The Ultimate Letdown?

Some say: "Failure to deliver... Failure to communicate..."

Thursday, June 14, 2007 by cavalierex | Discussion: Vista Reviews

Remember this?
Ultimate Promises




Recently, several caustic articles have criticized Microsoft's failure to deliver Vista Ultimate extras:
Truly, aside from Stardock's own efforts with DeskScapes, DreamScene seems all but abandoned as 'preview' beta software: still CPU-heavy, and not nearly close to delivering what it promised.

Does it strike anyone else as strange that it's been six months since Vista shipped, and there are still no new Extras? Surely, one would have expected Microsoft to at least ship some samples from their labs that employ WPF goodness. Even a WPF-based/sidebar-based MSN Messenger would be a welcome thing, not to mention PowerToys or the many extras that they hinted would arrive. Where are the "cutting-edge programs"? The "innovative services"? The "unique publications"? What happened to the cool stuff that was hilighted in the well-circulated Longhorn concept videos (Video #1 and Video #2)?

At the very least, Microsoft's own Ultimate blog (http://windowsultimate.com) should communicate with us... telling us what's taking so long. But the site's been inactive for months (last publication was in March!), and they haven't responded to any e-mails.

I'm curious to hear what everyone else thinks.





First Previous Page 1 of 4 Next Last
JesseJ
Reply #1 Sunday, June 17, 2007 8:37 PM
Vista Ultimate is a scam to make more money off of stupid OS enthusiasts that have to have the most ultimate version of all software. Windows Home Premium is all the home user with great hardware needs. The animated wallpaper feature are no big deal. They take up resources and many third party DVD players can play videos as wallpaper.
racingyou
Reply #2 Sunday, June 17, 2007 10:38 PM
Yeah, I have to agree that it is very frustrating to see the apparently low level of commitment Microsoft has exhibited since the release of Vista Ultimate. It appears like they figure that they have already sold most of the copies of Ultimate that the are going to, and now are pretty much going to leave us out in the cold. This is coming from a big fan of both Microsoft and Apple.
cavalierex
Reply #3 Sunday, June 17, 2007 11:17 PM
I'm not sure why there has been this delay.... Surely, there must be a lot of complicated details behind-the-scenes...

It seems to me, with all the time that it took to develop Vista (which I think is a pretty nice OS, by the way), Microsoft would've had tons of cool ideas that they had to place on the sideline or backburner as they streamlined what would make it to the OS.

I would've thought that, once they made the decision to have an 'Ultimate Edition', they would've made sure to have a steady flow of goodies to distribute to their loyal customers. It doesn't matter if they're not even ground-breaking things. PowerToys (remember TweakUI?) weren't earth-shattering, but they really made life easier for the power-user.

I could think of myriad things for Microsoft to release. Here's just a few off the top of my head:

- Sidebar/WPF version of MSN Messenger
- Sidebar integration for Outlook (calendar, to-do, contacts) and OneNote. And I'm not talking about the little gadgets that have been released... I'm thinking real, powerful integration.
- A TweakUI for Vista (although the Stardock version is coming along nicely!)
- A graphing/programmable calculator
- Extensions for the Windows PhotoGallery... like simple resizing options
- Defrag for power-users!
- They promised "unique publications" in addition to software... How about a power-user's guide to the hidden secrets of Vista?
- Sidebar integration of MediaPlayer (so it shows cover-art and other details in the sidebar)
- FONTS! What about the fonts that were developed but not included with Vista? They could give them to Ultimate users!
- Icons, sound packages, wallpapers, avatars, etc.

I could come up with tons of things, easily... And I'm sure they wouldn't be that hard for the folks at Redmond to whip these things up.

Well, although I'm frustrated, I give them the benefit of the doubt. I think they'll come through in the end... if not sooner, than definitely with the upcoming service pack.

