Only a few weeks after releasing Microsoft Flight, the company announced today that it is developing the next generation of flight software. Here’s an excerpt from marketing VP Bög Uslãmé’s description of the new product.
“Microsoft has shown a keen understanding of the user experience when it comes to flying airplanes and stuff like that on computers. There’s a certain magic which we have learned to capture, interrogate, channel and evaporate. After developing progressively more intricate software for this market through many versions culminating in Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Microsoft Flight showed that we could simplify the paradigm, reduce the functional and geographic scope, convince ourselves we were broadening our appeal, minimize the UI, and still generate a significant return on investment. All while ensuring that the user thinks they are having fun. So now we’ll take this passionate approach one step further with the realization of a focused vision in our new product, Mi Fli. The name says it all: shorter, ambiguous and stimulating. We anticipate that arguments over pronunciation of the name will provoke flame wars at AVSIM, raising consumer awareness with optimal marketing involvement, ie none. And we’re honored that this will be first product of many from Microsoft using the new ‘Mi’ brand identity.
“The new user-centric feature scope and accessible two-key UI will allow us to minimize customer feedback and the need for infrastructure and support, maximizing the long-term viability of the product. This also eliminates the potential for distracting third-party development enhancements.
“Of course we’ll make optimal use of user attention bandwidth, with a five-minute splash screen and subsequent contorted Windows Live Games sort-of-XBox-but-not-really online validation and ad-push process. At every opportunity our valued customers will be presented with a slideshow to encourage purchase of expansion packs they already have, and others they don’t want. If they do attempt a purchase, lucky users will randomly trigger a hidden gem: ‘Can’t retrieve information from LIVE. Please try again later. Error code 8007271D.’ All part of our playful engagement with our valued customers, further augmented by our proactive Google … I mean, Bing-ranking of searches for that code with irrelevant and misleading KB articles on Zune.
“As always, we won’t specify availability date or features until well after the product is released, but we will publish periodic screenshots and low-res stuttery teasers without explanation that will encourage rampant and inaccurate speculation. But, off the record, based on a reduction in the development team to one half-time employee and the one paragraph feature list, it’s likely the product will be released no later than Thursday. Meanwhile, we’ll give customers attempting to harvest meaningful information from our website the opportunity to ingest content-free team member interviews.
“You might expect the usual discussion, ‘Is it a game? Or is it a simulator?’ to be bypassed through our innovative approach of offering the features of neither. But we know our true die-hard Microsoft … I mean, Mi … fans will still endlessly debate this question.
“From a personal marketing point of view, I’ve found it refreshing to work with half of a malleable gender-free ethnic-neutral location-nonspecific engineering team member who can design to specification without the need for dialog, discussion or any kind of human interaction.
“We’re excited about this cutting-edge next-generation user experience enhancement package. I look forward to Mi Fli being open for business. The future is bright. Join us on our journey.”
Proponents of X-Plane immediately decried the new product, stating, “X-Plane has a much more realistic flight model. And it almost has believable scenery.”