Hi Ultimate Extras, we noticed you’ve been inactive…

To: contact@windowsultimate.com
CC: steven.sinofsky@microsoft.com, bill.gates@microsoft.com, stevejobs@apple.com
Subject: [Automated reminder] Windows Ultimate Extras inactivity
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Hi there Windows Ultimate Extras,

This is an automated message to remind you it has been 81 days since your last activity on October 23, 2007 when you announced 19 languages packs for Windows Vista. Très Bien!

We’d like to remind you we’ve been eagerly awaiting more “cutting-edge programs“, “innovative services” and “unique publications” from you.

As a reminder, here is your current contribution so far in the last 12 months since Windows Vista Ultimate has been on the market.
– Windows DreamScene
– Hold’ Em Poker Game
– BitLocker and EFS Tools
– 35 Language Packs

In case you’re running a little short on ideas, here’s a few simple ones to help you get back on track.
– Premium high-resolution wallpapers pack
– Premium DreamScene videos
– Arcade or puzzle games (ex. Peggle)
– Windows Media Player 11 skins or visualizations
– Windows DVD Maker menu themes
– Windows Photo Gallery slideshow themes
– Extended free trials of Windows Live OneCare
– Premium Internet Explorer 7 add-ons

If you have forgotten how to get in touch with us, your customers, we’d like to remind you of your blog at www.windowsultimate.com which you can write on to keep us in-the-loop of any ideas or progress you’re making. Don’t be afraid to post smaller but more frequent updates.

Thanks, passionate Windows Vista Ultimate users.

68 insightful thoughts

  1. Bravo. Though you put that reminder much more kindly than I would have. It’s been the scam of the century.. Ultimate edition.

  2. And now we’re all eagerly awaiting a reply… Anyone want to place bets on the number of days/weeks/months/years it takes? Or even *if* there’ll be one?

  3. “We will shed more light on these plans once the Language Packs are finally dislodged from our delivery pipeline!”

    And on the 23rd of october, the Language Packs were dislodged from said pipeline. But, contrary to what was promised, no more light was shone on the plans for new extra’s. Why, I wonder.

    Anyway, nice email. Maybe it’d help CC-ing it to Barry Goffe, too. And heck, why not: Steve and Bill. In fact, why don’t we all send them reminders like these every month or so?

  4. I’m sure they are working really, really hard on new creative extras, they just need to make sure they are up to the high standards expected by the Ulitmate Extras team

    /sarcasm

  5. Well, when someone asked BillG about IE8 he got the ball rolling and we got some news after a year of silence. Now we just need someone to ask him (on camera of course) about Ultimate Extras.

    Keep it up, Long!

  6. A couple more suggestions:

    -HDDVD playback software that supports the 360’s HDDVD player.
    -Advanced/More features for Windows Movie Maker
    -Digital subscription to Games for Windows Magazine.

  7. I fail to see or even accept Language Packs as being an “Ultimate Extra”. That is like saying chocolate chips as being an “Ultimate Extra” to a chocolate chip cookie! WTF?!?!

  8. @Gr1zz:
    i’d prefer native HD DVD support in Media Center, along with Blu-Ray. who cares which one MS has a stake in, i wanna be able to use my media center remote to watch anything connected to my PC.

    @Rafael:
    i didn’t think it would get there but maybe Fake Steve would take a stab.

  9. Most Excellent!
    However, I suppect that what we Vista Ultimate owners are now victums of is corporate resource reassignments. i.e., ultimate developers are now working on Windows 7.

  10. i am going to forward this on when i get home…..

    this whole thing makes me p1ssed….i have complained over and over again…sent emails and made more complaints only to get a stupid dreamscene that does support higher resolutions then 1024×768 on dual monitors and shows me the same thing on both other then spanning them…

    i recommend everyone copy and paste this into your email and sent it along!

