Friday Rant - Hey Microsoft! Where's the Windows Extras you promised me?

Friday Rant - Hey Microsoft! Where's the Windows Extras you promised me?

Summary: OK, today my rant is on a topic that others have been talking about for a few days now but which nonetheless bugs me and I feel I need to get it off my chest - Where are all the cool Windows Vista Extras we were promised?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows
72

OK, today my rant is on a topic that others have been talking about for a few days now but which nonetheless bugs me and I feel I need to get it off my chest - Where are all the cool Windows Vista Extras we were promised?

Windows Vista has been out for months and so far Vista Ultimate users have been given four Extras:

  • Hold 'Em – poker game
  • BitLocker and EFS enhancements – encryption tool
  • Language pack – sheesh, that's gotta be the most boring extra imaginable
  • Windows DreamScene – a buggy utility that allows you to have video desktop backgrounds (and according to Long Zheng might never come out of beta)

Can you feel the "Wow!" yet?  I sure as hell can't.  Seriously, this current line-up of Extras suck real bad.  The suckiest has to be the language pack which is nothing more than an add-on with limited appeal. 

[poll id=149]

What really winds me up is looking back at what we were promised by Microsoft when Vista was in beta:

  • Cutting-edge programs Enjoy Microsoft programs that are only available through Windows Ultimate Extras ...
  • Innovative services Benefit from unique services that can help you tailor your computing experience to your digital lifestyle ...
  • Unique publications Download premium content that focuses on your digital lifestyle ...

Microsoft made some big promises back then, and I was one who bought into the Extras concept.  Seeing the current offering is like a slap in the face.  Right now, I feel like I’ve been had.  The price difference between Home Premium and Ultimate is around $150, and when I look at the difference between Home Premium and Ultimate, I really don't see where my money was spent.  Sure, Ultimate has Remote Desktop Connection and Shadow Copy and a few other useful features, but I can't make these add up to $150. 

Wake up Microsoft!  Months have gone by without a new Extra (all of the current extras were released in January apart from DreamScene which was released in March).  Where are the programs, services and publications?  What are they?  If they're not ready yet, when will they be?  Were customers who bought Windows Vista Ultimate sold a lie?  It's certainly starting to feel like that to me.

Some of you might be reading this and wondering what all the rush is.  After all, Windows Vista's only been out a few months and there's plenty of time for Microsoft to get the cool Extras out the door.  I don't see it like that.  Unlike Windows XP, Windows Vista's not going to have as long a shelf-life before being replaced by Windows 7 or whatever it'll end up being called.  That means there's a limited window of opportunity (pardon the pun) for Extras to appear.  Do you seriously think that Microsoft is going to be working on and releasing Ultimate Extras once Windows 7 is in beta?  My bet is that once Microsoft moves on to starting to promote "the next big thing," you can kiss goodbye the chance of seeing any new Extras. 

If Windows Vista Extras aren't a scam, then someone at Microsoft has seriously dropped the ball on the project.

Thoughts?  And remember, since it's Friday, you can vent your spleen about anything tech-related that annoys you!

Topics: Microsoft, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

72 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Frustrating? Yes. Surprising? Why?

    Every time Microsloth announces a product in development, they claim it will have features A thru Z. Shortly thereafter, it's leaked that features D thru J won't make it in the first release. Then come the rumors that features N thru Q would hold up scheduled release, but will come along real soon. Look at Windows 98 Second Edition. That was simply a release of what Windows 98 was SUPPOSED to have been...and they made people PAY to get it, even those who already had Windows 98. It looks like this time, Microsloth tried a new tactic. They simply promised to provide new functionality, however they didn't put a timeline on that promise. All I can say is, take a deep breath...hold it...hold it...that's a lovely shade of blue...you're dong fine...keep holding...any day now. ;-)

    MGP
    MGP2
    • ROTFLMAO !?!?!?!?

      That was really kewl , especially the part about holding their breaths until they hit a shade of blue . To be honest , those extras won't be appearing until Apples Leopard is finally out the door . Get it ? If anything Jobs is doing Gates a favor by releasing Safari for Windows . Think about it now , you have iTunes for Windows , QuickTime for Windows , Safari for Windows , Bon Jour for Windows , if you haven't noticed yet , those are the little extras that Microsoft has been promising all along . To be honest with you . I don't think Microsoft is going to give anyone those extras yet , after all Microsoft has not been able to innovate just duplicate . Let's see who can hold their breath longer , Windows users or Mac users . I for one am not going to hold my breath for Leopard , I can wait . It will be WORTH IT once I have the beauty that is Leopard on My Mac . TADA !!!


      "In a world without walls & fences , who needs windows & gates."
      Intellihence
      • Bill doesn't need Apple to do this

        He does just fine at hoodwinking his customers.
        As for safari on windows
        it's only the top browser on osx because it is shipped with it
        try shipping firefox with osx or vista and it would be on top
        i can't see safari for windows being successful unless they bundle it with itunes / quicktime.
        zmud
        • They have

          I was looking to download it and saw a bundle of Safari and Quicktime.
          voska
      • Your signature is still stupid....

