned. Believe Microsoft - get burned. Trust Microsoft - get burned.
Good luck suckers.
Not the end...
Judging from this article, FS11 would have had little to do with FSX other than a) the name (which MS own) and b) the flight model code (which MS own).
So they've canned a team that wanted to turn the simulator into a game, and are now able - with little effort - to produce another iteration of the simulator. There's no reason to throw money and risk at new development when it already does what people want... FFS... voice-recognition-based ATC? That worked so well in that "cod am pizza ship" Vista, didn't it?
If ACES had crashed and burned cocking up FS11, would that make all the fanboys happier? Of course not. It'd - at best - have cost many man-years of wasted development time. If it actually shipped as a pile of crap, it could have slaughtered the brand.
(Possibly a) Sound business decision.
Maybe it could work
On the consoles, of course the controllers would be wireless and obviously seperate, but then how many 3rd party add-ons do you get on the 360?
I've had a flight sim in my collection and I've got the MS sidewinder force-feedback 2 controller, which although not a flight stick by any means does the job.
Until MS tells us and the 3rd party companies what their plans are we're all in the dark.
IF MSFSXI delivered on the online and voice aspects then it would be a major hit, otherwise don't bother, the current version has already enough add-ons and professional support both ATC's giving up their time to teach non-fliers and experienced online gamers the proper protocols that's expected.
Flying a plane is easy, understanding ATC procedures is why the flight schools need a classroom.
Boo to MS - now is the time for the 3rd party companies to develop integrated online and voice support for FSX from the Tower to the pilots in the area. I'm sure it can be done so it's easy to do wether you're looking out of a cockpit or at a green radar screen.
With your ability to get stuck in the past using an 11 year old version and have no idea on what modern flight simulator is capable of, I am amazed you figured out how to post a comment at all!
Microsoft flight simulator IS used for training in the real world and companies like Flight1 actually publish expansions for FSX that that are FAA tested for training. Maybe research before you post.
Sounds like a belated casualty of The War on Terror to me....
Disadvantage of closed source
Surely, if anything, this just demonstrates the disadvantages of closed source, proprietary software. In theory there is nothing to stop Microsoft pulling the plug on any of their products, including Office or Windows - I appreciate that the latter is most unlikely :-)
@people thinking about controlling the sim with an accellerometer, I have 1 word for you....
I haven't used a flight sim for a while, but X-Plane on the iPhone is breathtakingly good. I think it was number 3 in the App store for a while. I guess Flight Simulator sells in the millions does it? X-Plane is getting there.
RE : "And let the great multitude of FLOSS fanbois shout in one accord"
Well, don't worry your little head about it... FlightGear has been running on my systems for many years now. It too is FAA approved (and recommended, actually).
Yes, it is open source. (Both win + Linux + etc..)
Paris: 'cos she would never simulate anything.
flight sim v x-plane
when running windows I has FS2002 pro & FS2004, seriously nice programs, no really, even upgraded my viso card just so i could crank the res up.
missed it when i switched to a mac, about all I did miss really.
eventually got x-plane. its good, don't gte me wrong, but it lacks a certain something. not too sure what.
I prefer the ATC in the FS series, how the thing flies is pretty good (for both) its just that FS feels more polished, x-plane has a quirky (on the mac) interface. FS appears to be designed to support numpties who don't know what they are doing actually using it pretty fast. x-plane has an interface that is scary, but more powerful.
overall: FS maybe 9 out of ten, x-plane 8.
I can see why MS would drop this over the zune though, MS are not a games company, odd that it wasn't spun off as a going company though
FSX isn't good, honest.
As a pilot who has flown several of the real aircraft modelled in Microsoft FSX I have to say how bad the flight model is. If a real cessna was even slightly as twitchy and uncontrollable as the one in FSX then very few trainee pilots would still be alive, let alone have ever graduated with a licence.
I've owned and/or tried several other PC-based flight sims and none of them felt as unrealistic as FSX.
For something so long in development and with such a big customer base you'd think they'd have managed to get it right by now, or even approximately close anyway. This seems to be a fundamental truth of most Microsoft products actually.
I said I wasn't going to waste further money on this crap. m$ time and again promises the earth and delivers a shoddy substandard pile of rubbish that a 9 year old with no idea of programming could supply to a higher standard. No desire to prove the status quo by giving them more of my hard earned. I am sick of looking at the glossy stacks of boxes containg m$ products. When you open these boxes you find out just how little you get.
Specifically @ anonytard : read my post properly before you accuse me of not doing research. You must have an attention span so small your goldfish has more chance of remembering your name. See above.
Now : neither of you disagreed with my prior assertions :-
1) the comic style 'manual'
2) the pathetic help text
3) the total lack of semblence to reality
4) the UI is crap
So, I assume you agree with the above. I also assume you agree that the game is mindlessly boring when it doesn't need to be.
If they're using this pile of crapware for training, I don't want to fly again in an aircraft not controlled be me. Or are they using it to familiarise glass cockpit trainees with the good ol' BSOD ? Just wait the 3 minutes for your plane to reboot..... :-). Don't panic as the plane approaches VNE in a steep dive. You'll get control back after the reboot, but you'll need to pull 12g to get out of this mess given the height you have left. Which on most aircraft means you ripped the wings off, or the fly-by-wire control will prevent you from doing.
To prevent yourselves from being 'tards, try using your brains for a change !
I didn't disagree with any of your statements because I don't use FS98 and I don't feel it's relevant to the discussion because MS have released four more versions of Flight Sim since it came out.
As for your points, never used the manual and haven't needed the help text, if you turn the realism fully on it's a fair stab at reality for a PC bearing in mind none of the weapons grade simulators I've used have been particularly close either. I actually can't remember what the FS98 UI is like but the one in FSX is fine.
Hence my comment, what you think of FS98 is irrelevant as it's a discontinued product, the current version is FSX which appears to have answered all your criticisms, actually I think FS2000 probably had but that's a 9 year old product and I haven't used that for a while either. Still if you want to supply us with a review of Aconsoft's Aviator I'm sure that'd be just as helpful.
By the way if you're pulling 12g without ripping the wings off, maybe you should turn crash detection on.
"I failed most of my courses when I was a pilot student and subsequently was sent packing... I thought my dreams of a career as a pilot were over..... that was until I discovered Flight Simulator. For the first time I knew what an aileron was and what the sticks in the middle were supposed to do"
Er, you'll need to be pretty shit to be sent packing, and also fail "most of your courses". Or maybe you're talking crap, because before lesson one you'll be told what the ailerons are, what the stick does, the rudder pedals, trimming, etc etc. My mum could probably fly competently after a couple of dozen hours of tuition.
@skippytard - again
Funny for having used so many different versions of shitesim, it hasn't taught you anything about flying. You clearly don't understand basic aerodynamics, airframe stress loads/limits, and how fly-by-wire aircraft eg. Airbus 380, F16, Eurofighter, YF22 Raptor, etc address this by controlling the flight envelope to a G and/or angle of attack limit.
I was merely implying that by the time you'd got out of BSOD you were out of altitude to recover. Passenger aircraft are typically stress rated to +3G/-1G, and the fly-by-wire controls will limit you to this for good reason. On a few aircraft, eg. F16, you can override the flight envelope limits (+9G/-3G) to give you full control, so concievably you could bend the wings a bit :-). If you need to pull 12g to achieve recovery before ploughing in you've had it : either you won't be allowed to do it by the fly-by-wire system, you'd overstress the airframe, or you'd blackout. I hope my earlier comments are a bit clearer now ?
About the only type of aircraft you could put a human in and pull those sorts of Gs is an aerobatic plane, eg. the Extra, or the Sukhoi (forget the type, think it's the SU10), and even then high G loads are short duration only. Which again doesn't get round needing to pull sustained G to get the direction change required. In short - CRASH. Maybe something like a Predator drone could pull sustained higher G because it doesn't have the weakness of an onboard pilot to limit the aircraft to +9G.
I take it you haven't used the manual because it still isn't worth reading : comic ?
Anyway, I'm afraid you'll never convince me to buy a later variant of this 'software' - hmm wipe your arse with the 3 pages from the manual ? Perhaps my review is out of place, but I've never had a good experience with any of their products, even stuff they bought in, eg. Visio (which was actually great before they got it and ruined it). Even the better stuff has idiotic features that drive you nuts !
Long life left for FSX
There's still a long life left for FSX, and hopefully MS can make their plans a little clearer.
We currently support FS2004 and FSX, and intend to make the FSX experience even better, as I'm sure will many other add-ons.
John Paul Jones
Developer of FSFlyingSchool 2009
- Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1
- Pics Indestructible Death Stars blow up planets with glowing KILL RAY
- Hands on Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update
- Video Snowden: You can't trust SPOOKS with your DATA
- 166 days later: Space Station astronauts return to Earth