    Grrr! damn you M$!!

    peas
    cityboy

  11. From the press release on the Windows Ultimate site, does anyone have the e-mail address or other contact information for Barry Goffe? It says that he is the director for Windows Vista Ultimate. He would certainly seem to be the person to contact as well.

    And another note, when I tried to click on the link to contact the team, I get nothing!

    Anyway, thanks again for bringing this in to our collective conscience. Not that it will do anything, but I’d love to see some more action here.

  12. I still can’t believe I paid for Windows Vista Ultimate. What a joke. I really feel scammed and this is the last time I will trust MS with something like this ever again. Vista blows, plain and simple.

  13. I don’t think anyone sane bought Vista Ultimate for the Extras, given that nothing of much substance was ever announced in that space. I bought Ultimate because it’s the only edition with both Media Center and Remote Desktop, the combination of which is essential for my HTPC and my Desktop (since I frequently connect to both from each other and my laptop, and I want to watch TV on both). (And I’ve never liked VNC etc.; always had problems with screen refreshes and performance. Much prefer Remote Desktop, even if it does cost money.)

    Sure the Ultimate Extras have been a disappointment but I wouldn’t call them a scam. They’re Extras, not Essentials, and anyone who bought Ultimate just for the Extras, without even knowing what they would be, was a fool.

    Actually, IMO any worthwhile extras would be a *bad* thing since they’d exclude most Vista users from something worthwhile that was added after they had already made the choice of which edition suited them best. That’s not good for anyone really.

    If Extras only amounts to some wallpapers, DreamScene and the other things your email suggests then who really cares either way whether we get more or not? There are a few bazillion great wallpaper images on the net already.

    The whole idea of Extras is stupid if you ask me, except maybe as a one-off piece of marketing crap to tip a few people over the edge into buying Ultimate “just in case” something worthwhile is added. But those people must have been seriously considering Ultimate already to be so close to tipping that such a nebulous promise would push them over the edge.

  14. I feel Extras should have some good and useful programs too

    1)Multiple Desktops (Workspace)
    2)Ability to move items from Taskbar
    – Say I want to place start menu above and Quick launch at my right end of the screen
    3)More sidebar items – specially designed by Microsoft for Ultimate users
    4)Some developer goodies (why not?? 😀 )

  15. I was under the impression that maybe Ultimate would be a little of something extra for the business and consumer user. I like the list, well done. Maybe we could just switch to free OneCare for Ultimate users…?

  16. @Leo: Ultimate Extras was a promised features of that version of Vista. Sure, no one expected essential things released as Ultimate Extras but it is a shame that there aren’t even some wallpapers or more DreamScenes released. Yes, there is enough third party stuff out there but that is true for almost any feature of Vista.

    UE is the feature where they could improve the image of the Windows Vista brand, just think of some competitions…

  17. Why demand stuff we can get elsewhere like premium dreamScene videos (Stardock), arcade or puzzle games (surely there’s no lack of arcade or puzzle games on WIndows), Windows Media Player 11 skins or visualizations, IE addons. On the contrary, DVD Maker menu themes, Photo Gallery slideshow themes, nice transitions and effects for Movie Maker would be nice. But full fledged apps of substantial value (neat and slick implmentation of multiple desktops, free MSN Games (which are usually paid), more Windows Live Desktop apps would be nicer.

  18. Very nice comments. I really think that Microsoft has a collection of the greatest “snake oil salesmen” ever assembled. Starting with Balmer. Just think, by including descriptions of supposed unnamed extras that would be released in the sometime future, MS got a bunch of us to spend $100 extra to line their executives pockets. Since I speak and write English, the language packets are worthless to me. The remainder of releases to date have included only one worthwhile item, Bit Locker. The remainder are frills, which do not enhance the operating system in any way. And now, they suggest we go to the Stardock site and spend money to get visual enhancements that should have been included in the price of the Operating System. Sure am glad that I am running Linux on two of three machines.

