LANDING ON MEMORY LANE

Microsoft Flight Simulator will be free starting this Spring.

This is one of the most famous entertainment programs in computer history. In fact it was such a combination of sophisticated programming, animation and skill that it was typically kept running on autopilot, so to speak, in the show windows of Microsoft stores.

Back in those days – back when there were lots of companies making Microsoft compatible computers – some with wonderful names, like “Kentucky Fried Computers,” the true test of whether or not a system was compatible was whether it could run Flight Simulator.

Those early versions trained you how to land at airports like Chicago’s Meigs Field, which no longer exists (a nostalgia trip). This Spring you can download a light version for free. You can fly around Hawaii in an “ICON A5,” an amphibious plane with cockpit space for two, and designed by the same engineers who did the Voyager spacecraft, SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo. If you want more aircraft and more locations it will cost you, though Microsoft hasn’t yet announced the price. Sign up for a free “Windows Live” account, and go to the games section to download it when it’s available in a few months.

This is the first new flight simulator from Microsoft since 2006, when Flight Simulator X came out. The whole flight simulator programming team was laid off in 2009. We like the new approach. It’s always better to let people try something out before asking them to buy something extra.

One Response to “LANDING ON MEMORY LANE”

  1. Sign up for a free “Windows Live” account, and go to the games section to download it when it’s available in a few months.