UPDATE: Bookmark this page and check back regularly: http://support.microsoft.com/ph/11941.
A new week and more information is surfacing about installation and activation problems. Many people are confusing the activation policies for FSX with those for Windows Vista. To answer some of the questions our product support team posted a FAQ article to their Knowledge Base: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927007/en-us. We also got the first report on activation statistics. two things struck me about that. First was the shear number of people--many times the membership of web sites like AvSim, for example--who have already activated the software, given that the official street date was only a week ago. Second was the percentage of failed activations. Yes, it was certainly higher than expected (and more than we want so we still need to understand the causes) but still, it was a tiny fraction of the overall number.
In other news I got pulled away to prep and conduct a demo of FSX for BillG and Ray Ozzie on Monday. It was part of a regular review of products and projects from around the company and as such we only had a few minutes with them. To make things interesting i decided to set up a multiplayer session with a tower controller and shared aircraft--3 PCs in all. I flew for a bit and then transferred control to Bill, who grabbed the 360 Controller without hesitation. They asked some good questions about the product and technology and really seemed impressed with what we'd achieved. Bill especially liked the water effects and Ray was impressed with the attention to detail and shear amount of data we utilized. (And, BTW, we were getting about 20FPS with mid-range slider settings and no other tweaks.)
Anyway, now it's back to the less-glamorous routine of software development. More on that a bit later...