The Ultimate con

Windows Ultimate ExtrasEven if the Windows Ultimate team has fled to the International Date Line, summer is officially over. Normally I wouldn’t care what season it is in the northern hemisphere but today it proves this team is incapable delivering anything and should never be trusted again.

Two months ago, after weeks of pressuring for answers, Microsoft’s Windows Ultimate group director Barry Goffe finally spoke out about the ‘missing’ Windows Vista Ultimate Extras. As implied throughout most marketing materials including the official website and even Window Vista’s own control panel, Ultimate Extras were suppose to be frequent and free premium products and services delivered to the customers who “wanted it all”. And the truth is, customers are getting near to nothing. Although realistically not everyone’s equally upset at the lack of extras, some argue it wasn’t part of their choice to buy Vista Ultimate, which is fine but that doesn’t help the people who did.

In the July update, Barry writes and I quote,

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.

I seriously have to doubt the competency of whatever group of people is working on this if they can’t even ship 20 language packs in 8 months (after Vista’s January release) let alone the ill-fated DreamScenes which has been suffering an architectural problem preventing it from working on RTL-language systems.

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.

By “years”, Barry means Martian years.

On a related note, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 even tries to hide the Ultimate Extras shame by removing much of the information in the Control Panel applet. This is what you see in the current RTM version about Ultimate Extras .

Windows Ultimate Extras

This is what you see in Service Pack 1.

Windows Ultimate Extras in SP1

Ironically a whole lot of nothing is exactly what you’re getting.

125 insightful thoughts

  1. nice read – so true and frustrating.
    im one of the fools who bought the ultimate version in belief of getting some added value compared to home premium. If i knew this “whole collection of nothing” i would definately had bought home premium and saved me the bucks.

    ah well – fools never die :-) ms knows that

  2. Long,

    I have to agree with you. And isn’t it amazing that none of the other bloggers or Microsoft pundits have even talked about this. There should have been just two versions: Home and Professional, just like before. Business Edition is also a rip-off also.

    However, if we’re going to have Ultimate Extras, I’d love to see the following:

    1. A 64-bit version of WMP that doesn’t hang when closed and a taskbar toolbar for it that works like the 32-bit version.
    2. Because AERO is incompatible with the applications I use, a standard Vista theme that isn’t ugly and isn’t blue.

    But I guess Service Pack 1 will have to be the ultimate extra…

  3. Pingback: KEEPiNG iT REAL
  4. I think, with this latest let-down, any excitement I had left for Ultimate Extras was just flushed down the toilet. Ultimate Extras had such potential to be something that Vista Ultimate users could really enjoy. It didn’t even have to be anything earth-shattering, just a nice regular stream of treats like wallpapers and other stuff.

    Ah well.

  5. Pingback: GottaBeMobile.com
  6. The thing is, because of UE, they didn’t even end up coming out with a Vista “Plus Pack”.

    So they have done less work than what they did with all the other releases as far as extras and powertoys are concerned. What the hell happened to TweakUI for Vista and all the other little freebies that MS made for XP.

    Oh well, Ultimate crap is what it is.

  7. I’ll have to concur, its amazing but an expected result on two fronts:
    – Microsoft can continue to sell the product under false pretense
    – People still buy it or haven’t complained since they got it

    They probably have the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality going on about this.

    Oh! Like that old coffee commerical, “we’ve secretly swtich this suckers..er, um, customers Windows Vista Ultimate with Vista Premium…let’s see what happens…and cut…print to tape.”

    They can make it ultimate by adding so unique TiVo serivce/connector, maybe a free copy of Office 2007 Pro (granted I already have it), 80% off the next version…I’m out of ideas.

    Lame. Maybe I’m just jaded since I have Ultimate.

  8. i feel same as matt sharpe

    is there a plausible explanation why little things such as wallpapers, sounds, themes or anything else non-earth shattering goodies dont get published? does it make sense to be such an arse ms?

  9. @Herbert: I would also like to see simplified SKUs. You are forgetting the SKUs for XP though:
    Windows XP Home
    Windows XP Professional
    Windows XP Media Center
    Windows XP 64-bit (Itanium workstations)
    Windows XP 64-bit Professional (AMD65 architecture)
    Windows XP Tablet
    Windows XP N[othing] editions (they have sold what, 120 copies?)

