Friday, July 27, 2012


Didn't someone famous once say this?

Of course, in this case, this applies to two topics.

First, the demise of "Microsoft Flight" - who'd have thought it? Only about 95% of the people involved as beta testers and those third parties who tried desperately to alert the development team that the path they had chosen was so wrong... where would one start? The decision to only include a very limited part of the earth (albeit a beautiful one) as scenery? The decision to dumb down weather so that you could only fly in ISA conditions? The fact there was no ATC? No real selection of aircraft to pick from? So many wrongs...

Having been asked from the very beginning to be part of the effort, our team chose to be very pragmatic and careful about our involvement. As a Microsoft MVP, I had to be candid when asked (which was really not very often) but helpful at the same time. As there's still an NDA that's active, I cannot disclose all what's transpired (though I am sure people wouldn't mind anymore), but I can say that we were quite involved with the first alpha - up until the day Microsoft decided to throw a nice curve ball and tell all third parties "thanks for your time... here's the door" (Edit: contrary to what some people might try to convince you to support their self-conceived importance, third parties were all shown the door pretty much at the same time and received a stock email from the same person). That very day, our team agreed there's probably not much future in the MS Flight saga - not because we're anyone important, mind you, but mostly because the legacy of Microsoft Flight Simulator is really all the people who contributed to make it an active, buzzing community. Freeware and commercial products alike, those were the ones helping the product series live and grow. The biggest mistake throughout the years? Not enough communication by ACES / Microsoft with those developers...

...and this brings me to the second topic where "It's... done" applies:

After five fruitful years, I am no longer a Microsoft MVP - my area of expertise is Flight Simulator and, without a platform to talk about, it came as no surprise (even though the MS MVP team in Europe - leads and business alike - were really sad and were trying hard to keep me under a different role). While the award is given for "past contributions", it's easy to understand why, when I felt the way I did for MS Flight, I wouldn't be as active in that community. This is not to say, however, that I will not remain active and helpful to those who still live and breathe Flight Simulator X - that product is far from dead and its community has been alive and kicking.

So - while this post might sound a bit "negative" - it's really far from it - I think nature has a way of filling its void and with Microsoft out of the picture currently (and for the first time, really!), there will be room for other talented developers to prosper. You know who you are! We are all waiting for you to shine!