HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 10, Number 20
December 1, 2007
Spy Sweeper- Find Harmful Spyware on Your PC-Free!

In this issue:

Microsoft Overpromised and Undelivered on Vista's Ultimate Extras

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Maybe you've heard something about the 'Ultimate Extra's' that Microsoft said it would be offering to any who opted to buy the most expensive Vista version: Ultimate.

If you click "Learn about Windows Ultimate Extras" on the Windows Update screen in Vista, you are told that:

With Windows Ultimate Extras you get:

  • Cutting-edge programs - Enjoy Microsoft programs that are available only through Windows Ultimate Extras. Windows Update notifies you when new downloads become available.
  • Innovative services - Benefit from unique services that can help tailor your computing experience to your digital lifestyle. These services are designed to help make your experience more powerful, productive, and personal.
  • Unique publications - Download premium content that focuses on your digital lifestyle. Discover techniques and strategies that help you get the most out of Vista Ultimate.

That sounds like you're going to get some benefits from the extra $$ you pay for Vista Ultimate. Remember, Vista Ultimate costs around $105 more than Vista Home Premium. Granted, there are a few other features besides Ultimate Extras that you get for that money:

  • BitLocker Full Drive Encryption
  • Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • System image backup and recovery
  • Windows ShadowCopy
  • IIS Web Server
  • Offline files and folder support
  • Windows Fax and Scan

But most of these will not appeal to most users, and an important reason why users choose Vista Ultimate was the promise of the "Extras".

After Windows Vista was first launched to consumers early this year, Microsoft made the following Extras available:

  • Windows Hold'Em (poker game)
  • 16 MUI Language Packs
  • Bitlocker Drive preparation tool
  • Secure online key backup (for your ESF key)

At the end of the summer, Microsoft shipped Windows DreamScene (full motion video replacement for Windows desktop wallpaper). Last October Microsoft released another 19 language packs.

So there you have it... I mean: calling Language Packs & a Poker game "Cutting Edge programs", or the secure online key backup "Innovative services" is just ridiculous. By now we (Windows Vista Ultimate buyers) just fell conned into paying more for some marketing vaporware!

With Service Pack 1 in testing, Microsoft decided it would probably be a good idea to remove the exuberant marketing message displayed on Vista's Windows Update. When you click "Learn about Windows Ultimate Extras" on the Windows Update screen in Vista you receive the following information (Figure):

What are Windows Ultimate Extras?

Windows Ultimate Extras are designed for Windows Vista Ultimate customers to extend Windows features or just make using your computer more fun.

Microsoft Director Barry Goffe felt the need to defend the change in this way: "... people have noticed that the screen which welcomes customers to Windows Ultimate Extras has changed. Our intent in making this change was simply to broaden the definition in anticipation of a broader range of Ultimate Extras being available in the future-that do not necessarily map to the original, narrow definition".

"While I can understand how community sites and bloggers may have read the new definition and assumed that Microsoft is not shipping any more Extras, in reality the opposite is true. In addition to the remaining Language Packs, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers. We will shed more light on these plans once the Language Packs are finally dislodged from our delivery pipeline!"

Another nice statement from Barry can be found on the Windows Vista Ultimate blog site. When announcing the final language packs last October he also wrote: "While today's delivery marks the final installment of the Extras announced earlier this year, these are by no means the final set of Extras that we intend to deliver. As I mentioned in my post last month, beyond the Extras shipped to date, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers".

"Given our track record, it would be unwise to provide details of what comes next until I am 100% confident in our ability to deliver. Please rest assured, though, that our team is working on hard to deliver on our promise to Ultimate customers."

Yes, given the track record I would reckon we won't hear much... if anything at all. Quite disappointing. The beta group that exists for Ultimate Extras hasn't heard anything from the "Ultimate Team" at Microsoft since early this year, so it doesn't look there will be any new ultimate extras coming any time soon. Quite frankly the whole thing just stinks!

Oh, there have been two Wallpapers released, which can be found on the WindowsUltimate.com Web site, they haven't been offered through Windows Update.


Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

With Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta, you can use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 / 2007 to access and manage your Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail or Microsoft Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail messages and contacts for free!

Supported OS: Windows Vista; Windows XP


Tweaking Toolbox XP

Adjust Vista's System Protection

Windows Vista - like Windows Me and Windows XP - includes System Restore (now part of Vista's System Protection), that automatically backs up registry and system files whenever you install new software or drivers. In Windows Vista the space used for System Restore can't be configured from within the GUI. But there is a command-line utility that you can use for this purpose.

Read Full Article

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats

Open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

Windows Live OneCare Firewall Repair Tool

Microsoft released a support tool intended for customers whose OneCare firewall reports that it cannot install a required upgrade or cannot turn on the firewall. The tool is NOT intended to diagnose or treat more specific functionality issues such as opening or closing ports, allowing applications, or otherwise.

Word 2007 Add-in: Microsoft Math

The Microsoft Math Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 makes it easy to create graphs, perform calculations, and solve for variables with equations created in Word.

Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

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Windows Updates

Microsoft issued a number of updates for Windows XP and Windows Vista in the past weeks:

Windows XP

  • KB942840 - Update to update to increase the performance of web sites that use Ajax.

Windows Vista

  • KB942763 - Update to enable your computer to automatically adjust the computer clock on the correct date in 2007 and 2008 due to revised Daylight Saving Time laws in many countries.
  • KB940199 - Update to resolve an issue where an error message is displayed when installing a new hardware device on a system running Windows Vista.


You may have noticed the new logo on the newsletter & the new WindowsBBS logo above. That's not the only change at WindowsBBS.com. You may have attempted to register in the past, only to be told by the system that your email address wasn't accepted. In the past we choose to block email addresses from 'free' email providers. We did this to control the amount of spam that was generated on the WindowsBBS forums from these 'free' email accounts. But we have now installed updated forum software & have new anti-spam measures in place, and have decided to allow the following 'free' email domains: Gmail, Hotmail, Live Mail and Yahoo mail.

So if you were unable to join in the past, here's your chance! We hope you enjoy the updated WindowsBBS forum!

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