    I won’t even count fundamentals for legacy PCs in that list. For Vista, we have:
    Windows Vista Home Basic
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    Windows Vista Business
    Windows Vista Enterprise
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    Windows Vista N[othing] editions (If Vista sales are low, then how many of those have sold?)

    And again, I won’t count the version for emerging markets. The point being that Vista had 5 SKUs while XP had 7. While only 2 of the XP SKUs where in the public eye (media center was never available via “retail” outlets – OEM only), there are 4 versions of Windows Vista for public consumption. Is it confusing? You bet! Personally, I believe it would be simpler for the next version of Windows to have the SKUs like this:
    Windows Home Premium -the premium is good for marketing ;)
    Windows Business –meh, says what it is
    Windows Enterprise –for SA partners only
    Windows Ultimate –combined features/ in-box apps of both public SKUs
    Windows N[othing] –EU makes them do it…
    Windows for Emerging markets -Hey, it is good enough for those who can’t afford a higher up version

    The thing is, if Microsoft did this, it would be so much easier for the consumers to decide what they want. You go to your Best Buy or Dell.com or what have you, and all you have to do is say “Hmm, do I want the features in Windows Business or Windows Home Premium –OR do I need the features of both?” Well, I’ve said all I have to say on the subject ;)

  10. Honestly this is why i love my Mac. There are two versions Desktop and Server. What a novel concept. I too run Windows Ultimate, and have found nothing worth the extra price tag, think I will reinstall XP and ditch Vista altogether. Either way, it is nice to run the 1 or 2 windows apps that I have from my Mac whenever I need them and then happily shutdown Windows and stay on mac.

  11. @Cullen D

    Actually there are 64-bit versions of every flavor of Vista too. But you are technically correct because they aren’t separate SKUs. And the 64-bit versions of XP came out later and were based on the Windows Server kernel and not the XP kernel and display build 3790. :)

    And I’ve discovered that the OEM versions of XP were sometimes customized. I have a customer who has Dell OEM XP Home that supports 2 processors. The retail version of Home only support 1 processor.

    My conclusion, it’s probably best to compare the SKUs of XP and Vista as they were at introduction or wait 6 years to do it. :)

    But otherwise I agree with everything you’ve said.

  12. Pingback: Noticias externas
  13. @Herbert – Vista includes the 64-bit WMP taskbar toolbar. Have you not tried it?

    There is also a 64-bit WMP, but it’s not terribly useful since there aren’t many (or any) 64-bit codecs to use with it.

  14. @Macro – Ultimate has a great deal of value over Home Premium. “Ultimate Extras” are just that… extras. While I am disappointed with how they’ve been handled, I never considered them to be the reason anyone would buy Ultimate.

    Ultimate is designed to combine the features of Home Premium with those of Business. Simple as that. If you want a barebones basic system, you get Home Basic. If you want better Mobile PC / Tablet support, better networking capabilities, more included apps, etc – you go for Home Premium or Business.

    If you want Media Center, DVD Maker / HD Movie Maker, etc – you go for Home Premium. If you want Remote Desktop, domain support, etc – go for Business.

    If you want Remote Desktop and Media Center in the same SKU, or you want Media Center on a domain, or you really want Bitlocker and it wasn’t put their by your corporate IT department – then you go for Ultimate.

    Ultimate is basically the same as buying XP Media Center Edition (ie. now called Home Premium) AND buying XP Pro. The only difference is that now you can get their seperate/distinct features together in the same, higher priced SKU.

  15. Look, a bunch of managers and executives at Microsoft figured out a way to ‘package’ Vista so they could get larger bonuses.

    I have never heard any numbers but I imagine Microsoft took in quite a bit of money with their ‘Extras’ farce.

    I want Microsoft to be honest and say we screwed you so pull your pants up and move on.

    As far as updates are concerned.. Just how are language packs something I should pay extra for???

  16. Extras is such a shambles, and really required NOTHING from MS to maintain an ounce of faith in it. For example, a desktop wallpaper every month. This isn’t what we were looking for with Extras, but at least it would have shown good will and provided some confidence that it wasn’t a complete fraud. The fact that they cannot even do something as simple as this is a complete disgrace, particularly having sold Ultimate off the back of this non-existing service. I hate lawsuit culture, but seriously dude…

    Brandon: You’re so out of line. The premium for Ultimate wasn’t just the things you mentioned, it was ‘cutting edge programs, innovative services and unique publications’. That’s impressive, and the implied value was far greater than you suggest. Imagine paying premium for a car with all the trimmings, and finding out you didn’t get the stereo, anti-lock breaks and airbags. No explanation, no apology, no refund; nothing. Even if you had the alloys, air-con and a functional car, you’d be pissed.

