Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Revealed

Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Revealed

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This year's keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by Bill Gates showed off Microsoft's upcoming Ultimate Extras for consumers who purchase the Windows Vista Ultimate SKU.  MS now has three Ultimate Extras lined up to hit Windows Vista Ultimate users on 30th January to coincide with Windows Vista's general availability date.

Windows DreamScene:  Windows DreamScene gives users the ability to use a video as their desktop background, just as they would any stationary image background.  DreamScene will consist of high-quality looped videos that make your desktop come alive.  As a default, we've included a nice waterfall video (shown at the keynote) among several others.  Better yet, you can even use your own videos.  Want to know a little-known secret?  For computers that support Windows Aero, DreamScene offers enhancements to positioning of stationary images as wallpapers in Windows Vista.

BitLocker and EFS Enhancements:  MS will provide enhancements to BitLocker in Ultimate Extras, including a tool called the Secure Online Key Backup, with which you can store your BitLocker recovery password on a secure MS website.

Texas Hold'em Poker Game:  MS is bringing this popular poker game to Windows Vista.  With this Ultimate Extra, you can add to your Windows gaming experience.  Hold'em players:  Windows Vista's DirectX improvements give you amazing graphics effects in the game -- you can play up to five computer players at once.  We've also thrown in the ability to customize the table and cards, too.

Ultimate Extras are slated for release on 30 January, and this is just the beginning -- we're not stopping here.  More Ultimate Extras are coming.  You're going to want to pay special attention to the brand new Windows Ultimate Web site for updates and information on current and upcoming Windows Vista Ultimate Extras.

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  • Mobile
    28 Posts

    well nick white you have shared a very vital info with us! i appreciate it.

  • zayn
    1 Posts

    i wonder where you can find 'wish list' for vista - i do wish the next vista release would include what i call - virtual secretary!

    you do some routine tasks after logging-in.

    run media player, listen to you favourite, check you e-mail, browse your usual web-pages, and continue with your thesis/report writing and so on...

    wouldn't it be great to have a 'virtual-secretary'; just give it a command say - 'do the usual tasks'; and click a button, and the usual tasks are done automatically. you might And get a reply like, 'Done sir, anything else?'.

    you can add, modify and create new tasks and group them; and have a list of 'tasks' ready to be implemented by your 'virtual-secretary'.

    what do u think? does vista have something like this? i personally think this would change the 'you do all by yourself desktop metaphor' into 'virtual secretary metaphor' - i suppose everyone like to a 'personal secretary' for himself.

    thanks to bill gates for bringing the superb experience of vista to 'the rest of US'; that Stevy Jobs just couldn't care less. I used to fell in love with the mac, but no longer now. in our language the sound/word 'mac' means 'lady'! vista is more georgous and beautiful.

  • slubber
    7 Posts

    I was apart of the powered togethet promo so I'm getting a copy of Vista Business. My question is how do I upgrade it to Ultimate and how much will that run me?



  • manohar
    5 Posts

    Sorry Chieng Sisovin, I am not very sure about it. I am sorry, I am replying this without thorough research. I am sorry, I am running out of time. Meanwhile, you can find information in the following link : . Do let me know if this helped you. Thanks.

  • Hi manohar, I mean that my PC has only Window Vista Ultimate, but I want open files from MacOS and Linux on my PC. Can Windows Vista be compatible to open the files from different OS like MacOS and Linux OS.

  • manohar
    5 Posts

    Hey Chieng Sisovin, I am not sure if you can install Vista to a computer that has MacOS in it. However, you can install Vista to an NTFS partition along with linux running in a different partition. The boot manager for Vista will still let you boot to both the OS.

  • manohar
    5 Posts

    For Astonish...

    Vista has not yet been released. Understand that we are talking about a complete change over of technology. Hence, we can't expect all apps to work with Aero. I am sure with in the next month, there would be Aero supported apps released. If not, you will find update patches for apps to support the Aero feature. Also, I have tested the sleep/resume feature with many computers. None of them failed. I just had to press the power button and it's up and running. It's a great OS. I believe it will get a great response once it is released to retail.

