Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator (often abbreviated as MSFS or FS) is a series of amateur flight simulator programs for Microsoft Windows operating systems, and earlier for MS-DOS and Classic Mac OS. It is one of the longest-running, best-known, and most comprehensive home flight simulator programs on the market. It was an early product in the Microsoft application portfolio and differed significantly from Microsoft’s other software, which was largely business-oriented. At 38 years old, it is the longest-running software product line for Microsoft, predating Windows by three years. Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the longest-running PC video game series of all time.
Bruce Artwick began the development of Flight Simulator in 1977. His company, Sublogic, initially distributed it for various personal computers. In 1981, Artwick was approached by Microsoft’s Alan M. Boyd who was interested in creating a “definitive game” that would graphically demonstrate the difference between older 8-bit computers, such as the Apple II, and the new 16-bit computers, such as the IBM PC, still in development. In 1982, Artwick’s company licensed a version of Flight Simulator for the IBM PC to Microsoft, which marketed it as Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.00.
In 2009, Microsoft closed down Aces Game Studio, which was the department responsible for creating and maintaining the Flight Simulator series. In 2014, Dovetail Games were granted the rights by Microsoft to port the Gold Edition of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X to Steam and publish Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.
Microsoft announced a new installment at E3 in 2019, simply titled Microsoft Flight Simulator, to be released initially on PC and ported over to the Xbox Series X at a later date. It was released on August 18, 2020 on PC. However, the Xbox edition will be released sometime during the summer of 2021.
On July 12, 2020, Microsoft opened up preorders and announced that Microsoft Flight Simulator for PC will be available on August 18, 2020. The company announced three different versions of the title – standard, deluxe, and premium deluxe, each providing an incremental set of gameplay features, including airports, and airplanes to choose from.