After the sucess of our last Quick Poll (FS9 or FSX) and while we are awaiting the hopefully speedy and final recovery of your regular host , here is an new issue we would like to know from you: do you prefer to purchase a Flight Sim product as a Boxed Version or as a Download Version?
The comments are of course open for discussion on the issue.
Depending on circumstances, I purchase Flt Sim software by download or on CD/DVD.
Taking the “company hat” off for a moment – downloads are OK for nearly all my acquisitions, but as the quality is improving so much in recent months – and inevitably thefile size – I find that the new sceneries tend to be rather “heavy”, even for a normal 6 megabit/sec telecom DSL line.
Any increase in download sizes now will mean us having to look at 32 MB cable DSL.
But once safely downloaded, a backup is easy to burn to DVD.
Being limited to a 1mbps BB connection in my area I find that I tend to prefer downloads as long as the files aren’t so large that I am having difficulty downloading them.
Generally files 600 megs and below aren’t too much of a problem, but when they start getting larger than that I start finding in increasingly difficult to get a reliable download and with stores that limit your number of download tries, it makes me not even want to bother trying.
So in the end I had to choose ‘Box’ as I like having that option for those really big scenery addons.
plug: simMarket does not limit the amount of downloads any longer since september, see here: http://simflight.com/2008/09/simmarket-drops-all-download-limitations/
other stores may do so.
For people that connect at any type of high speed, the instant option is great. But for those of us that are still forced to connect via dial-up, the box version is a great option.
So offer both of the options.
With my company hat off, I would prefer boxes, but normally use downloads, simply because of storage space. I’ve been in the PC industry for a long time and shelf after shelf after shelf of old, no longer usable, software is a pain in the backside. You don’t want to send it to landfill, but no-one else wants a ten-year-old software add-on (except maybe someone with too much money on an internet auction site).
Downloads on the other hand, you can simply back up to a storage device, which is a lot easier to retain. Then you just have to worry about when it becomes acceptable to delete your backup!
The other point of the discussion is DRM. For most software titles (stepping away from FS for a moment), the only protection that stops you using it on more than one PC (e.g. if you replace your PC) is the CD/DVD itself. You reinstall and, sometimes with the disk in the drive, you can use the software. On the other hand, with so many companies offering limited activations and/or locking to hardware, it becomes harder to upgrade or replace your PC.
My employers use a Â£6,000 per seat CAD package, which used to be locked to hardware. Every time a battered and abused corporate PC blew up, we had to speak by telephone with an operator in the United States and convince them that we weren’t installing it on another computer, we were installing it on a replacement computer. That stopped a couple of versions ago, but a lot more recently, I had to phone a corporate representative of a little company called Microsoft to try and convince them that an office package was being reinstalled on a third different replacement computer, because the user had managed to destroy one and lose one within two months. Their answer was “You’ll have to buy another license sir, this one is only valid for three activations”, at which point I passed it on to commercial to fight the battle.
Downloads and physical disks both have upsides and downsides. I think there’ll continue to be a market for both.