  • manohar
    5 Posts

    This is a reply to Astonish. I am sure microsoft would have thought twice before launching so many operating system editions. Each edition is for a targeted user group. The Home Basic edition is for users who use computer for e-mailing, browsing and other minimal functions. The Home Premium is for customers who can invest some more bucks for a good home experience with media center and Aero. There are people who think twice before spending money to buy a computer. For them, the Home Basic is good. For other home users who have only one computer, Home Premium is good. Ultimate is a pack of ultimate features with enhanced security and home premium. This will be for users who use their computers for Home as well as Small Business purposes. The business and Enterprise versions don't need features like media center and DVD maker. Hence, the features have been removed. However, care has been taken to make sure that there is enough security for the data with bitlocker encryption and UAC. There are more features in the business edition. This is not something new that Microsoft has done. This is cost effective marketing of software. Assume a situation where a person just needs an OS with good security features and fault tolerence to e-mail and browse. For such a user, Home Basic is the best choice. He need not spend more money purchasing a software that has all the features that are not necessary for him. If ever he wants to upgrade, Microsoft has given the option to upgrade. Let's think about the different levels of market the product is being targeted to. I think, as a business decision this is one that I would say is good for the company.

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey Chieng Sisovin:  not exactly sure what you mean.  You can indeed network Windows Vista to Linux and/or Macintosh machines.  If you want to install Windows Vista to a machine that previously ran a Linux or Macintosh OS, that would depend on the hardware specifications of the particular machine.

  • manohar
    5 Posts

    Yes, the DreamScene looks to be a promising ultimate Extra. However, time will tell the amount of resources it would consume. I hope, Microsoft gives a thought about this.

  • thx,im useful.

  • Can Window Vista be enable with Linux and Macintos?

  • and I do suport the "OS X has a single version that supports 32/64-bit and both Power4/intel in a single box. "

    now only if windows did the 1 for all and let the user pick how out of the box software can be installed and what they want to be installed.... Sure it not consider Fast depment when upgrading or installing but it beats the.... Having to unistall manual after words and fixing all though registory erros...

  • I onyl borught linux up becuz some one I think u made the stament

    "which is a tool I SHOULD NOT NEED in a modern operating system."

    I hate to say but linux is a Modern os none the less

    all XGL is . is a 3d cube with wave windows and flashy swap windows and tabing..... ya ok thats kool but there really not Muilt monitor suport in it none the less as that video show only 1 monitor in use......

  • RyanLM hit the nail on the head.

    The programmer in me is super excited. .Net 3.0, WPF using C# is awesome. DX10 and the new drive model have some strengths as well.

    However, having played with the betas and the RTM build I'm pretty underwhelmed.  There are some annoying little things that just need to get fixed, and there are improvements in many regards over XP, but its not a leap. The only thing so far that has made me say "wow this is great" is the media center + 360 functionality. With the people, resources and time MS has had I'm pretty underwelmed by the result. OS X has been pulling out great features year after year and even linux, though far from XP/OS X has made some really big advances lately. Anyway vista, like XP, will probably get better over time and CES announced some interesting stuff down the pipeline, but really some of should be here now, out of the box.

    There are some horribly embarrassing parts to Vista tho. Stupid things like certain apps jarringly throwing you out of aero to the basic UI, the inability to properly wake up from sleep on nearly every PC i have used. Worst of all is the product editions. Really any tech person worth their salt knows that all the desktop releases essentially have the same guts and these product edition boundarys are mainly artificial. I think it would be so much easier to support and for users if there was just one edition. There are currently over 10 different editions of Vista where as OS X has a single version that supports 32/64-bit and both Power4/intel in a single box.

  • RyanLM
    11 Posts

    "oh ya were your MultiMoniro suyport in Linux"

    Why even bring up linux?  Linux shouldnt be an excuse for not having something.  Linux doenst cost money, linux doesnt have 50k people going to work every day to make is better. However, Since you brought it up, XGL also makes Vista's UI feel lacking...

    That isnt even the most impressive I have seen.

  • I am trying to use usp10.dll for Khmer Unicode Language for ready Khmer Fonts in IE7, but its result displays with squere boxes for Khmer Fonts as I copy the usp10.dll to the Folder of IE7. For IE6, Khmer Unicode was well to display the Khmer Unicode Font. Can someone in MS show me how to config the Khmer Unicode Font with IE7 which comes with Windows Vista?

  • RyanLM

    oh ya were your MultiMoniro suyport in Linux

    oh wait there is none unless you do a lot of maunal pina in the butt configure and een that dosen;t work that well

    OSX gott it but its jsut aobut the same idea vista has fomr the wall paper to the task and soo even the news os still are set back to this problem....

    so untill MS copys what Ultra Mon has done I guess will be stuck using it?

  • so nick it span across and make one big one??unlike wallaper well it jsut uses the same for both and dose not strech spam across???

    I hated the ide 2 the same on both and ues its UltraMon I use but dam dose it get the job done for the missing link in dual monitor suport

  • RyanLM
    11 Posts

    Thank you Nick, and Mitch

    I have been using Vista since early betas, I have been giving feedback since day one, most of it more positive than my recent posts.  Recently, I feel myself, bloggers, people on shellrevealed and so on have completely felt ignored.  We have the big RTM stamp on Vista at this point, we feel that it is done and now in stone.

