Microsoft shut down development of the long-running Flight Simulator franchise in 2009 (details here). But the simulation lives on through an agreement with Dovetail Games that allows that company to release FSX on its online Steam platform (see this item from July 2014).
Dovetail released the Steam edition this month, and the company has opened a discussion board to answer questions about the product. That online forum is the best source for details about this release of FSX and the company’s plans for future development.
If you own the disc-based version of FSX and have questions about the new online product, you should start at this page. Here’s Dovetails’s answer to the most common question about what’s new about this version:
We have made some functional changes to FSX in the development of FSX: Steam Edition, but in terms of content nothing new has been added at this time…
This is a re-release of FSX Gold Edition so you should not expect dramatic differences. However, we have updated it to include all standard Steam functionality, we’ve removed CD checking and combined the components of Gold Edition into a single installation. The major change we’ve made is in replacing the now-defunct GameSpy multiplayer systems with Steam features, enabling multiplayer to work seamlessly once again. Our aim in this first instance has been to ensure that the software will run for as many people as possible rather than radically improving or updating it.
You can find a log of significant changes that Dovetail made to the FSX code here.
The company’s discussion board is also the best source for information about add-ons, hardware compatibility, and related questions.