Microsoft's Return To Flight

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Last year, layoffs at Microsoft put the future of Flight Simulator X (FSX), popular amongst both desk jockeys interested in flight and real pilots interested in maintaining their skills, in question; now, we're seeing clues of a new beginning. Microsoft has announced that a new game, "Flight," is in the works. And it will be the first flight simulation offering released by the company since 2006. The company says it's targeting flying enthusiasts interested in an emphasis on accuracy and realism, but hasn't offered many details. CNET.com recently noted that Microsoft has licensed some of its technology to Lockheed Martin for a forthcoming military training program called Prepar3D. The web page for that program says it can help train pilots "to fly the world's most advanced fighter jet." It's not known if Prepar3D shares anything with "Flight." For now, all we have is a vague announcement to expect "a new perspective" that welcomes everyone, and a vague video.

And the video will have to do, because insiders speculate that Microsoft won't offer the game in Beta until sometime in 2011. When Microsoft closed down the Aces game studio responsible for Flight Simulator X, it said the franchise would continue. Microsoft Flight appears to be the answer. And until then, FSX should still work just fine.