Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word, Ultimate Exclusives, and Ultimate Extras

In case you haven't heard yet, Microsoft has announced the launch of, 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, the new home for Windows Vista Ultimate customers. 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 with three diverse Ultimate Exclusives. These offers are indicative of the ongoing value which 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.



  • March 7, 2008 12:11 AM
  • T Man said:

    Well, it is good hear that they are doing something.  If there is one thing I dislike about MS is that they let things fester when they could have addressed this a long time ago.  The official Ultimate blog made it seem like they had given up.  I think I speak for most Ultimate users out there when I say that we don't need big things to keep us happy.  Keep giving us PowerToys and I think we would be pretty content.

    March 7, 2008 6:48 AM
  • March 7, 2008 5:31 PM
  • Lloyd said:

    Ultimate *extras* aside, there is a great deal more in Windows Vista Ultimate that needs to be understood.

    Last July when the discussion around ultimate extras, or the lack of them, was at its height, I wrote a short article encouraging power users and enthusiasts to evaluate the ultimate version of Windows Vista more carefully.

    Most simply, there is a great deal in Ultimate and *extras* is only one small part - perhaps the smallest and least significant reason to choose ultimate over other versions of Vista.

    I was frustrated that the very users and pundits that should understand what makes Vista Ultimate unique weren't speaking to that at all. The larger context was not being discussed and sadly, Vista Ultimate was being defined by Ultimate Extras only.

    Candidly, *extras* are the least significant reason for an enthusiast to select Windows Vista Ultimate. That said, I'm very happy to see the Ultimate Team freed up to work a bit out-of-band and able to ship a lot of added value. I am sure the members of that team are more than a little frustrated. The new UltimatePC site is a great start and I am sure more will be coming from them.

    March 10, 2008 9:23 AM
  • zxevil172 said:

    lnbuXq      Were a U from?

    March 28, 2008 3:12 PM
  •, Ultimate Exclusives, and Ultimate Extras - Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

    September 11, 2014 4:36 AM