    As a developer, I see and am learing so much that is in Vista, but the human part in me keeps getting stuck on "little" but almost countless UI issues and lack of polish here and there that the Vista experience falls short of any emotional connection.

    From my perspective, Microsoft has the art of API, Languages, and Platforms nailed.  I WANT to program in .NET, I love WPF, LINQ, etc – all killer no need for a long list.  But this is just one half of the computing equation today, at least in the consumer space.    I may build an app with all these great technologies, but is it going to build a connection to a user if they have to use Vista?

    To best get this point across, yes-  you know it’s coming, watch MS’s CES Keynote, and watch Apples at Macworld.  The MS Keynote was basically boring, showed some disjointed applications – the ultimate extras do not feel like “part” of windows, they looked like some odd app you would uninstall that comes standard on  a Big White Box computer.   Everything just feels disconnected, lets add this random app.  Some of them look great – but you get what I am saying.  Continuity!   The CES Keynote was long, boring, some interesting news, good stuff in the pipe, but no one cared.  No one seemed to care.  I am not going to get into the acid trip that was the last ten minutes of it.

    Cross that experience with the Macworld Keynote.  People on their feet applauding – and in this case it wasn’t just a cult following Jobs.  This is the most frustrating to me.  I have built my business on the Windows platform, it has made me money, it has helped my customers do business, it has changed how we do business, and in turn has helped my customers make money.   What are they excited about when I am on site? The iPod, their sons new MacBook, and as of yesterday the iPhone.   And why shouldn’t they be?  Only Apple seems to be making products that seem to want, want so much they will carry them everywhere.  What is even more frustrating, I have seen enough Channel 9 Videos to know there a limitless talent at MS, and countless interviews show that people at MS care SO much, and really enjoy what they do.  I do not know however why this doesn’t come through in a product like Vista.

    Often when I go on this rant, it gets ignored, or I am considered a troll.  I am not, maybe I am just pointing out the obvious, but I get the feeling MS doesn’t care.  Never before have I seen SO many kids and teens using apples, heck, not since I was a child when Apple was just given them to schools – now they are bought.  Mr. Balmer said not to long ago he wanted a device that was a PDA, Email, and a MP3 player all in one device, and that it was coming and MS was working on it.  There is no one higher up, yet it is Apple that comes out with the breakthrough product.  I have a Treo 700w, it is going in the garbage in June, I am dropping Verizon – I am getting the iPhone.  The Treo attempts to these three things, but ends up failing at all of them, It sucks as a phone, it freezes, if you actually use it as an MP3 player – don’t expect to get to a call in time, and they seem to self destruct I am on my Third since they were released on January 5th.  They start out great, then become unstable over time.  I have had 4 Window Mobile pocket pc phones – starting with the original tmobile.  I put up with the issues, hard navigation, etc because it was almost needed for business.  The iPhone changes that – its not bulky, its UI is as smooth as glass, it is MEANT and BUILT to do the three things mentioned, it looks to have a phone UI that is actually intuitive, something unheard of lately.  My question here is, what has the Windows Mobile team been doing?????  Crossbow? WM5 with an Vista like theme?

    Vista from a user perspective feels like XP with a new theme with a couple of new apps, and some things just moved around to make it feel new.  Honestly.  As a developer, I see more but most people are not developers.  Yes sure, we can list feature after feature, but most of them are under the hood, a user isn’t going to get excited about ReadyBoost.  

    A User will see the flaws.  A User will see that every built in application looks like it was developed by a different company.  Some are BlueGreen, Some are Black, Some are this hideous bright blue, some are awkwardly twice as thick.  They will notice that their theming/customization ability is less than XP was, Changing our Glass colors does  not effect these toolbars for some reason, it should.  Most color choices look ugly as the neon blue outline does not change to your selected color on the active window, yet it does on any background window.  How do you redo Outlook Express, and your only real UI change is to add a blue toolbar?  How do you redo the control panel, but quit 10% of the way in?  Things like Appearance and Background Wallaper is done very well, most other just bring up the Win2k/XP dialog.  Boot process just feels win95.  The Image Viewer/Gallery – the zooming gets all blocky, not as nice as XP.  You cant drag the window around by the glass bottom, but you can in Media player which uses the same UI.  Why  taskbar previews seem to timeout and just give you a program Icon?  Where is this great device syncing in Vista?  If windows is trying to preview a video file to make an icon and it cant because its one of those goofy formats like mpeg4, why do I get a Com surrogate error?  Why the heck doesn’t it have H.264 support????