    Perhaps MS should just pull the plug on it, and provide all affected customers with a pretty healthy rebate.

  17. @Brandon Live

    Thanks! I just got WMP to work correctly. I have never started WMP from an icon(I always just double-clicked a sound file) and when I selected the taskbar toolbar for it it crashed. But I discovered that there are two WMP installations on my computer in %ProgramFiles% and in %ProgramFiles(x86)%. When I started the 64-bit version in %ProgramFiles% just one time directly, everything started to work, even by file association. But by file association, only the 32-bit WMP is started. And still when either version starts playing something, CPU utilization peaks at 80% for 30-40 seconds while wmplayer.exe, TrustedInstaller.exe, and WFUDHost.exe take over my computer. What’s up with that?

  18. Why does Vista hang all the time?

    Seriously, I have one application open and Vista will periodically hang several times throughout the day for no reason? Or, I guess what is the reason? Vista is doing something in the background the brings my work to a halt and I have to wait and wait and wait for Vista to finish and allow me to resume working.

    This is reaching a point where I was waste a decent amount of time each day simply waiting for Vista to allow me to work.

    I’m very frustrated with Vista and very close to going back to XP.

    Not pleased with the Vista experience thus far.

    Cheers

  19. While I didn’t only purchase Ultimate so that I could get the extras, it certainly was a deciding factor. The thought of getting something more was certainly appealing. Especially given the price premium for Ultimate, this is certainly a very hard pill to swallow.

    At the very minimum, if the Ultimate team had at least delivered some wallpapers and some more DreamScene animations, I would have been placated. Is/was it the full promise of Ultimate if they delivered that? No, but it would have been something. Right now, who would buy Ultimate?

  20. LZ,

    Your M____TRIX spoof was a step in the right direction … and it seems the red pill you swallowed is now starting to take effect. When you are eventually disconnected from the machine then you will see the world and not the Matrix. You will see that it is not your beloved but trivial UE’s that have gone … but the operating system itself. What SIGNIFICANT advances or innovations have M$ made in the areas of:

    1. file systems – accuracy, speed, backup, …
    2. overall PC performance – why do we wait for anything to start, let alone authorise stuff for UAC – hardware performance has increased 10-100 times
    3. sound activation
    4. security – intrusion, viruses, trojans, …
    5. Parallel processing

    Please don’t say Windows Home Server, because M$ packaging has ensured that is a separate product instead of being a core OS function.

    It came to me the other day … what’s happened to consumer computing in the last 10 years … the same as happened to the music industry. Before the 70′s music was written for adults but since then it has been increasingly written for children with a continual diminution in quality, leaving today’s sorry state. So for computers we have the new MAC’s and VISTA: children’s toys good for music, photographs and video.

    So the question should not be “where are my UE’s” but “when will the development teams be working on the core operating system instead of the toys?”.

    Curious thing: that MAC ad. where the MAC has to go on the naughty step. As ironically accurate as your Matrix spoof!

    Morpheus

  21. After testing Vista ultimate on a few of our units we decided to keep XP. Our philosophy is if it aint broke don’t fix it. The only reason we looked at Vista ultimate was because of the premium content and since their is none, we’re sticking with XP.

  22. the next windows is supposed to ship in less than 3 years according to microsoft? so they dont have that much time to ship useful extras :-)

  23. @Midnight – the premium for Ultimate absolutely was the things I’ve mentioned. Ultimate Extras were supposed to be just that… small “extras.” I do hope very much that they do something about the embarassing Extras program – but it is certainly not part of the “core value” of the Ultimate SKU. The Ultimate SKU is, as I said, the superset of Business and Home Premium. That is its reason for existing. It is a nod to the enthusiast crowd who want Media Center and the other Home-targetted features, but who also want Remote Desktop (and things like secpol.msc, business-class network / domain support, etc).

