TIL that Microsoft Flight Simulator is the longest-running software product line for Microsoft at 37 years old, predating Windows by three years

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The earliest versions ran on ms-dos before windows came out. Before windows 95, windows wasn’t even an operating system, it was a program that sat on top of ms-dos that would let you do gui stuff. I bet before windows 95, if you wanted to use flight simulator, you would have to close and completely exit windows so that you can free up base memory or make space in ram (which was called high memory back then).


Fun fact: a version of Flight Simulator was embedded in Excel 97. You had to enter certain text in a certain cell and it would launch the game.


My dad was on the IBM PC design team and when the PC was about to be released, he was invited to the Pentagon to see if they would allow it to be sold in the USSR. My dad set up a PC and loaded MS Flight Sim for them. It was a quick no. I remember playing that monochrome wire frame game for hours. The biplane dog fight was so simple yet so much fun.


And here I thought it was actually their Basic product line was their oldest. Hint: it is, it predates MS-dos and their latest release of the product line with Basic was 4 month ago, July 2019 for Visual Basic .NET.


It really did a whole lot better than the short-lived Microsoft Fight Simulator, which featured a variety of programmers squabbling on the Microsoft campus.