    Am I a troll for pointing these out?  I have one question real question – does anyone at MS care?  About these issue? Or in general about the person that is actually using these products?  I hope so.

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey RyanLM:  The following response is from my colleague Mitch Gatchalian, Product Manager of Windows Ultimate Extras.

    Re: GroupShot:  The demo was simply to show an example of technologies and Windows experiences users of Windows Vista Ultimate can expect as part of their exclusive access to Windows Ultimate Extras.  We don't have any details on how this specific demo will incarnate itself either as an Extra or part of a bigger Extras experience.  Nor are we committing to any delivery date or to whether this demo will/will not ship as part of Windows Ultimate Extras.  It was only an example.

    Re:  DreamScene:  Glad you think it's a great idea.  There will be greater innovation around this technology in the next versions and we're excited about the possibilities.  For now it is video files, but we are aware of the vast world we can access thru this new desktop visualization experience.  Keep your eye on

  • Nick White
    1204 Posts

    Hey MadDoggyca:  DreamScene can span multiple monitors.  It won't use different scenes per monitor because Windows considers the 2nd monitor an extension of the main monitor -- so, a single will appear across all monitors.

  • RyanLM
    11 Posts


    Please, the multi monitor support HAS NOT CHANGED, only gotten worse in Vista.

    Your second taskbar is not transparent, and looks oddly like a 3rd party Utility called UltraMon, which is a tool I SHOULD NOT NEED in a modern operating system.

    How has it gotten worse?  In XP, I was able to have multiple video cards from different vendors and it would just work - this is not true with Vista.  The cards HAVE to use the same driver, which means all nvidia, or all ati, etc.

    This is not a terrible thing, but that is what changed.  I do not see any other differences in vista verus the 5+ year old XP.  Why can I not select a different wallpaper for each screen? Why can't my taskbar cover both screens?

    Reason given on was lack of time, will be in a future release.  Does this mean SP1? SP2? Or the next windows in 5 years?

    I am not trying just to be a troll, I am simply frustrated.  I want someone at MS to read this!! Goto - a MS Site created for feedback - and READ what people are asking for.  We arnt asking for the world, just some basics - MS is spending their time on a photo splicing program!!!!! WHAT!!!!  Fix what is BROKE first.

  • for the nut ball that said

    Can I pick which one? Was Multi Monitor support given some decent thought?  Vista itself didnt receive any so I am asking.

    check this out

    this is a screeny of my dual monitor set up wit the falling

    Dual Monitors (left /Right)

    Dual Task Bars

    Dual Wallpaper

    Quick PC Bar (top left)

  • about  Dream can it use 1 sceen spamed acroos mulitmonitors or cna it use 2 or more edffirent scence at ones per a monitor or is it suck with 1 seane on all the monitors?

  • RyanLM-you seem to have a really great outlook on life. Microsoft has put "decent thought" into all their products, that is why they are the greatest company this planet has ever seen! Microsoft-Keep up the great work!!!

  • RyanLM
    11 Posts

    The picture tool showed at CES was just silly.  "neat" idea, but thats what you demo at CES?  App needs a major facelift, looks terrible.  

    Dreamscene is a good idea, I would LOVE if I could use say, Live TV from a media center, or a DVD as the wallpaper.  How does it work with Multi Monitor?  Can I pick which one? Was Multi Monitor support given some decent thought?  Vista itself didnt receive any so I am asking.

    Also, You NEED better presenters at CES, or any public demo.  Robbie wasnt bad, but the rest were terrible, so hard to watch or get excited about anything.  Whatever Gates was smoking at that last part, I want some.  People were busting out in laughter at work watching that acid trip he had at the end.  Sad really...

  • atsco
    1 Posts

    Having seen the Dreamscene demo at the influencer lab, I can see a whole new world of possibilities opening up, for the use of the Dreamscene core to enhance the "Active Desktop" in the future. Way to go, Ultimates team.

  • Bhavana2001 there isn't much on that site about 3d at all.. So you might want to check out instead.

  • r3m0t
    26 Posts

    "For computers that don’t support Windows Aero, DreamScene offers enhancements to positioning of stationary images as wallpapers in Windows Vista."

    Sounds like a precedent for every functionality upgrade to be released as an Ultimate Extra instead of, say, a powertoy, SP or hotfix.

    Except, of course, the upgrades which offer Microsoft a strategic advantage, like DVD Maker, Movie Maker, WMP and Fax and Scan.

  • Really ultimate features.

  • Really ultimate features.

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