    @Herbert – I’m glad you got it working, but the 32-bit WMP is the default because it works with all existing plug-ins and codecs. The taskbar toolbar works with the 32-bit version as well. Unlike XP x64, WMP on the x64 version of Vista should behave exactly as it does in the 32-bit version of Vista. If you are experiencing crashes, you should check the Problem Reports and Solutions app, as it might tell you what caused those problems and be able to suggest a fix. Assuming your hardware is sound and your installation hasn’t been corrupted – you’re probably seeing a compatibilty problem with some codec or add-in (either for WMP, or perhaps the Windows shell) or a bad driver.

  24. Thank god i saw this one coming and got Home Premium… like some people mentioned before its not a good idea to buy promises. Then again having your login screen say “Ultimate” is a bit of a status symbol, at least in geek circles! I do hope they get around to releasing the extras at some point though, i would be immensely ticked off if i paid extra for nothing.

  25. At the very least, the vista ultimate team’s mangement should fall on their swords and replacements brought in to start seriously kicking some asses into gear.

    Like MS doesn’t have enough legal problems, now they’ll have a department FULL of apparently incompetent people to thank for a new round of lawsuits we’re likely to start seeing soon.

    Personally, I think a LOT of sour feelings could have been avoided JUST with a policy of consitant blogging on their behalf.

    Want to bet “worked on vista ultimates team” won’t show up on a lot of resumes?

  26. Pingback: 西行资讯
  27. Heck, I’d be happy if they just invited some of us BTs back into a limited beta for Ultimate Extras just so we know they actually intend to deliver a product to us. Even just a blog entry with screenshots to show us that they do infact exist in someplace other than Marketing’s head…

    Ah dreams.

  28. @John F. Jackson

    “why do we wait for anything to start, let alone authorise stuff for UAC”

    Your apps have to load code into memory, one way or another.
    You can either have them load when you ask for them to run, or you can have them pre-load during startup/login.

    If you choose the former, it takes them a little while longer to start when you ask for it. If you choose the latter, it takes your system longer to get you to the desktop.
    The latter option also has people complain, because they see significant amounts of RAM (or swap space) gone to simply loading an app that isn’t running. If you never run that application in that session (eg: you were just quickly starting up to check your email or something – you didn’t need ), you’ve gone ahead and wasted that load time.

    Yes, there are ways to optimise the load times – by re-arranging files on-disk so that you can load all files to memory in one (larger) read, caching them in flash-disks (eg: ReadyBoost / Hybrid Drives), etc. But either way, your applications are still going to have to start up.

    If you can devise a scheme to avoid this (which doesn’t involve breaking compatibility with every other application in existence), then Microsoft and various others would really love to talk to you.

    Regarding UAC – This really is a good thing.
    People complain about how they don’t want this UAC thing, but then they bitch and moan when either you stop applications from doing potentially bad things (like writing to %ProgramFiles% or %WinDir%, installing network drivers, or a variety of other things), or instead just allow apps to do whatever they like, and people get a Malware installation.

    UAC isn’t a cure-all, it won’t protect you from doing stupid things – if you click Approve to a dodgy app, you can kiss your security good bye. It does, however, give you the opportunity to see when an application is going to do something that could have an effect on the entire machine.

    Re your asking about what improvements in file systems?
    NTFS v5 is a very good journalling file system, and the way updates are written should ensure that your updates/writes are completed atomically (i.e entirely succeed, or entirely fail) regardless of power loss.

    Combine that with Bitlocker (Req. Ultimate/Enterprise) and your risk of losing sensitive information is significantly reduced. (Assuming your key isn’t kept with the machine, and/or your pin code is something more difficult to guess).

    In addition, shadow copies and such allow for ‘on-line’ backup of files (backup your email store, even when it’s open), and for restoring files which may have been updated/deleted accidentally.

    All in all – Vista *does* provide some very fundamental and very useful upgrades on previous versions. They go un-noticed by many, since it’s not Flip3D, but they are there.

  29. Glenn, I paypal you $60, can you send me a copy? just kidding ;)
    very disappointing indeed, but as Alex and others mentioned, it’s not a good idea to buy promises. I’ve learned a lesson. I just hope MS did too.