        No matter what name you hide behind, tool.
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • Message has been deleted.

          Intellihence
        • Awww...come on...

          It's no worse than "Non_Zealot". Now there's an oxymoron.
          Cardinal_Bill
      • bundled junk, not extras...

        iTunes is a disaster on Windows, and is banned by many corporations. Windows Media player only.

        Quicktime? You can't be serious... "would you like to upgrade to pro?", "are you sure?", "pro is awesome, so we gave you another annoying popup". "Pro maybe?". No thanks, don't want your crap.

        Bonjeur? Just more bundled junk, and another app to add to the auto-uninstall scripts on corporate networks.

        None of these are "extras" that any windows user wants, besides iTunes, and that's only because they have an iPod.
        rtk
  • I tend to agree, MS is missing a real opportunity.

    With the time they had during Vista development I would have thought they would have had some "Extras" that really showed off what Vista could do.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Most of the ones I would have thought of

      would have had large video requirements. Could it be that the problems the major video card vendors are having with producing quality drivers are making MS take a more conservative approach with the Extras? It'll be interesting to see if there is a large wave of Extras that come out once these drivers are stabilized.
      Michael Kelly
      • An interesting thought

        It sounds as though you may be onto something there.
        GuidingLight
      • I would say your very close to right.

        Good thought.
        No_Ax_to_Grind
      • Yeah...

        Goes with what I've been saying for years.

        Microsoft pushes an overpriced, bloated OS out the door and expects the hardware people to make it run fast with lots of bells and whistles they need to develop. When was the last time Microsoft actually wrote a driver? Probably for their mouse or keyboard...whoohoo! What's Microsoft been blaming for system crashes? Why it's the crappy drivers of course!
        Cardinal_Bill
        • And who writes the Linux and Apple drivers?

          Oh yeah, the hardware manufatures, so when Linux and OSX crash who do they allways blame?

          [i]whoohoo! Why it's the crappy drivers of course![/i]

          (that didn't go too well for you, did it?)
          John Zern
          • For the most part...

            Drivers for linux are written by some poor slob who receives no pay for his/her effort. Just a good feeling that he/she's helped out some other people who are trying to use the hardware that's not officially supported by the manufacturer out of fear of retaliation from Microsoft. Yeah, I know...Microsoft is a giant teddy bear of a company that's never threatened another single thing in this universe...

            Dunno about OSX, don't own any Apple products.

            So, again, how many drivers did you say Microsoft wrote? The answer is they don't, unless they are forced into it.
            Cardinal_Bill
          • Really?

            Many of my drivers I am using in my PCLinuxOS installs are from proprietary companies that control the hardware, specifically for Linux. Except my wireless, those are for Windows but I run the ndiwrappers to run those without a problem as well. ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • Fopr those of you who are hard of hearing . . .

            I think he was making fun of MS, not the hardware manufacturers . . .
            JLHenry
    • Maybe they couldn't come up with anything . . . ;) [nt]

      nt
      JLHenry
  • Well, since it is Friday...

    [i]And remember, since it?s Friday, you can vent your spleen about anything tech-related that annoys you![/i]

    I agree with you Adrian, there should be more useful stuff coming out of Extras already. I only count DreamScene and BitLocker as useful, because a poker game and language packs should be part of the core package(As it is on my Ubuntu desktop, and freely downloadable to boot from day 1). They should push out stuff like the Subsystem for Unix Applications and PowerShell through Extras, IMO.

    But anyways, my Friday rant isn't about Microsoft at all. I'm quite peeved at Steve Jobs' WWDC keynote address about the iPhone. He totally insulted the intelligence of the developer community attending by saying the development solution for it is making pretty web pages. As I've said in Ed Burnette's blog, that's like telling developers to write a top-notch database application, but it must be written in shell script. That'll never happen. Web apps are written with browsers in mind and as the target, not a mobile phone. Web developers know this as fact. Unless Apple put in hooks that allow these web apps to access all of the iPhone's core features(a dangerous thing to do), there won't be any serious third-party apps for the iPhone. Plus, running though the web browser is hardly a guarantee that your iPhone won't get malware. In fact, it may increase your chances of getting hosed via browser vulnerabilities. I do hope Jobs comes around and says there will eventually be an SDK, but I'm not holding my breath.

    I realize I'm going to get flamed by many Mac fans, so I'm asking those people to step back and think about it or a minute. What if Jobs turned around to Mac developers and said, "The way to write Mac apps from now on is through Web 2.0+Ajax web pages, no more Xcode, REALBasic or gcc for you". Heck of a way to kill off a lot of good products, isn't it?
    Tony Agudo
    • Nice HiJack...

      Maybe you should do your own blog?
      BitTwiddler