Latest Vista Ultimate Extras Still Unimpressive

With Windows 7 slated for either late 2009 or early 2008, those of us foolish enough to buy into Microsoft's hype over Windows Vista Ultimate Extras are probably running out of time in which we might see a really useful Extra come down the pipe. The latest set of underwhelming Extras were released last week, so quietly we sure didn't notice.

Microsoft announced them in a blog post on the official Windows Vista blog. The new release includes:
  • Microsoft Tinker: Microsoft Tinker is a casual game that provides players with short puzzle game play sessions set in a warm, calming environment.
  • Ultimate Extras Sounds from Microsoft Tinker: Based on the positive feedback we received from the release of additional Windows Sound Schemes in April, we've integrated the unique audio sounds from Microsoft Tinker into a new sound scheme.
  • Windows DreamScene Content Pack #4 Windows: DreamScene Content Pack #4 which adds three additional nature-setting Windows DreamScenes.

The most intriguing (and that's being kind) is Tinker, which is a game (click above image to enlarge) whose objective is to "complete levels by navigating a robot around the obstacles to reach the end tile." Whoopee. We must admit, it's actually fun and addictive, but considering that Extras was (according to the sales pitch) one of the big reasons to buy Ultimate (originally $399) as opposed to Home Premium ($239), users haven't gotten much in the deal. Still, as we said time for criticism is running out. A few comments at Microsoft's announcement post (all of them sic):
  • I am SO dissapointed in Windows Vista Ultimate Extra's, MS said Vista Ultimate Extra's would contain cutting edge, innovative programs, can't you do something better than soundschemes and a stupid game? When you are talking about 6th wave, it looks like there are plenty of extra's available already, but there ain't. And the stuff there is, is certainly NOT cutting edge and innovative. Dreamscene is the only extra I enjoy. I feel so betrayed, spending hundreds of euro's (i'm from the netherlands) as a student of what I thought to be a great OS with a lot of (coming) features. The OS works fine for me, but i'm SO dissapointed in the extra's. c'mon MS, please make some apps ultimate users find usefull.

  • The quality and value of Ultimate Extras is so so bad. I would rather prefer the beefed up Windows 7 accessories offered as Ultimate Extras. Heck, even the downloadable extras when WGA was introduced were better. Give us the Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset as an extra. Give us the Media Center TV Pack as an extra. Give us Microsoft consumer software such as Works, Streets & Trips, Math, or Money as an extra. Three DreamScene videos you say, but I say just one DreamScene video in 3 color varieties! As all others are demanding, I would like some extras that enhance the features of the actual Vista operating system.
  • Ultimate Extras are a sore spot for me. I feel violated every time I think about the extra money I spent apparently to no purpose. MS needs to make things right for their best customers by providing something of value. What's been provided so far has no value, or in the case of Dreamscene, negative value for me.
  • "Today we are excited to announce that 3 new Windows Ultimate Extras are now available for installation via Windows Update!" You are really excited about this? Are stupid statements like this and the ridiculous Mojave nonsense an indication of what we have to look forward to from Microsoft in the future. Microsoft Bob was less embarrassing.
Whoa, on that last one, we're not sure Microsoft Bob was less embarrassing. But still, the clock continues to tick, and while it should be remembered that Ultimate, in addition to Extras, also combined the features from Home Premium and Business into one set, it's still difficult to forget the hype over all the extras, which seem to be, at least in terms of useful ones, pretty nonexistent.
Tags:  Vista, test, Pre, mat, ultimate, RAS, XT, Ive, TIM, ULT, Ultima, IM