In case you haven't heard yet, Microsoft has announced the launch of UltimatePC.com, which is the new home of Microsoft's "Ultimate" strategy. Microsoft wants to show that they are serious about engaging customers about the Ultimate SKU, so this site is part release vehicle, part online magazine. The idea is that the Ultimate team can engage customers with new content on a continual basis, without being subject to the rigors of a Windows engineering schedule.
This is what I was sent from WaggEd on the subject:
Today Microsoft announced the launch of UltimatePC.com, the new home for Windows Vista Ultimate customers. UltimatePC.com will highlight leading edge consumer scenarios and systems on an ongoing basis and deliver new “Ultimate Exclusives,” which will join “Ultimate Extras” as added value to Windows Vista Ultimate users. Whereas Ultimate Extras are add-ons that extend certain OS capabilities, Ultimate Exclusives provide Windows Vista Ultimate customers with unique products and services at special discounts to enhance the computing experiences and enable users to do more with their PC.
We are launching UltimatePC.com with three diverse Ultimate Exclusives. These offers are indicative of the ongoing value which UltimatePC.com will deliver to customers of Windows Vista Ultimate; the most complete version of Windows Vista.
- EVGA: Great deals on EVGA e-GeForce 8800 series graphics cards to enhance your gaming
- Pinnacle Systems: Exciting offers on consumer video editing software and HD TV products
- Stardock Systems: Promotional pricing on Stardock Multiplicity for Multi-PC control
Microsoft has set a high bar for Ultimate Exclusives, just as it has for Windows Ultimate Extras and thus will lead the Ultimate Exclusive selection and posting process. While some Ultimate Exclusives will consist of Microsoft products and services, most Ultimate Exclusives will be comprised of third party offerings. We are therefore on the lookout for products and services which highlight the best in high end consumer computing.
I'm told that there are a bunch more offers on the way, and that they will be changing frequently.
Now, I know your first reaction is going to be to get angry at the lack to Ultimate Extras, and to feel like Microsoft has gipped you. You might even be tempted to write fictional letters from Windows Executives to the community, or build ASCII art of different Windows visual elements in protest of the issue. BELIEVE ME, I understand your frustration. But there is more to the story than I am able to tell you. There are positives and negatives to the changes the Windows division has seen in the last year... make of that what you will.
I *AM* however able to say that there will be an announcement soon about the next wave of Ultimate Extras, and that Microsoft *really is* committed to delivering extra value on top of Ultimate.I can also say that Microsoft plans to have fee Exclusives at some point as well.
At least they are doing *something* and something is better than nothing.
BTW, I've already heard comments that people are disappointed that the site is using Flash instead of Silverlight... I'm told that Silverlight was the way they started, but they had to temporarily move to Flash for technical reasons. Supposedly they'll move back to Silverlight in the future, once whatever technical issue they had is resolved.