  30. @BradonLive: Actually, that’s exactly where I saw Ultimate edition. I know how many people got burned when XP first came out and everyone grabbed the “Home” version not realizing that you couldn’t connect to a college domain in it. This still applies in the home editions of Windows Vista. However, I love Windows Media Center. So if I were to get a computer for college, it would have to come with Ultimate on it. In my home, for my family, I see no benefit to it – Home Premium would be just fine, though at present XP Home seems to be serving our needs quite well. ;)

  31. Pingback: Wictor Wilen
  32. Here is a link on how to make Windows Media Player 11 64-bit in Vista x64 the default player:
    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/01/19/switch-change-or-set-64-bit-windows-media-player-11-wmp11-in-windows-vista-x64-as-default/

    Cullen D, you forgot one more XP SKU:
    Windows XP Embedded
    The N in Windows XP N means it does not include Windows Media Player, thats all that was removed under order of the EU, you can even download it and add it back to the system.

    I have shared my thoughts on UE, but I am looking beyond it and I believe there is really a lot more here I am getting than I did with XP. For instance, I can join Domains if I am on Corporate network plus other Enterprise features such as BitLocker and UNIX subsystem support, I still get all the consumer/multimedia (MCE, Sidebar, Improved Speech Recognition) functionality, Tablet PC if you own such a form factor. I get both platforms in the box x86 and x64 although they probably could have thrown in an extra license for both. I get functionality like built in DVD burning, AERO Glass UI, Complete PC Backup. So yes, UE sounded like an enticing value back in January and it probably will be if its still in active development.

    But right now, my life is just fine without it and I am enjoying my time doing other cool stuff in Vista. No, I’m not a Microsoft shill, I just look at the reality of the situation. I am still not satisfied with support decisions for this particular SKU, Microsoft has not promised or made any form of commitment to give Ultimate a similar Support Life Cycle like the other premium business SKUs regardless it combines the functionality of both. If UE does not work out, I am sure a free ‘Upgrade’ license for Vista Home Premium or Home Basic would complement it well.

  33. lol Damn i smell a HUGE LEGAL ACTION BREWING..

    Microsoft is now trying to somewhat hide the Ultimate Extras shame by removing much of the information in the Control Panel applet..

    SHAME ON YOU MICROSOFT.. SHAME ON YOU..

  34. As someone who purchased Vista Ultimate Edition, I feel SCAMMED. Shame on you, Microsoft. I was a huge Vista fanboy — very excited about it coming out. I read every update and news item. Could not wait to install it on my machine. Now how do I feel? Abused. It’s just pathetic. This is the last “ultimate” anything I buy from MS. Mac products are just looking better and better all the time… they at least have respect for their customers.

    I have to say that, as a whole, I think Vista is a joke.

    Blaster
    Former MS Vista Fanboy :(

  35. @Will

    A. “why do we wait for anything to start, let alone authorise stuff for UAC”
    Your apps have to load code into memory, one way or another … If you can devise a scheme to avoid this (which doesn’t involve breaking compatibility with every other application in existence), then Microsoft and various others would really love to talk to you.

    [1. Write less code.
    2. Write more efficient code.
    3. Optimise with e.g. assembler.
    4. Load only what is likely to be regularly required.
    5. Cache.
    and here are some things overdue
    6. Re-architect for speed, not looks.
    7. Introduce a genuine innovation/advance e.g. parallelism.
    I've found myself doing most of my typing in wordpad these days. Only when I've finished the text will I suffer the wait for WORD 2007 to open.]

    B. “Regarding UAC – This really is a good thing.
    People complain about how they don’t want this UAC thing, but then they bitch and moan when either you stop applications from doing potentially bad things (like writing to %ProgramFiles% or %WinDir%, installing network drivers, or a variety of other things), or instead just allow apps to do whatever they like, and people get a Malware installation.
    UAC isn’t a cure-all, it won’t protect you from doing stupid things – if you click Approve to a dodgy app, you can kiss your security good bye. It does, however, give you the opportunity to see when an application is going to do something that could have an effect on the entire machine.”

    [Vista introduces some INCREMENTAL improvements to security. That was the point of the SIGNIFICANT in my post - I don't want M$ telling me Vista only has 1/3 the security patches of XP - I want them to be telling me " no security patches required this month" ... and then "no security patches this quarter" ... I begin to fear however that the x86 architecture will make this a pipedream. Time for another then.]

    C. Re your asking about what improvements in file systems?
    NTFS v5 is a very good journalling file system, and the way updates are written should ensure that your updates/writes are completed atomically (i.e entirely succeed, or entirely fail) regardless of power loss.
    Combine that with Bitlocker (Req. Ultimate/Enterprise) and your risk of losing sensitive information is significantly reduced. (Assuming your key isn’t kept with the machine, and/or your pin code is something more difficult to guess).

