Preload updates

To reduce server load and help people get going when a new update goes live, why not introduce a preloading feature for updates once they have finished QA?

The XBOX release is available for preload today so that begs the question why we can’t download the incoming patches ahead of time and installations can take place on release dates?

Hi @Tensorflow1113,
I’ve moved your topic out of Bugs & Issues and into the community #self-service:wishlist

The wishlist is for community requests for changes to MSFS via a voting system.

Isn’t this quite self explanatory? The Xbox version is a new release that most likely have been done for a long time. The updates we get are released with a much frequent interval. When they are done they are done and that’s when we get them.

I’m sorry but it seems you have made a series of assumptions in your post and it is far from self explanatory. Unless you are an Asobo/Microsoft dev then I’m not sure how you can say that.

As stated by the devs in the Q&A, the Xbox and PC builds are the same core code base, just different DX API and front end.

Software development cycles usually don’t have coding sprints and QA testing until the moment of release, they are completed shortly before and scheduled for release. My point is that when the artefacts are built and confirmed for release they could be made available for download but not installation from that point onwards…

On a PC? even if I love your idea, it’s risky as I guess lot of persons will try to decode the downloaded part and possibly some will find a way to install it in advance…

Not much point in that if the relevant server side changes aren’t implemented.

X BOX users were given the option to pre-load their version of the Simulator a week before the release date. As I have always experienced delays in downloading updates, and it has taken me two days to download one third of update 5, my wish is for the same courtesy to be extended to PC users.
The system would work as follows, a week before the official installation update release, those users with sufficient disc space would be permitted to download all or part of the forthcoming release on to a drive of their choice. Then a week later, on the official update, users would be offered the option of installing from the servers, as now, or from the downloaded file on their computer. This would solve a number of issues.

  1. Users could download the update while still being able to fly the simulator in the week preceeding the release, whereas under the present system I cannot use the Sim until I complete my download, which will take some time.
  2. The load on the servers would be reduced, as some people would pre download, while those with fast Internet connections would be happy to download and install as now after the release date.
  3. By permitting a pre-download, but not a pre installation, all users would be updating their version of the Sim on the same date, but a good percentage would be installing from their computer and not from the servers.

I think this would offer all users the best option and be easier for the users and for the system.

This is just a smarter allocation of resources - simple.

I think there are two other factors to take into account, both of which make this a sensible option for Microsoft to take.

  1. Future updates will presumably be distributed to both PC and the growing X BOX community. This will put a greater workload on the existing servers if all parties are desperate to update and fly at the same time. Existing users who currently have no problems updating may find that it takes longer in future unless the methodology is changed.
  2. Those arguing that this is the way software is updated are ignoring the fact that even Microsoft does not force all Windows users to update and install at the same time. Can you imagine the chaos if that happened, and you were prevented from using your computer until the latest Windows version had been installed.

It seems to me that if Microsoft could offer X BOX users the option to pre download and install later then it is technically possible, and at the same time a more efficient method than the present one. The computer systems we use should be designed for customer convenience, not the suppliers. After all we are funding this system, and it’s the third day that I, and many others, have been prevented from using our software due to downloading delays. In three days I have only managed to download half of the 40Gb mandatory update, and then I have to start on the optional content. My Internet speed is slow, but is capable of at least 10Mbps, and my average rate on this update has been less than 1Mbps. Its not a satisfactory service, especially from a company that makes billions of dollars out of software.

I think the limiting factor in this case is that both the server and client had to be the same for the sim to work, I could be wrong, i.e. the Asobo/MS servers for the game and our locally installed versions. So that makes it a bit different to the windows update case.

I also doubt the speed is always a MS problem, I found that my ISP was throttling the download (SKY UK), as everyone was updating from the same servers. I saw my speed initially at line speed of 56Mbps go slowly down to 0.19Mbps, turning on a VPN immediately resolved the issue. You could try a free vpn such as proton which worked well for me. After all, MS use Azure to load balance this kind of stuff.

Thanks for you comments. I don’t pretend to be a computer expert, but it does appear that when updates are released they are downloaded as individual files. I can’t see why such files could not be pre downloaded if available and then installed later. This is what happens with just about every other piece of software. I’m not suggesting that PC users are allowed to install and operate the new version in advance of the official update, just that they be permitted to pre download files, and take some strain out of the system.
Thanks for the VPN advice. I have tried that, and every other suggestion that Zendesk has made, and it makes no difference. I know in a few days the download speed will increase and I will be able to fly again. On average, depending on the update size, it takes me between three and seven days to complete a download. That’s really like going back to the dark ages, especially as I can download software from other agencies at a much faster speed.

I wonder what region you are in is causing the slowdown, maybe the servers are busy there and if you somehow configure to appear elsewhere then you can download faster. Usually you can set your location on top right where your username is but doesn’t work until in game.

As you say, it’s impossible to tell what server you are connected to until you can start the Sim. I live in a rural location and my Internet speeds are not world beating. I understand that. But I know in a few days I will be able to download sufficiently fast to get the job done in a few hours. But its very frustrating every month, knowing that the next download will not only take several days to achieve, but will also result in my not being able to use the software that I have paid for. Its particularly annoying as I purchased the disc version in the belief that I would be able to use that, even if the Internet was slow. As I have said before, for a software company Microsoft seems to have a deservedly bad reputation for software delivery and updating.