Microsoft’s newest entry into flying applications will come as a game, rather than a simulator (although it is promised to appeal to simulator users, too), and will be free of charge for the base game. From what I understand, though, is that you will be limited to the US island of Hawaii. I really don’t see this as a replacement for Flight Simulator at all, unless they can release the game with a worldwide scale.
I’m a bit disappointed, and they have a new “pay to play” model for additional areas and levels (there are no levels in a simulator unless you go from Private Pilot to Commercial Pilot). We’ll see how it goes once it is released, however. But, for now, I’m not as interested as I once was.
Naturally, with a free-to-play model, additional content will cost additional money. At launch, users will have the option to buy the entire chain of Hawaiian islands to fly over and explore – but players won’t be able to strike out for the mainland, as fuel is modeled, too.