Microsoft released a new version of Flight Simulator back in February this year - yet it has already decided that the product can't stay in the air.
Flight Simulator was an early Microsoft hit although it was never popular with users who demanded high fidelity. It was something of a special interest topic for Bill Gates who it was reported was a long standing fan.
But Bill Gates is long gone from MS and so is Flight Simulator proper - the production unit was terminated in 2009.
Microsoft seemed to want to get back into the flight simulator business back in February when they launched Flight, an online free version. However it was considerably under powered and you were limited in where you could fly - basically Hawaii and you only had two planes.
To quote from the launch publicity:
Flight represents the culmination of three years of hard work and experimentation as we worked to re-imagine the 30-year-old Flight Simulator franchise, push forward the evolution of the PC flying experience, and bring the thrill and wonder of flight to whole new audiences.
There’s a lot to do in Flight’s version of Hawaii, from basic flight instruction to hunts for hidden Aerocaches, from experimenting with different aircraft to showing off your skills in aerobatics challenges, from ferrying passengers and cargo around the islands to advancing your career as a pilot.
Notice the use of "re-imagine" which has since gone on to become a Microsoft staple.
There were also add on packs you could buy at $7.99 but clearly these didn't catch on.
Unless Bill Gates or someone with a passion for flight simulators gets control of Microsoft this is probably the end for Flight Simulator.
Microsoft has laid off staff in Vancouver and also cancelled a project using the Kinect to create an interactive TV game for children.
Flight will still be available from the web site and Microsoft claim that support will be provided.
This video didn't win the AAAI Video competition, but it is certainly good enough to amuse you while teaching you some basic AI. We also think that this crew deserves a TV series of its own own. [ ... ]