    [wrt file systems I don't want 'very good', I want 'near perfect'. We've had 'very good' for many years ... but no improvements since. Apple are actually catching M$ up: Intel processors, UNIX, ZFS!]

    In addition, shadow copies and such allow for ‘on-line’ backup of files (backup your email store, even when it’s open), and for restoring files which may have been updated/deleted accidentally.

    [If M$ was under pressure then Windows Home Server backup functionality linked to Skydrive would be a seamless part of Vista Basic - not packaged for more revenue.]

    All in all – Vista *does* provide some very fundamental and very useful upgrades on previous versions. They go un-noticed by many, since it’s not Flip3D, but they are there.

    [No, Vista provides gazillions of small and largely useless incremental changes to existing funcionality. Granted the toy department (photos, video, aero) is now splendid ... but DirectX seems to have taken a hit (why wasn't it FASTER?). Networking core has improved but other major OS core functions like file handling are much the same as they have been for years. Where is the innovation? Remember we had the basis of a PC with the MAC in 1984! Where is sound activation, the performance boost of parallel processing, fast IO, security, ...

    Another symptom that the target consumer has a child-like mentality is the market's tolerance for poor quality - a lack of discernment and discrimination. This is well exemplified by the reaction to Vista: 'it'll be OK once we have service pack 1, after all XP was bug-ridden, W2K was faulty, oh and WinME was rubbish, and Win95 was plagued with errors, and Win31 was unstable, ...' M$ must be laughing their socks off at the furore surrounding the release of SP1. Instead of probing for the release date of 1GB (ONE GIGABYTE !!) of patches ... we should be demanding 'WTF are you guys going to learn to develop quality products'.]

  36. Hopefully, good things take time? I have a feeling that Ultimate Extras will bring something soon, microsoft wouldn’t leave such a hole in their marketing strategy. They could very easily get sued. I think something good will come out if people keep the pressure on, they will release something. I mean, treating their fanboys like this is going to cause some conversions…

  37. @Stefán Jökull
    Brandon is a Microsoft Employee so he is going to try and spin off anything he can as I think Microsoft tells him to.

    @Brandon
    You should just STFU and work on Microsoft Products since it seems like Microsoft needs all the help they can get.. Oh I know what you can work on.. you can work on the (((((((EXTRAS))))))….

  38. LZ,

    OK, M$ have taken away your teddy bear (UE) and your dummy has departed the pram. Time for a little less Mary Jo Foley “what should M$’$ marketing message for Vista SP1 be?” and Ed Bott’s “Vista media centre takes over the living room” …

    … time to look at some design. More of the Robin Harris
    “Data corruption is worse than you know”
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=191 and

    “Build a $2500 supercomputer”
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=184

    and have a look at the Google File System
    http://209.85.163.132/papers/gfs-sosp2003.pdf

    What’s really missing? Games?
    YOUR CHEAP, SECURE, LIGHTNING FAST, NETWORK ENABLED, HOME SUPERCOMPUTER.

    And the ‘why has this happened’ is explained by:
    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2007/09/24/globalisation_institute_windows_bundling/

    Do you see now that the AWOL ‘cutting edge programs’, ‘innovative services’ and ‘unique publications’ is least true for the toys … and most applicable to the OS :-(

    Leave the dummy, get out of the pram: the message for your M$ and media contacts …

    … SHOW ME MY SUPERCOMPUTER!

    Morpheus

  39. @John F. Jackson:

    “1. Write less code.
    2. Write more efficient code.”

    That’s what good developers do already.

    “3. Optimise with e.g. assembler.”

    Optimise, certainly – but if you want high quality and *secure* apps delivered in decent timeframes, assembly is just not going to happen. Besides that, unless you’re at “master” level, modern compilers can often generate better, more efficient code than you can by hand.

    “4. Load only what is likely to be regularly required.”

    Modern applications and/or application frameworks already do this – it’s called lazy loading. Until your current process hits that external function, it’s not loading that dll.

    “5. Cache.”

    Same again, the OS caches some things, well designed frameworks and applications do this too.

    and here are some things overdue
    “6. Re-architect for speed, not looks.”

    Say hello to DOS/Bash/etc? If you want speed above everything else, get rid of the GUI.

    One of the major advantages to Windows (from both a ‘home user’ perspective and from a business perspective) is that you can, generally, run an older application and expect that it will work.

