Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Microsoft closes Aces and kills FS World in one swat

Over the past thirty or so years, the Flight Simulator has been the center of the universe for most wanna be pilots and even real world pilots. Even I have the latest versions of the program along with all the goodies from CH Products and multiple screens, etc. But now that world has become somewhat confused thanks to Microsoft closing down the Aces Productions where the program was made.

Flight Simulator X was an advancement in the technology of the flight simulation systems with many new ideas and clarity of graphics and objects being added to the program. Supposedly the version that was being worked on for the next release of the product series was even more advanced. Of course we will never know due to the fact that when Microsoft laid off 5,000 people, they had all signed the Non-Disclosure agreements with the company meaning they cant even talk about the company or the product.

I guess that means the 14 million dollar question is "Will Microsoft ever sell Flight Simulator again?" My only answer to that is hopefully someone else will take it off Microsoft's hands and continue the hard work that was put into it.

If you are wondering where I came up with the number 14 Million dollars, that is the amount of money that Microsoft made from the release of Flight Simulator X. Not huge money by today's standards but it is still a sizable sum. And it means that there were a lot of people out there willing to plunk down the 70$ for the simulator and then a lot more who bought the other items that went with it.

Now an entire industry hangs in the balance. From those companies like CH Products who make controllers and joysticks for Flight Simulation systems to those companies that sell skins for the airplanes and enhancements for the scenery and flight control. Even Jeppesen stands to lose from this closure.

If you want to follow the conversation on this closure, you can check out some of the community sites at:

So far what I am seeing is not pretty and many people are angry. This is a small fish but it just goes to show how intertwined many of the computing companies are.

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