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The History Of Flight Simulator Edit

Microsoft Flight simulator is a series of flight simulators, which are a key part of Microsoft's entire company. One of the longest-running, best-known and most comprehensive home flight simulator series, Microsoft Flight Simulator was an early product in the Microsoft portfolio – different from its other software which were largely business-oriented – and at 25 years it predates Windows by three years. It has been reported that Microsoft Flight Simulator may be the longest running PC game series of all time. Due to job cuts at Microsoft less of the old development team are still working on FS. Microsoft stated-

This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft’s resources with our strategic priorities. Microsoft Flight Simulator X will remain available at retail stores and web retailers, the Flight Sim community will continue to learn from and encourage one another, and we remain committed to the Flight Simulator franchise for the long term.

Microsoft Flight Simulator began life as a set of articles on computer graphics written by Bruce Artwick in 1976 about a 3D computer graphics program. When the magazine editor said that subscribers wanted to buy the program, Bruce Artwick incorporated a company called subLOGIC Corporation in 1977 and began selling flight simulators for 8080 computers such as the Altair 8800 and IMSAI 8080. In 1979 subLOGIC released FS1 Flight Simulator for the Apple II. In 1980 subLOGIC released a version for the Tandy TRS-80, and in 1982 they licensed an IBM PC version with CGA graphics to Microsoft, which was released as Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.00. In the early days of less-than-100% IBM PC compatibles, Flight Simulator was used as an unofficial test of the degree of compatibility of a new PC clone model,[10] along with Lotus 1-2-3. subLOGIC continued to develop the product for other platforms, and their improved Flight Simulator II was ported to Apple II in 1983, to the Commodore 64, MSX and Atari 800 in 1984, and to the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST in 1986. Meanwhile, Bruce Artwick left subLOGIC to found Bruce Artwick Organisation to work on subsequent Microsoft releases, beginning with Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 in 1988. Microsoft Flight Simulator reached commercial maturity with version 3.1, and then went on to encompass the use of 3D graphics and graphic hardware acceleration.

Microsoft has consistently produced newer versions of the simulation, adding features such as new aircraft types and augmented scenery. The 2000 and 2002 versions, were available in a standard edition and a Professional Edition which included more aircraft, tools and more extensive scenery than the regular version. The 2004 (version 9) release marked one hundred years of powered flight, and had only one edition. Flight Simulator X, released in 2006, has returned to dual editions with a "Standard Edition" and a "Deluxe Edition".

The most recent versions of this simulation, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and Microsoft Flight Simulator X, cater to pilots, would-be pilots and people who once dreamed of being pilots alike. Microsoft Flight Simulator is less a game than an immersive virtual environment; it is usually frustrating, complex and difficult to new users due to its realism, but it can be rewarding for the skilled flightsimmer at the same time. The flying area encompasses the whole world, to varying levels of detail, including over 24,000 airports. Individually-detailed scenery can be found representing major landmarks and an ever-growing number of towns and cities. Landscape details are often patchy away from population centres and particularly outside the USA, although a variety of websites offer scenery add-ons (both free and commercial) to remedy this.

The three latest versions incorporate sophisticated weather simulation, along with the ability to download real-world weather data (Beginning with Flight Simulator 2000). Also included is a varied air traffic environment with interactive Air Traffic Control (although the MSFS series was not the first to implement this player-flyable aircraft ranging from the historical Douglas DC-3 to the modern Boeing 777, interactive lessons and challenges, and finally aircraft checklists. In addition, the two latest versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator have a “kiosk mode”, which allows the application to be run in kiosks. It is the wide availability of upgrades and add-ons, both free and commercial, which give the simulator its flexibility and scope.


Version history Edit

   * 1982 – Flight Simulator 1.0
   * 1983 – Flight Simulator 2.0
   * 1988 – Flight Simulator 3.0
   * 1989 – Flight Simulator 4.0
   * 1993 – Flight Simulator 5.0
   * 1995 – Flight Simulator 5.1
   * 1996 – Flight Simulator 95
   * 1997 – Flight Simulator 98
   * 1999 – Flight Simulator 2000
   * 2001 – Flight Simulator 2002
   * 2003 – Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight
   * 2006 – Flight Simulator X

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