Critics: Vista Ultimate add-ons promised not delivered

Since Vista was released to consumers, no new finished Extra have been offered to Ultimate users

Microsoft has failed to deliver on its promise of downloadable extras for the highest-priced version of Windows Vista, critics claim.

Dubbed "Extras" and exclusive to Vista Ultimate, the downloads were touted before, at and after the launch as one of a handful of features that separated the US$399 operating system from the US$239 Home Premium. On Ultimate's marketing site, Microsoft currently says of Extras: "These cutting-edge programs, innovative services, and unique publications provide a richer computing experience for Windows Vista Ultimate users."

Trouble is, according to critics like Scott Dunn, an editor with the popular "Windows Secrets" newsletter, Microsoft hasn't followed through. Since January, when Vista was released to consumers, no new finished Extra have been offered to Ultimate users.

"Extras is not a minor feature of Ultimate," Dunn argued. "It's one of the things that sets it apart from Home Premium, and one of the few unique things that has been promised Ultimate users."

Microsoft issued three Extras when Vista debuted, including a poker game; an add-on to BitLocker, Vista's whole-disk encryption tool; and language packs for the operating system's Multilingual User Interface. The next month, Microsoft posted DreamScene, a video screensaver, in beta form; DreamScene has not shifted out of beta since then.

"Some of these so-called extras should have been included with Ultimate," Dunn said, citing the BitLocker add-on. "Without that, it's very difficult to even use BitLocker."

Dunn has taken up a cause first promoted by several Windows-enthusiast bloggers, including Josh Phillips, who writes WindowsConnected, and Long Zheng, author of iStartedSomething.

Readers of the Philips and Zheng blogs were almost unanimous in their disappointment. Several mentioned the phrase "class-action" in their comments. "I'm just waiting for the Ultimate class-action lawsuit for failure to deliver," said "Xepol" on Philips' post.

Although the development team in charge of Extras has a blog, the last entry was posted more than three months ago. Microsoft did not respond to several requests for comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?