Microsoft to release new “Flight Simulator”

Autothrust Blue

"Blakeley's face was grave."
BTW, little known fact to all you millennials... some of the best software Microsoft ever crafted were the apps it wrote for the early Macintosh computers.
Well-known fact, at least to me. Microsoft were onboard on the Macintosh from Day 1 with native versions of what would eventually become Office; this continued throughout the rather unfortunate succession of post-Jobs Apple CEOs in the 1990s. I think it's safe to say that if not for Microsoft, the Macintosh would have become extinct as a non-serious computer appliance. ClarisWorks and later AppleWorks (the somewhat in-house, somewhat not) productivity suite was a poor substitute for Office.

Was not really a huge surprise to see Gates beamed up on the screen at MacWorld when Jobs returned to the fold, either. The infusion of cash was probably cheaper than another antitrust or patent kerfuffle too, and allowed them to push Internet Exploder to another platform. (My bondi blue iMac used IE under MacOS.)

To this day I consider the MacOS versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint superior to the native Windows versions in terms of their interface. I tolerate the native Windows versions and can soldier along with them, but the MacOS versions are absolutely fantastic software.

One might argue that Jobs gave away the store with the patent cross-license, but they committed to five years of Office. Sucks that Exploder was the default browser but oh well.


hen teaser
I'd like to just point out that there is still a large market for Flight Simulator 2004, with thousands and thousands of active users and a very active 3rd party market with new add-ons being made for that platform but incompatible with Prepar3Dv4, the modern 64 bit sim. Prepar3Dv4 came out with all the benefits of a 64-bit program, but with the hitch that files are not "backward compatible" without a lot of tweaking. Tweaking that will never happen to the scenery or airplane you bought 10 years ago in most cases. Because of this, I'd estimate a good 30%+ of people who buy flightsim products annually are still running the 32-bit FS2004 to keep their collection of add-ons as it looks and feels "good enough" for those users. 16 years after release, it is a statement that many users have never upgraded.

People in the flightsim world are freaking out about not buying any more aircraft/scenery for the current sim and how this will change everything. My bet is; it won't. Best case scenario,Microsoft get's this new simulator to be the leading simulator 5 years or so after release. But given the fact it will eventually have an Xbox version and some other things I've read from credible sources, this is basically Microsoft giving FSX Google Maps 3D scenery with Grand Theft Auto like graphics/lighting. Some of the most respected names in simulation have already told Microsoft to get stuffed when they were told they would have to either work for Microsoft or keep working with P3D/X-Plane. Not a good look for Microsoft. I don't expect the planes that come with the game to have the systems depth or flight dynamics of the competition, but I'm sure it'll appeal to the casual aviation fan more than the complicated simulators.
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Cal Goat

Prestige Worldwide™
I had a lot of FS editions going back to whatever came just before 95. Really shaped my early understanding of what is was to pilot an airplane. I find this latest development intriguing, but I don’t want a simulator for my job now. An accurate warbird/fighter jet sim would be cool, but I don’t know if I want to invest in a gaming machine that could run a modern sim smoothly.


hen teaser
Since this thread got revived, I do have good news for those who care. Microsoft has confirmed that they will work with some of the biggest developers like PMDG, ORBX, ect so that the planes and scenery will work in the new flightsim. Microsoft acknowledged that 3rd party content is the entire reason many people buy the game, and they will fully support developers in the transition to the new simulator.

It is also expected that files compatible with the 64-bit Prepar3Dv4 will also work(for the most part) in MSFS2020. This news has me very excited so I've since changed my tune from my earlier posts. My 1998 project I'm working on may get even more exciting as some of the scenery developers think that one may be able to manipulate the graphics engine with historical Google Earth to recreate cities of the past along with the airports we're working on. If all goes well, other historical flight sim developers should follow suit and eventually you'll be able to hop in a DC-4 and do the "milk run" between SFO-SAN with all the stops and see the real traffic and rual developing cities along the way, or fly a PeopleExpress 737-200 out of the busy Newark hub with the real traffic and see the NYC skyline the way it was in the 1980s. This could be very cool!


Dergs favorite member
I hope they make a new Combat FS with this engine.
Also, I have a strong desire to pop a bunch of pills and then fly the Icon for a true realistic experience.

I haven’t flown a FS since FS98 but I’m thinking of picking this up along with a nice setup to prepare for IFR training.


Powder hound
There is a lot of excitement about it. I would love to see it come together nicely and be a success. I don't think any of us want to simulate our work, but it can sure be fun to fly around and look at the scenery with this level of quality.
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Well-Known Member
There is a lot of excitement about it. I would love to see it come together nicely and be a success. I don't think any of us want to simulate our work, but it can sure be fun to fly around and look at the scenery with this level of quality.
Yeah, I'd much rather fly low and slow and check out the scenery than simulate a tubeliner. The videos they've shown are amazing.

I just built a new PC, but it's a bit of a budget build. I'm curious to see how well it will run it. The computers they've been demoing it with are apparently top end computers, so, we'll have to wait and see how it runs on something in the mid range.


Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Now that I've been teaching over a year....

Of all my students, the one who is least talented as a pilot is the Flight Simulator guy. Getting him to look outside is really killing me. I keep taking away instruments and he flies fine, but he's got no sense of feel for the airplane. I'm working with him but he's frustrating to fly with.