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Microsoft Flight Simulator closed beta details are coming next week

(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab) is almost ready for another development milestone. Players have been hitting the skies since late last year, putting the alpha through its paces, but now the closed beta is coming. 

Asobo Studios hasn't had much to say about the beta so far, but a release window was snuck into a roadmap update (opens in new tab) back in May, placing it in mid-July. Next week, however, we should have a clearer picture of when it will arrive. 

The latest development update (opens in new tab) teases the announcement of a timeline for the closed beta release, which you'll be able to catch in the next update on July 2. Hopefully we'll also find out what new players can expect and what's changing in the leap from alpha to beta. 

If you're already in the alpha, you'll automatically get into the beta, and in the meantime there's another alpha update on the way. Alpha 5 is in the final phase of internal testing, so a release date will be announced next week. 

As always, the development update is accompanied by lots of striking player screenshots, unfortunately covered in watermarks. I've plucked out a few of the best and popped them below. 

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.