Microsoft tells Ultimate Extras fans to 'hang on'
Microsoft has offered little satisfaction to Windows Vista Ultimate users frustrated by the dearth of goodies used to justify the operating system's premium price.
The company has committed to finally deliver on an original, limited set of four Ultimate Extras promised at the start of the year, but won't yet commit to further updates for users who splashed out more than most on their edition of Windows Vista.
Barry Goffe, Windows Vista Ultimate director, promised Microsoft has more Windows Ultimate Extras planned during the "next couple of years" but went on to say he "cannot identify dates or provide details at this time."
The "wait and see" comments are a reaction to a rising tide of criticism in the blogosphere and forums about the lack of information about Ultimate Extras features, deliverables and roadmaps.
One Windows Vista beta tester said he'd resorted to phoning Microsoft for information, as others complained of a "lack of transparency." Goffe responded: "We apologize for taking so long to provide a status update to customers."
Ultimate Extras, promised in January and March, were billed as applications, services and published content available only to Windows Vista Ultimate users.
The only four Ultimate Extras promised are for a poker game (Hold 'em), BitLocker enhancements to store passwords online at the Windows Marketplace and to prepare the BitLocker drive, a set of language packs for a multi-language interface, and Windows DreamScene that'll let users run a looping video instead of a static image in the background as their desktop.
While the list itself may seem somewhat uninspiring, so too has been pace of delivery. Thus far, we have sixteen language packs, BitLocker and Hold 'em. Goffe has promised the remaining 20 language packs and DreamScene by the end of the summer.
One Windows blogger, Long Zheng, tracking Ultimate Extras has forecast anger over lack of progress among users who shelled out for the high-end version of Windows Vista.
"Almost 180 days ago, we started with language packs, BitLocker 'enhancements', a poker game and desktop videos... If you look at it from the 'glass is half full' perspective, four extras in six months, not excellent but we're still okay. If you look at it from the 'glass is half empty' perspective, we started with four, and six months later, we're still at four, we've got a problem. It's safe to say, anyone who paid for Ultimate with their own blood and sweat is going to go with the latter perspective. And that makes a lot of angry customers."
The user that contacted Microsoft writing on joejoe.org said: "A lot of people are getting upset about these extras and are wondering what we're getting for our money... because I feel I could have stuck with [Windows] XP and came close to having all the same things these extras give me."®
Vista a waste, Always was...
Indeed I beta tested Vista Ultimate, and got Vista Premium with a new laptop for free as an OEM (guess what? its been gone for several months now, it was not worth the slowing down of a brand new laptop just to use Vista). I use Windows 2003 server with windows 2000 for the 2 towers, and Windows XP MCE 2005 on my new laptop (Dell is your friend when you want to complain about Vista). After implementing the Vista emulations that are readily available online for FREE (start menu, Wallpapers, sounds, themes, icon upgrades, shell upgrades), and adding sidebar for XP, and VLC media player for the "DREAMSCAPE" Exclusive movie wallpaper functionality, (wow thats been around for like 6 years already, whats the big deal?) My windows XP MCE system runs faster then the exact same system with either the Vista ultimate beta or the Vista home premium... And it is not burdened with all the calling home and big brother / DRM "FEATURES" that Vista forces on you. Not to mention the often override UAC bugging you every 5 mins for anything that is NOT Microsoft in origin. I wanted the nice TV PVR features that Home premium and Ultimate promised but when I really looked at what I got, it was much more efficient to just used XP MCE then to bother trying to get Vista running better by doubling up RAM, and Video card... Oh By the way. the "exclusive" Areoglass features, are also available from the original concept developer (NOT MICROSOFT) for Windows XP as well. It works like a dream on XP. No problem at all. This was something my Vista Home premium was not able to accomplish on my equipment at all. But it works 100% on windows XP from the original developer? go figure? Kudos to Otaku...
As an IT consultant my consistent answer for Vista is don't bother. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it...
It comes to something...
when you buy an OS because it lets you legally run the previous version...
Plus! for XP
Can't be any worse than this pile of c**p; a few skins for media player, a few desktops and a demo-only fishy screensaver?
Boy, you MS fanboys got fleeced, and Ultimate is just Plus! version 2; fleece harder.
Speaking of which, I've tried installing Vista Ultimate 64. Blue-screens on loading the network driver first install (but ok on the 2nd?), and blue screened enabling SLI the next.
Unsurprisingly enough, there hasn't been a 3rd attempt, and no motivation to do so. Luckily I'm a MAC user, and technet subscriber, so the pain of forking out £300 for a worthless DVD and a lost weekend has passed me by, but I dread to think how royally p*ssed off I would have been if it was my own money, and it was my critical PC.