“Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight” Commemorates 100 Years of Aviation History

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 11, 2003 — As the world prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, Microsoft Corp. today announced that
“Microsoft® Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight”
is in development and cleared for takeoff this July.

With
“Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight,”
the next milestone in the award-winning
“Flight Simulator”
franchise, Microsoft celebrates 20 years of developing and perfecting computer flight simulation.
“A Century of Flight”
allows aviation enthusiasts to experience history at the controls of historic aircraft, such as Charles Lindbergh’s Ryan NYP
“Spirit of St. Louis,”
the Douglas DC-3 and the world’s first successful powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer.

New engaging features such as interactive multimedia provide a wealth of historical information on the planes that shaped aviation history and the pilots who flew them. Informed and insightful articles explain all there is to know about Microsoft’s
“Flight Simulator”
and the 24 aircraft included in the software.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight”
also introduces an updated, dynamic weather system, enhanced automatically generated scenery (AutoGen) and detailed visual effects, improved Air Traffic Control functions, and 3-D interactive cockpits, as well as 15 modern aircraft, including the Boeing 777, the Beechcraft Baron and the Robinson R22 helicopter.

“Launching ‘A Century of Flight’ in conjunction with a historical milestone as monumental as the invention of powered flight is an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us on the ‘Flight Simulator’ team,”
said Bruce Williams, product planner at Microsoft Aces Studios.
“There are a lot of organizations celebrating the centennial of flight, but ‘Century of Flight’ empowers people to get into the cockpit of legendary aircraft such as the Wright Flyer and the ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ to feel what it was like to actually fly those planes.”

When
“Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight”
launches this July, Microsoft will mark flight’s 100th anniversary by participating with the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) in a yearlong celebration, Countdown to Kitty Hawk. A touring pavilion honoring aviation heroes and innovations will land in cities across the country, beginning this April at Sun ‘N Fun in Lakeland, Fla. The pavilion will house a virtual 1903 Wright Flyer with which guests can experience the new
“Flight Simulator”
software, stepping back in time and recapturing the feeling of the first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright on the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, N.C. Would-be pilots operate the
“aircraft”
from a horizontal hip cradle, using hand levers and a shifting hip mechanism to control virtual takeoffs and landings in front of a giant panoramic projection screen.

Availability

“Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight”
will be available on PC at leading retailers nationwide including Best Buy, Electronics Boutique and Circuit City Stores Inc. in July 2003 for an estimated retail price of $54.95 (U.S.)* and is rated
“Teen.”

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox(TM) video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/ ), including such franchises as
“Flight Simulator,” Age of Empires® “and”
Zoo Tycoon(TM)

; Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ), including such franchises as”
Halo(TM),
“”
Project Gotham Racing(TM)
“and”
NFL Fever

; and Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as”
Bejeweled
“and”
OutSmart(TM).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Actual retail prices may vary.

The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, Xbox, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, MSN and OutSmart are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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