With the official US street date now passed we're seeing more and more people trying to install and run FSX. Naturally the first thing we hear about are the problems. It's natural to want to overreact at first but until we know the full extent of any particular issue we just have to wait see. A good example is the report we got from Europe that suggested a bad batch of disks. It would have been very costly to send replacements, if that was what was needed. However after some investigation the problem turned out to be one of DVD issues I mentioned in another post. Now our support engineers can quickly help users with the problem.
We're also tracking install and activation errors and following up with the teams with the knowledge to understand what's happening. It's frustrating, of course, because we want every customer to have a smooth experience but in the PC Games business (with the infinite combination of hardware and software) that's not realistic. Internal testing and beta testing helps uncover some of the issues but even then the sample size is so small that inevitably things slip through the cracks and we need to address them after we ship.
So for now we're watching closely and trying to acquire real, objective data on the issues people are having. The primary conduit for this is product support since issues can be categorized and tracked. Browsing on-line sites is somewhat helpful but the posts are one-sided and often don't convey the complete picture. It's much better to have a two-way conversation about exactly what's happening and product support is the only mechanism we have to do that. So, kudos to any of you who have called in to try and solve your problems. I know that's not what you want to do after buying new software--goodness knows we'd rather you didn't have to--but it helps us to help you when we can really talk to you about your problems. Thanks!