Is Microsoft's newest 'Ultimate Extra' of UltimatePC.com the ultimate insult?
If you’re a Windows Vista Ultimate user, who hasn’t yet upgraded to Vista SP1, click on the ‘Windows Start Orb’, hover your mouse over (or click) ‘All Programs’, then scroll down to the folder called ‘Extras and Upgrades’ and click it), then click on ‘Windows Ultimate Extras’.
Here you’ll see that future Ultimate Extras will include ‘Cutting Edge Programs’, ‘Innovative Services’ and ‘Unique Publications’. As I haven’t yet bothered to download Vista SP1, as I’m waiting for Windows Update to tell me it is available, I don’t know if SP1 still lists these three categories, but a ZDNet blog did note that these three categories mysteriously disappeared in early SP1 builds.
Anyway, it appears that the not-so ‘Unique Publications’ part is something Microsoft has felt it worth spending time on, with this seemingly being delivered through the new UltimatePC.com website.
‘Unique publications’ was meant to allow you to “download premium content that focuses on your digital lifestyle. Discover techniques and strategies that help you get the most out of Windows Vista Ultimate”, and judging by the content at UltimatePC.com, this is delivering on at least part of the ultimate publications promise.
Although you’ll find references to the new UltimatePC.com site at Windows news sites across the Internet, I discovered it through Robert McLaws’ Windows-now blog.
McLaws received a press release from Waggener Edstrom, the PR firm Microsoft uses in the US. The press release states that “UltimatePC.com [is] the new home for Windows Vista Ultimate customers”.
The release explains that: “UltimatePC.com 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.”
Why is all of this a bit of an ultimate insult, especially to people who don’t live in the US? What else does UltimatePC.com promise, and why is it a waste of cyberpsace? Please read onto page 2.
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.