We haven't all left MS yet :-> I'm Lockheed's single point of contact for support, and anything I can't answer myself, I can reach out to other ex-ACES folks still inside MS. Lockheed's license did include source code and the right to create derivative works.
that's great news thanks for sharing! Hopefully sometime in the near future Lockheed will open some simulation related positions for developers I've been dying to work for them and nothing is better than a shift from their part towards an area in which I already have some experience
Tim - I actually like the arrangment, even if there's nothing in it for the entertainment user/hobbyist (although I can see there is a spot in the mix for many of the flightsim top end developers).
For me, it's a case of Microsoft saying "here's my recipe for a really neat apple pie, but I'm not going to keep on improving it. I'll let you rent the recipe, and you can make it better, and give me a piece of the pie."
Now, Lockheed Martin takes that recipe, and plays around with it, and it becomes, not Microsoft's apple pie, but Lockheed's pie with a "Microsoft crust".
Let's say Boeing wants to make an apple pie and also rents Microsoft's recipe. At first, the Boeing and Lockheed apple pies may look and taste the same, but after a few rounds in the testing kitchens of each, they'll almost be unrelated, except for that really tasty Microsoft secret seasoning...
Unfortunately, I'll have to settle (gee what a sacrifice) with Microsoft's original apple pie, and maybe get a tast of the pies from the smaller bakeries around (X-plane, Flight gear...)
I regret that we (the hobbyist) won't - anytime soon - be treated to the working independent suspension vehicles that was to come with ESP2.
But we can hope and dream, and after all, that's what's pushed this hobby through the years!
The online store is up and running now. If you just want a copy to investigate the development opportunities, the Prepar3d Developer Network (PDN) subscription is a better deal than a straight up seat license. The PDN is $9.95 a month and you get two licenses, you could pay for the subscription for 4 years for the cost of one seat license - of course, you would still need to buy seat licenses for any solution instances you sold to clients (which is a much better arrangment than MS had with ESP, where you had to have your clients contact MS Volume Sales to buy their seat licenses).