In the meantime, thank goodness for Stardock!
Pamkins
Reply #4 Friday, June 22, 2007 1:49 AM
I honestly don't know what all the fuss is with Vista. I decided to buy a disc and install. Well, none of my printers or scanners worked, and to be honest, i think its a bit trashy in the sense that its not as clear as XP with its interface wording. Why not multi-boot - thats what I'm doin until Vista comes up to scratch.
dcyphure
Reply #5 Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:05 PM
what else could they add anyway that wouldnt make it more bloated than it is?

what i did with mine was strip out all the excess using vlite.
then i used tweakvista and objectdock to replace my startbar cause well...its cooler although the new mac osx leapord's launchbar thing is now even slicker than OD but maybe stardock will work on it.

DS doesnt work too well in 64bit vista, when it crashes it never lets me turn it on again, in fact it wont even run personalize menu, when it does the video's no longer work
Nimbin
Reply #6 Sunday, June 24, 2007 5:37 PM
yep and i remember the same thing being said about XP when it was first released
i will not be upgrading to vista until at least thwe first service pack, becasue as with XP the OS never really hit its straps until service pack 2, so save the criticism until then
cavalierex
Reply #7 Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:04 AM
@Nimbin: I wasn't criticizing Vista, at all. To the contrary, I think the OS is great, and I'm sure that any service packs released will smooth out all the small issues.

My criticism is with Ultimate Extras, which have failed to materialize. By purchasing Ultimate, a user expected a steady stream of goodies (eye candy, utilities, power-user stuff, things straight out of the microsoft labs, etc.). Unfortunately, since the initial release of about three Extras (one of which -- the most popular, DreamScene -- is still in beta), no others have been released!! Absolutely appalling.
starkers
Reply #8 Friday, June 29, 2007 1:02 PM
I have to agree with the 'absolutely appalling' sentiment...I'm too am quite disappointed with the state of affairs regarding 'Ultimate' extras..or should I say the lack of them.

And no, I'm not critising Vista as an OS, it is very good indeed, but Microsoft has betrayed its Vista Ultimate customers big-time
c242
Reply #9 Monday, July 2, 2007 1:01 PM
They live...

And again, actually Ultimate is not just Home Premium + Extras, it is Home Premium + Business + Extras...
cavalierex
Reply #10 Monday, July 2, 2007 5:57 PM
Update on the Windows Ultimate Extras from WWW Link (07/02/2007)

When we launched Windows Vista in January 2007, we identified Windows Ultimate Extras as a unique series of add-ons that would be available to Windows Vista Ultimate customers. To date, we have released four sets of Extras – Windows Hold’Em, 16 Language Packs for the Windows multi-language user interface, Secure Online Key Backup, and Windows BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool. We want to let our Windows Vista Ultimate customers know that we are actively working to deliver the remaining Extras that we identified in January. Our goal is to provide the highest-quality, most secure and reliable offerings, and as a result we are continuing our work on these offerings. We apologize for taking so long to provide a status update to customers.

We intend to ship Windows DreamScene and the remaining 20 Language Packs by the end of the summer. We will not ship the last two Extras showcased in January (Windows DreamScene and the remaining 20 Language Packs) until they meet the high quality bar required by our enthusiastic customers—and we believe that we can achieve that bar by the end of this summer.

We also intend to deliver additional Extras in the future. In addition to Windows DreamScene and the remaining Language Packs, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras over the next couple years that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers. We cannot identify dates or provide details at this time—but once we ship Windows DreamScene and the remaining Language Packs, we will provide more information about the next Extras.

Barry Goffe
Director, Windows Vista Ultimate
Microsoft Corporation


In other words, they'll fine-tune DreamScene, but don't expect anything new for awhile.

Well, at least they're talking to us now. Many people had written to them in the past, but gotten no response.