  19. @Chakkaradeep (and others):

    You can move items from the taskbar as you suggested – in ANY flavor of Vista – you don’t need “ultimate” for that. Go to my blog above to see how.

    Blackwolf

  20. Who wants Vista Ultimate anyways? $400 for an OS? You have to be kidding me.

    And the so-called extras really aren’t that much, but the ones Long suggest are pretty neat.

    But there shouldn’t be a need for ‘extras’ as a separate thing. They should be in ALL Vista flavors. And I’d hardly call ‘Language Packs’ as an extra, but more of a necessity in all versions of Windows.

    People who expected too much, were quite fools to buy without seeing them really come out.

  21. @quikboy:
    well those of us who were really comfortable with XP Pro and its feature set and really loved Media Center, upgrading to Ultimate was a no-brainer.

    and i paid $200 for my copy (OEM), not $400. and i only did that because i didn’t log any bug reports during the beta and thus did not qualify for the free copy at the end of the testing phase.

  22. @tong:
    true, but Home Premium doesn’t come loaded with Remote Desktop and you can’t join it to a domain. i’ve just gotten too comfortable with all the little “power user” features in Pro that it didn’t make any sense to me to “downgrade” to save a few dollars.

  23. One last comment. Isn’t it interesting that MS does not list email addresses for anyone. This is the no responsibility factor. If you don’t get any complaints, then you are not responsibile for any of the faults. Balmer and his cronies should run for public office, since they have learned plausible deniability in spades.

  24. Why haven’t American consumers or some state consumer protection agency launched a lawsuit for fraudulent promises made but not kept? They seem to be doing it all the time…

  25. The best,most effective,, most greatest letter in the history of Windows. Love the humor and small amounts of sarcasm. (“If you have forgotten how to get in touch with us, your customers, we’d like to remind you of your blog at http://www.windowsultimate.com which you can write on to keep us in-the-loop of any ideas or progress you’re making”.)

    You did send that in, right? Tres Bien!

  26. If the slow uptake of Vista continues, then maybe we’ll just get a copy of Windows 7 as one of the free Ultimate Extras. A sort of thank you for being an early adopter of the Windows 7 BETA, err. Vista.

  27. Very well crafted email Long Zheng… good luck! I’m fascinated by the idea of Microsoft providing anything that could truly be construed as an “Ultimate Extra”. Maybe it’s just me but I have a hard time wrapping my gray-matter around using “Microsoft” and “Ultimate Extras” in the same sentence… maybe Ulimate Disappointment?

    As to ideas for extras? Well, I’m probably way out of my league here but if Theme sets are what rolls yer socks up&down then go for it. In my experience through the years, I’ve learned nothing but to despise Uncle Billy’s passion for mass quantities of eye candy that more often than not just eats up the precious system resources(RAM)that we have all spent gonzo $ to constantly upgrade and… BIG surprise! Vista is the biggest memory HOG in the pigsty of Microsoft yet.

    So, in my humble, non video crazed & somewhat disillusioned opinion, if you all want some Ultimate Extras you better elevate your collective expectations and ask for something truly worthy. No need to hold yer breath, won’t help any except to shorten your life. Better yet get down & dirty & create your own Ultimate Extras, it’s bound to happen faster and actually do something useful.

  28. Good post. Did this letter actually go out? I hope that it gets some attention at Microsoft.

    Here’s the list that I had come up with when I posted at wincustomize.com (http://forums.wincustomize.com/?forumid=386&aid=155128#1314411):

    – 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
    – 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.

  29. The following extras would work for me:

    1. Decent backup software. One that allows me to choose what files to skip. I’m a developer and it skips all of my code files.

    2. Online storage. Maybe 30 or 40GB somewhere for the really important stuff. This could even be combined with the backup software.

    3. OneCare subscription.

    Basically, all of those would help save my butt if my machine died a horrible death and truly make it an Ultimate OS.

    But, i’m probably dreaming.

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