Be patient, Vista Ultimate owners. That's what Microsoft is telling those who plunked down for the flagship version of Vista. One of the selling points of Vista Ultimate--aside from combining the multimedia-friendly features of Home Premium with the security features of Vista Business--was the BitLocker encryption tool and the promise of exclusive Vista Ultimate Extras. As Justin Hutchinson, the Group Product Manager for Vista, stated in his guest spot during Bill Gates's CES keynote in January, Microsoft would roll out Ultimate Extras "on a regular basis."
To date, only four Ultimate Extras have been released: a Hold 'Em poker game, a BitLocker prep tool, 16 language packs, and a preview of DreamScene--a video desktop background. There's still no sign of GroupShot, a photo-editing tool Hutchinson mentioned at the CES keynote. And of the four available Extras, only one--the DreamScene beta--was introduced since Vista's release over five months ago. It's hardly the exciting collection of extras that would help justify the extra money spent on Vista Ultimate, and Ultimate owners are rightfully upset.
The cries reached Redmond, and Barry Goffe, Microsoft's Director of Windows Vista Ultimate, offered this apology yesterday:
"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."
While it's encouraging to see Microsoft acknowledge the delays and offer a mea culpa for the lack of communication to its Vista Ultimate customers, it would have been even more appreciated had it offered more details on even a few of the Ultimate Extras it's currently developing, and a more concrete schedule for future rollouts. I think Vista Ultimate owners are looking for more than a final version of DreamScene and additional language packs as we approach Vista's six-month anniversary.(Via Ars)