Microsoft today announced integration of its Flightsimulator product into Windows, presumably as revenge to the actions taken by the government to split the company in two. “We want to give users a more realistic and exciting computing experience,” said Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates. “People will literally be able to fly through menus and navigate to their programs.” The way this will work is that a user could install Microsoft Office in Washington on their PC, and then fly from the start menu (Chicago) to Washington to start the Word application for example.
“We’ve been experimenting with this for quite some time now here at Microsoft, and we feel that the product, code named Cessna, is now at the point where we can release it to end users. There are lots of exciting plans which we cannot reveal yet at the moment because we’re afraid Netscape, Sun Microsystems or Linux may screw us over,” said Gates. Steve Balmer, Microsoft’s CEO, asked for comment started jumping around screaming “DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS !!!!” while everyone quietly stared at him.
With the new operating system Microsoft wants to give users a whole new experience on the personal computer. Steve Balmer, who later became more aware of what we were talking about, said that Windows 95 and 98 already had some functionality in them, seen in Cessna today. “It was quite easy to integrate Flightsimulator into Windows since Windows by design provided an easy way to incorporate the Flightsimulator functionality into the operating system. We had to make some minor design changes to the Windows kernel but that was fairly easy.”
Seeing the new operating system in action was simply a blast. One thing I was concerned about is that it could take a long time for someone to start an application if he installed it too far from Chicago, Chicago being the start menu. If a user installed Quake 3 Arena in London for example, it would take up to 11 hours or up to 4 hours with the Concorde to start a game of Quake 3 Arena. Gates confronted with this said “Only a total moron would install his applications so far from the start menu. However, certain software will only be able to get installed if the location is really far from the start menu. For instance, any product from Netscape would only install in the Sahara desert. Trying to install it any closer to the start menu would result in system failure. In addition you’d only be able to attempt the flight to the Sahara desert with the sailplane. This is due to the design of Cessna’s core components, and to maintain backward compatibility and uh..yeah, that’s it, backward compatibility.”
Another thing is that if a user still attempted the 4-hour flight to London to play Quake 3 Arena, and crashes half way, what would he do then? “Well the realism of Flightsimulator is still in there, so you could basically get a system failure causing you to crash half way, and in such a case, you’d have to start all over again from the start menu just like you would in the current versions of Windows. The crash feature in Cessna could already be seen in previous versions of Windows. When the user crashes he’s simply being presented a blue screen with the coordinates of where he crashed and what component caused the failure. Then all that’s left to do is reboot the PC and start again from the start menu,” said Gates. “And another thing is, that we’re not supporting shortcuts in Cessna, forcing users to take the long way to start their programs. We feel that this will add to the excitement and productivity of end users,” Balmer added.
“We know we’re doing the right thing and we’re not scared of the government or any other game company developing flight simulators. If they want to sue us, so be it dangit!” were Gates’s last words. Balmer was busy finishing the rest of his coffee and was unable to comment.