Microsoft evades promise of Vista Ultimate Extras

Scott dunn By Scott Dunn

The Microsoft Corp. in January released Vista Ultimate, the priciest version of the company’s new operating system, with the promise of additional downloadable “Extras,” available only for the top-of-the-line product.

Months later, buyers of Vista Ultimate have seen no new Extras since the mere handful that were offered around the initial Vista rollout.

Extras were to enhance expensive Vista edition

When Windows Vista was released to consumers on Jan. 30, the operating system debuted in a number of different “editions” — versions with different features and price ranges for different customers.

The so-called Ultimate edition combines the features of Vista Home Premium and Vista Enterprise. Vista Ultimate includes Media Center, DVD Maker, and Movie Maker — multimedia features of Home Premium that aren’t in Vista Enterprise. Also, Ultimate offers BitLocker drive encryption, support for Unix-based apps, and Virtual PC Express, which Home Premium does not.

But third-party multimedia and encryption features can easily be added to Vista Home Premium and Vista Enterprise via downloads. The real allure of Vista Ultimate was something that none of the other editions would ever have: Ultimate Extras. Some of Microsoft’s promises for these Extras are shown in a Help screen in Vista’s Windows Update control panel (see Figure 1).

Windows vista ultimate extras
Figure 1: In the task pane of Vista’s Windows Update control panel, you can click Learn about Windows Ultimate Extras to display the things Microsoft promised.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-06-28: