Beginning with X-Plane 10.40, Laminar Research can now collect anonymous usage information at the user’s discretion. This option can be toggled off or on in the following places:
- the X-Plane installer,
- the Settings > General screen in X-Plane 11
- the Operations & Warnings window in X-Plane 10.40 through 10.51
Laminar Research will only collect usage information from users who have the checkbox enabled. If you upgraded to X-Plane 10.40 from an older version of X-Plane, for instance, the checkbox in the Operations & Warnings window is disabled by default.
All information we collect is anonymous; it does not include contact information like your name or email address. We can never use the information collected to contact you in any way.
What does “anonymous usage information” mean?
Laminar Research collects two main types of information:
- system configuration (including your operating system, CPU model, graphics card model, amount of RAM, what language you’ve selected, and so on)
- X-Plane usage (including which aircraft are flown, which airport you start at, and so on)
This information is 100% anonymous. Essentially, all we ever learn is that some user, somewhere was running Windows with a Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, etc. and they flew the C172 from KBFI. We cannot trace this information back to a specific person.
Why does X-Plane want this information?
In essence, your usage data helps Laminar Research make better decisions about the future of X-Plane.
For instance, if we found that 50% of users were running 10 year old machines, we would need to think long and hard about increasing the system requirements in future versions.
Similarly, if we found that only 10 people ever flew a particular aircraft, we could conclude that users weren’t very interested in it, so we probably shouldn’t create a new aircraft that was very similar. Likewise, if 25% of flights involved the 747, we might decide that people really like big airliners, so we should probably create another.
Having actual data will improve our ability to make X-Plane the product that users really want.
Why you should participate
Sending this anonymous usage information is like casting a vote—in this case, a vote for us to support the way you use X-Plane. When you send your usage information, you cast your vote for us to support your hardware configuration, to build more of the planes you like to fly, or to improve the airports that you like to fly at.
Just like in electoral politics, you have every right to abstain. But abstaining means we’ll hear other people’s voices and not your own.
If you’d like to participate, just do the following:
- Get the latest version of X-Plane and launch it.
- Open the Settings > General screen (X-Plane 11) or the Operations & Warnings dialog (X-Plane 10).
- Check the box labeled “Send usage data to Laminar Research.”