What is Microsoft thinking?

This is a discussion on What is Microsoft thinking? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Welcome to Microsoft Flight from the Microsoft Games Studio! Ok, let me get this straight. They close Aces Studio who ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    What is Microsoft thinking?

    Welcome to Microsoft Flight from the Microsoft Games Studio!

    Ok, let me get this straight.

    They close Aces Studio who developed their precious flight sim and did extremely well commercially for the genre it was in. Later they announce they are internally producing Flight which is....another flight sim with...um...social whatever in it?

    I could be wrong here but Aces Studio stemmed from projects just like this back in the mid 80's. The original FS was developed cooperatively with Sublogic in Champaign, IL (long live Bruce Artwick - the true father of 3D). Later the project was moved to another team, Sublogic was purchased or pretty much digested by Microsoft, and off they went. ProPilot came out from Sierra after that which was essentially the new Sublogic and Artwick clan (IE: ATP and other series as well) but could not compete with MS and pretty much died in obscurity. Sierra dumped the series and then the reigning king was Flight Simulator. Now onto the present. Microsoft closes Aces Studio (Flight Simulator and Train Simulator devs) and thus ends the life of a long and prosperous series of flight simulator titles. But they leave a blurb that they haven't abandoned the genre. I'm assuming they are trying to charge for more detailed areas or turn Flight sim into some dumbed down micro-transaction POS with social networking and whatever else that has nothing to do with flying a plane safely from point A to B. So if Microsoft is developing a new sim called Flight (when Flight Simulator was an extremely well known title) why would they change the name, why would they devote an entire new team to it....and why would they even get back into this market when they just closed the Studio that did it all for them? I also ask what hard core simmer is asking for social networking and farmville'esque features in their flight sims? Um...none. Flight simulation is for people who like hardcore sims and realism and it is about um...flying planes which not every person in the world does or can do so the market is niche, limited, and nothing will ever change that.

    I understand closing a studio due to costs, poor performance, etc but this does not make sense. So now we have some inexperience sim coders coding a sim they have only played? And how can MS say that they have an experienced team working on Flight....when they let their most experience team go back in the summer?

    None of this makes any sense. So what was the real motivation for closing Aces Studio? Something smells fishy.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 10-23-2010 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It's unfortunately obvious that the great Flight Simulator, perhaps one of the best software ever developed for computer, is dead. And Flight will probably not be for you anymore. Perhaps a toned down version meant to target the masses. Whatever sells.

    I hadn't seen the new website until now. Around May (I think) I was again interested in purchasing Flight Simulator. I really want to experience it. But while it was being sold on my local stores, I learned from the website it was discontinued. And that put me off. To see that they are now making a new brand out of it is indeed completely crazy. A new brand means a new product. And apparently a dumbed down down product. Flight Simulator was a staple of software design and the most successful product ever to come out of Redmond with an acceptance rate by its users well over and beyond anything Microsoft ever did. Not to mention the following and cult it developed that has no parallel in Microsoft history.

    If Microsoft is adopting this freaking social gaming web that always gets swamped by 14 year olds and has for the past 10 years undermined any chance I get any interest on online gaming, then Flight will not be a game for me either and I might just forget Microsoft ever did a Flight Simulator and move on to other experiences.

    EDIT:
    BTW, I follow this employee blog regularly: http://minimsft.blogspot.com/
    Not always agree with everything he says. But often I feel his arguments are compelling. And of anything he has to say, one thing I agree the most. The real, real problem with Microsoft is Ballmer. He's sinking the company into a second rate software developer, with a respectable history, but now only good for OSes, office and development tools. All of Microsoft incursions into other markets, none was really successful or lead Microsoft into a position of leadership. Why this man is still CEO is beyond me.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 10-23-2010 at 07:39 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #3
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    The real, real problem with Microsoft is Ballmer. He's sinking the company into a second rate software developer, with a respectable history, but now only good for OSes, office and development tools. All of Microsoft incursions into other markets, none was really successful or lead Microsoft into a position of leadership. Why this man is still CEO is beyond me.
    What?!?! How could anyone think about relieving a man from his job, when he's so passionate about his work?
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
    A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. -- Alan J. Perlis

  4. #4
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Haha my fav line in one of his blogs is a fundamental return to C/C++ b/c not everything can run in the freaking CLR. If I could yell that from the rooftops and not look crazy...I would.

  5. #5
    Banned ಠ_ಠ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    What?!?! How could anyone think about relieving a man from his job, when he's so passionate about his work?
    lol, he seems more passionate about himself imo
    COME ON! GIVE IT UP FOR ME
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  6. #6
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Haha my fav line in one of his blogs is a fundamental return to C/C++ b/c not everything can run in the freaking CLR. If I could yell that from the rooftops and not look crazy...I would.
    I think it's very clear that their plan is to:
    1. Slowly move everything to .NET (Office, VS, etc)
    2. Drop 64-bit support in favour of .NET AnyCPU
    3. Re-write the .NET framework in .NET
    4. "lose" the original unmanaged .NET framework codebase
    5. Drop support for "unsafe" unmanaged code, please use the managed_s(...) version instead... haha

  7. #7
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    They would have my undying love and forever loyalty if they moved the XNA framework to native code and just made a C# language binding to it.

    But unfortunately things are shaping up pretty badly. And it's not just Microsoft. When I recently spent two hours in a meeting arguing why we should develop a DMS (Document Management System) in C++ and lost over to a angry crowd of "you dumb twit! Everyone is programming in C#!", I realized the problem runs deeper.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Indeed it does. Using a particular language due to the 'bandwagon effect' is not a good reason. However, it is happening more and more.

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