The folks at Microsoft have extended a Most Valuable Professional award to me for the coming year, which was certainly a pleasant surprise! I'd like to thank everyone involved in conferring this honour.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X will release worldwide in a matter of days. Or if you found a particularly overzealous retailer, you may already have a copy. I'm excited about this release because the folks on the development team at Microsoft have really outdone themselves with their work on the SDK. For the first time ever, developers like myself have had access to the SDK prior to the product's release, which has given us a shot at updating our products in time for FSX's retail release. In addition they have completely overhauled the way the SDK works, allowing add-ons like SquawkBox to enhance the flying experience like never before.
This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that SquawkBox will continue to support this and future versions of Flight Simulator. Specifically, a number of former hacks and their associated inconveniences are now implemented with both elegance and improved performance. The bad news is that Microsoft's complete overhaul of the SDK has necessitated at least a partial overhaul of SquawkBox itself. This has made a lot of work for me to get SquawkBox running with FSX. There is also a greater potential for new bugs and issues with the next version.
As you already know, I'm working away on SquawkBox 4 for FSX. Here is a brief list of the items remaining in that effort:
Getting a version to the current list of beta testers is not very far away. And since I appreciate that many of you would prefer early access to a less-than-perfect version over waiting for the final release, I plan on doing a public beta when the product is ready for that. Such an arrangement would require VATSIM approval of course but I think it's the best way to go with this release.
As always, stay posted to this page for further updates!