A serial that needs to be activated online works for me, but not for PCs used without an active internet connection.
So, you are in agreement that the default method works for 99% of the users. Up to today, we had 2-3 people asking how to purchase without internet connection, out of several *thousands* who downloaded the Trial...
So you always have to write a complete explanation how to do. Funny eh?
Since the number of people asking this question is so low, I don't see the problem. However, your criticism might be relevant to the MANUAL, and here we ARE open to criticism: we might add a section in the manual that will cover purchase without internet connection, for those interested.
However, since we are keep getting emails about reactivation, from users who only consumed 1 activation, when it's clearly stated on the manual that we have 6 activations on different hardware before calling support, is highly doubtful how many would actually read it, if we add another section to it.
Had you criticized the manual, that would be different. Still, it doesn't have anything to do with the Addon Manager itself.
After both Zurich and Chicago release, many users' flight simulators did not start any more
First, your definition of "many" is questionable at best, since, as I've said, we had many thousands of downloads so, by definition, ANY software that gets downloaded by thousand of people WILL crash on a certain percentage of user's machines, without meaning the software is buggy.
For the Zurich release, in fact, the solution to the "bugged" Addon Manager wasn't a new Addon Manager release but, instead, trying to help the very few people affected, so see what was their problem on their machine that prevented the Addon Manager to run. After the problem was found, the SAME "bugged" Addon Manager always worked. So, it's obvious it wasn't "bugged" in the first place, since we managed to make it run even on those problematic few users, WITHOUT having to release a fixed one.
O'Hare was an entirely different issue and wasn't an Addon Manager "bug" but, rather, our failure to properly test the installer, due to the fact we have to release two different set of files, depending if the user has or hasn't patched FS9 for >2GB of RAM and, unfortunately, we let slipped ONE wrong file in the installer, that only affected user with one kind of config. Again, this wasn't solved by updating the Addon Manager itself, just the installer with the updated file.
You are welcome to tell me what takes longer: Opening gmail, copy the serial code, enter it, and use the scenery or waiting for a solution from you which took ,as far as I remember, a few hours.
Just said this 'cause you mentioned the time factor.
It took a few hours for the following reasons:
1) As I've said, it only affected people with one kind of configuration, so we took more time than the usual just to identify the problem. Funny enough: NO beta tester had the affected config.
2) I can only upload files at 30K/s maximum. This means releasing a full O'Hare installer for FS9 only takes about 1 hour just to upload it.
However, your entire argument that it takes more time to wait for a fix than having to wait for an email and type a serial, is wrong anyway, because is based on the wrong assumption that all users will always have this problem, so it's normal having to wait.
Of course, this is not the case because the only people that had to wait "a few hours" for the O'Hare fix, were only those who downloaded the installer the first hour after it was released (because we put it offline immediately after spotting the problem) and of those, only those who had the one config that wasn't tested.
Instead, when the purchase is done by serials that arrives via mail and need to be typed, and this is the only method available, the waiting factor will always be there, for the whole life of the product, for everyone that will download it.
This is no excuse for our failure to properly test the installer. In fact, we have the O'Hare 1.1 patch ready since a week already, but we haven't released yet, because we don't want to make the same mistake twice.
But still, this doesn't have anything to do with the Addon Manager being buggy or not or with the purchasing method being easy or not. If we were more thorough with testing, and if at least one of our testers had the affected config, the *same* Addon Manager would worked for everybody.