    “7. Introduce a genuine innovation/advance e.g. parallelism.”

    Not all problems are most efficiently solved by spinning up a new fibre/thread/process.
    As a developer, whenever I encounter a problem that is appropriate to throw into a new thread, and also

    As for the other points you make, let me summarise the answer,
    Pick any two:
    1) Secure
    2) Fast
    3) Usable (i.e can actually install applications that didn’t come with the answer)

    In all seriousness though: You’re asking for a ‘damn near perfect’ filesystem (if not everything), no security flaws, and obviously to have it now (or atleast in the next 30 years).

    If MSFT had stayed with the NT4 codebase and just sat there optimising things for 12 years, everyone would be complaining that MSFT had sat twiddling their thumbs. We’d still be sitting here with no new OS in 12 years.

    Incremental improvements are better than no improvements.

  40. It was NOT an Personal attack.. I call it as I see it. on everything about microsoft on most forums you see Brandon saying what always looks like he is saying because Microsoft is telling him to say it. To each their own I guess..

  41. The information removal in the control panel was the icing on the cake for me Long. They had absolutely no incentive or reason to do that.

  42. I don’t feel sorry for any sucker that bought Ultimate (or any MS garbage for that matter.) You probably have more money than brains anyway.
    Anybody that isn’t living under a rock knows what kind of company Microsoft is. Get a clue.

  43. So far I do not see that Microsoft has missed any time lines. As microsoft clearly states:

    “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.”

    they never state weather this is End of summer 2007, 2008, 2009 Etc.. Just because you assumed that this would be 2007, does not make their statement incorrect.

    they are simply awaiting the end of the summer they envisioned, not the one you did.

    In either case, they are right on track, as they always are, a year late, and buggy as all get out.

  44. The sheer fact that they ACTUALLY CHANGED the control panel applet text IS RIDICULOUS. JUST FOR THAT WE ALL DESERVE OUR MONEY BACK.

    For sure EVERY ULTIMATE OWNER NEEDS to write them everyday until they do something about this sham.

  45. I would have happily settled for a powerful iLife kind of suite. But a powerful one, not such a lame offering as Movie Maker or DVD Maker.

  46. you know, that’s why i love my macs…. tiger rocks, leopard is already a vista killer and man, don’t they just look gorgeous?

    no hangs, no BSOD, no missing features, no MS, no Steve Ballmer… it’s just a perfect world!

  47. If they leave the stuff removed on the final version of SP1, I would cosider that an admission of guilt. Im discusted. I feel very strongly about this to be honest. Perhaps its because i am from the UK where advertising regulations are tougher (Ive noted apple has to alter its add, notable ‘dull grey boxes’) so not so used to being conned. You can argue they have produced SOME THINGS; but come on.. dreamscene.. still beta! And as for “Unique publications” – surely when Microsoft says “With Ulimate extras you get..” and you don’t I have a right to be angry.

    I dont understand why there isnt more “noise” on the blogs..

  48. I’ve been an avid personal computer enthusiast back when Atari meant PC as much as it meant arcade & when Commodores had nothing to do with the Navy. I can say that I’ve used, tinkered, developed in EVERY M$ OS since M$ existence but I have not and have absolutely no desire to step into the craptastic world of this latest exercise in sheer stupidity dubbed Vista (what an original name, spanish word for “view” or a bad pun on “window”).

    I agree with the above blogs that the “new world” of computing bothers me since nothing is breaking new boundaries and it’s painfully obvious that BOTH M$ and Apple are in cohoots to make sure computing is mediocre and SEVERELY limited in scope. Media-manipulating toys is the best moniker for today’s machines.

    I bow out of this scene and am sure that my geeky counterparts have already done so. Good Riddance forever, M$!

  49. to “JP Ferreira”.

    You must be Joking about the little leopard being a VISTA killer.
    Vista eats all MacOSses together for breakfast, burps ipods on lunch
    and makes shits of iphone at night.

    Vista is definitely the best OS ever. Mac sucks.

  50. “While I can understand how community sites and bloggers may have read the new definition and assumed that Microsoft is not shipping any more Extras, in reality the opposite is true. In addition to the remaining Language Packs, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers. We will shed more light on these plans once the Language Packs are finally dislodged from our delivery pipeline!”

