It only took a couple weeks, but Microsoft's Windows Ultimate Extras team has finally opened up and given more information about their plans. I don't know why they set up their own blog site if they weren't going to post to it more frequently, but oh well.
Apparently they are still working hard, and will release 20 more language packs and DreamScene by summer's end. They blame the delay on a quality bar demanded by user feedback, which I find hard to believe since they have practically shuttered the private newsgroup. Kind of hard to gather feedback when your feedback mechanism goes unmonitored, but that's just my opinion. I also find it really hard to believe that it has taken 12 developers six months to meet that quality bar, especially when Stardock is doing more innovating with DreamScene than Microsoft is.
Anyway, they said that after the next wave of Ultimate Extras would be announced after the Summer Wave is released. My guess is, that list doesn't exist yet, so that gives them about two months to pull something together.
Usually, I'd be on Microsoft's side on stuff like this (I am a Microsoft shill, right?)... but not this time. This post is nothing but cover-your-a$$ PR doublespeak. Personally, I think the Extras team was disbanded, and only reconvened after people like Long stirred up enough of the hornets to force MS back into action. And nothing they say will convince me otherwise. Otherwise, the blog would have been far more active, and the issue wouldn't have gotten to this point.
What *would* convince me would be the immediate reactivation of the Ultimate Extras beta program, followed by the beta release of the next wave of extras in the very near future (or at the very least, a solid list of something other than a card game). Not to mention the resumption of active posting on the newsgroups and the Windows Ultimate blog. Will those things happen? We'll just have to wait and see.
UPDATE: I did forget to thanks Barry tho for coming clean and apologizing. It is very much a step in the right direction.