Anyone else notice that the portrait photos of the Ultimate Extra team-members have now been removed? I guess the team is officially disbanded.
ghostrideradam
Reply #11 Monday, July 2, 2007 6:15 PM
I actually work at Office Depot and know first hand that it's a scam! As a tech I have nothing but complaints about the 'Ultimate' Vista(can you say BitLocker Drive Encryption!)The only thing good about it is the Stardock Dreamscape program...I mean does anyone actually use a 1/3 of the features that doesn't have you hold down ctl+atl.They (Microsoft) won't even help our store with some of the tech support and we sell their stuff!!!!
Edtorious
Reply #12 Monday, July 2, 2007 6:28 PM
I hate to say it but I'm afraid that a class action lawsuit is coming!
Edtorious
Reply #13 Monday, July 2, 2007 6:31 PM
I hate to say it but I'm afraid that a class action lawsuit is coming!


Or maybe another commercial from MAC mocking the Ultimate Vista. They already did on Steve's recent keynote speech on WDC. They're mocking MS for having different versions of Vista at ridiculous prices while Mac's upcoming OS Leopard will only have one version will all the nice features at a price less than $200 bucks.
Excalpius
Reply #14 Monday, July 2, 2007 6:48 PM
There is only one version of Windows Vista. Everything else is MBA 101 marketing segmentation crippleware. On this issue, Apple is dead on.

But Microsoft has the monopoly we gave them, so why do they have to care...at all?

Answer: Until they feel real concerted competition/pressure from any sector (and no it won't be coming from a shareware OS like Linux), they don't have to try and won't waste the resources to do so. That's simple business 101.
XX
Reply #15 Monday, July 2, 2007 9:46 PM
Huh? Linux as shareware? Where?
cavalierex
Reply #16 Tuesday, July 3, 2007 12:35 PM
Ha! Came across this mocking yet accurate translation of what the Ultimate Team said, courtesy of mstefan on the Channel9 forums:
"We would like to announce that we are announcing the announcement of these features that we have previously announced, and are intending to deliver this announcement of these new feature announcements once the announcement meets the highest quality of the announcements that we know that you have come to require of us. We strongly believe that we should only announce those announcements of features which have been throughly tested and you can be assured that our announcements will be announced at the earliest possible date. You can expect another announcement to this effect in two months. Thank you."

Gotta love it!
starkers
Reply #17 Tuesday, July 3, 2007 3:21 PM
Gotta love it!


Hmmmphhh!! Well I'd like to announce that I heard no such announcement. In fact, if the announcer didn't make a concerted effort to make that announcement for all to hear, then I announce that the announcer should step down and announce his retirement from public announcements.



Or maybe another commercial from MAC mocking the Ultimate Vista. They already did on Steve's recent keynote speech on WDC. They're mocking MS for having different versions of Vista at ridiculous prices while Mac's upcoming OS Leopard will only have one version will all the nice features at a price less than $200 bucks.


The thing is, what Mr Smugness neglected to mention was that the hardware to run his under $200 OS is gonna cost upwards of $2000 for anything halfway decent....can still get a PC with Windows pre-loaded for well under that. Nope, Mr Jobs has little room to be making disparaging remarks about MS pricing.

Still, based on the 'Ultimate Extras' promise, I went the extra mile to get Ultimate and feel somewhat miffed that what was promised has been put on the back burner, if not entirely abandoned....'tis pretty shoddy treatment for all those who purchased copies of Vista Ultimate

dj_cityboy
Reply #18 Sunday, July 8, 2007 2:46 AM
well you can view my thoughts on this little story over here

http://www.joejoe.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=8598

i completely think its a sham and was very surprized to see the Ultimate team up and at em again...

peas
cityboy
Gideon MacLeish
Reply #19 Sunday, July 8, 2007 6:08 AM
while Mac's upcoming OS Leopard will only have one version will all the nice features at a price less than $200 bucks.


But you have to buy MAC Hardware! Mac's as bad as Windows, they just like to pretend they're not!
Gideon MacLeish
Reply #20 Sunday, July 8, 2007 6:10 AM
The thing is, what Mr Smugness neglected to mention was that the hardware to run his under $200 OS is gonna cost upwards of $2000 for anything halfway decent....can still get a PC with Windows pre-loaded for well under that. Nope, Mr Jobs has little room to be making disparaging remarks about MS pricing.


Sorry, I missed the fact you had already made this point. Thanks for helping point out the obvious to the Mac fanboi!

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