Microsoft has announced a new "visual simulation platform," dubbed ESP, to be released in January 2008. The company imagines the toolkit will be used to create applications for training, learning, modening, military, and aviation.
Microsoft ESP enables the innovative use of visual simulation for immersive learning and decision-making, supports PC-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software, and enables simulations to be built faster and more cost-effectively.
ESP seems to be an extension of the Microsoft Flight Simulator platform, which the company has been extending for some time as an application development environment.
Hard to tell how it will work just yet, but Microsoft does have a history of making visual programming tools very easy to use for ordinary developers. The price? $US 99 for the SDK.