  51. Unless i get crazy enough to throw away my money, i will stick with my reliable/resource friendly/rock-solid Ubuntu box. Not to mention that on technical aspects, get away from microsoft is what everyone who cares about security and privacy shoud do.

  52. i got a C2D T7200 notebook, lots of ram, nice ati card, etc etc.

    the dreamscene causes on this machine a ~24% cpu utilization. When i pause it the cpu goes back to 4%.

    of course i had to expect a higher cpu utilization, but thats too much for me to be. dreamscene isnt useful at all imo.

  53. Pingback: TechBlog
  54. Pingback: JCooney.NET
  55. IS this any different to Software Assurance promises???

    as someone said, there’s no fool like an old fool. plus various other quotes about not learning from your mistakes

  56. As you can see, they say “additional” extras over the “next few years” which means 1 or 2. They have definitely scaled back what they will be releasing.

    I mean really though, what could possibly be revolutionary enough to include in a Windows Ultimate extras package? I thought it was a stupid idea from the get go.

  57. [quote]
    It was NOT an Personal attack.. I call it as I see it. on everything about microsoft on most forums you see Brandon saying what always looks like he is saying because Microsoft is telling him to say it. To each their own I guess..
    [/quote]

    I completely agree with that. Brandon always makes it a point to point out to others that no matter what, the problems they are having with Vista is thier own fault and that Microsoft is a saint of a company. He’s even argued that MS was in the right to illegally tie IE to Windows and that Microsoft had every right to use their dominant position with DOS to shaft Digital Research. This is the mentality that, IMO, most of Microsoft shares. But of course, Microsoft can never do any wrong.

    I know people, both personally and on forums, that bought Vista Ultimate just for DreamScene. They’re a bunch of idiotic morons that pay the cash for an enhanced version of Active Desktop.

    If people hadn’t raised such a big stink about the ultimate extras being late and no word of when more would be coming (since IT WAS a selling point for Ultimate) you’d all still be waiting and waiting.

    Microsoft is as Microsoft has always been…Microsoft! Changing the outward appearance does not change how it operates.

  58. Funny that DREAMSCENE RTM has horrible CPU usage… when they specifically said my GPU would be handling it all. Can you say 70% usage on a Core 2 Duo? RIDDDICULOUS…

  59. If getting your hands on some extra’s is the main reason you bought Vista Ultimate … then I think you are a bit of a nerd!

    It seems the moaning minority make all the noise, while the silent majority just get on with the job!!

    If you don’t like Vista, don’t use it … simple enough?

  60. This type of deception is nothing ne to Microsoft. The always make statements and promises like this but never uphold them. Microsoft should be forced to pay a $200 penately to all registered users of Vista Ultimate; this would only be fair, after all thousands spent extra money on this version just to find out that is was just a hoax.

  61. GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

    Innovative new services and cutting edge program slated to appear soon!

    Look for Yahoo – coming soon to Windows Ultimate Extras!

    And you thought Microsoft didn’t care…

  62. Here’s a thought. Offer one single version, with everything included, at a reasonable price, like Apple does. It’s so crazy, it just might work.

  63. I suspect what has happened is something like this…

    “Hey, those PowerToys may have been unsupported, but they’ve been really popular! Can’t we position them as an Ultimate value-add?”

    …followed by…

    “Sorry team, getting SP1 and Server 2008 out the door has to be our first priority. You can get back to developing toys after that’s done.”

  64. It seems that most of you are forgetting the biggest difference between vista ultimate, and other versions has nothing to do with ultimate extras or any other user interface garbage. The reality is quite simple for an IT professional like myself. I want be able to run media centre and connect to my xbox360, a fairly normal practice, so home premium would suffice, but I can’t connect to my windows server domain. If I use vista business, I can connect to my domain, but alas, no media centre. This is where ULTIMATE comes in. It has both the workstation components, and the home components bundled together so that IT professionals don’t need to own 2 copies of vista, one for media centre/games and one for connecting to a domain.

  65. Here’s how it works, Ed H:

    Mac OS ships installed. It’s price is part of the (high) cost of the system. What you buy afterwards are called “upgrades”.

    Now, take a look at the “upgrade” pricing for Vista, XP, etc…

    Then FOAD.

    Thanks.

  66. im using vista ultimate but why cannot running window dreamscene?? i try 2 update window dreamscene but disconnect..cannot upgrades..

Leave a Reply