Windows 7 Discontinues Ultimate Extras

Users attempting to upgrade from Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition to Windows 7 Build 7100 (the unofficial RC1 release leak), are greeted with the following "compatibility warning" dialog:

Windows 7 has discontinued Vista's "Ultimate Extras"

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition’s "Ultimate Extras" have been a constant source of derision and anger from Vista users ever since its release 3 years ago. If the blog posts are to be believed, millions of users purchased Windows Vista Ultimate Edition in the hope that the added-value "Ultimate Extras" package – which was left un-described and of unknown worth at the time – would turn out to be a good investment.

Ultimate Extras are a couple of the minor Ultimate Edition exclusives that Microsoft used as a selling point to get users to purchase the most expensive version of Windows Vista. It was originally marketed as something similar to the ancient "Plus! for Windows" package that was quite popular back in the days of Windows 98; except it never really panned out that way.

Ultimate Extras was something of a hoax for the first couple of years, bringing nothing more than animated wallpaper and extra cards game to the table. Since then a couple of new themes/sounds have been added to the package along with a couple of other lame games – all of which made Vista users feel all the more "tricked" into purchasing a more expensive version of Windows that they, in all honesty, didn’t need.

Well, it looks like Windows 7 will be doing away with the Ultimate Extras though it’s anyone’s guess what the final SKU lineup will look like and what the selling points and feature-sets of each of the editions will stack up to. But here’s to hoping that Microsoft learns from (even more) of its mistakes and provides something of real worth with the more expensive editions of its latest OS offering.

31 thoughts on “Windows 7 Discontinues Ultimate Extras

  1. Sure it was a scam.. but asking users to delete the Ultimate Extra programs before upgrading to Windows 7?

    How can they get away with that?

  2. Perhaps it doesn’t apply everything. There is no reason why the games (Tinker, Texas Hold’dem Poker) would need to be removed/disabled; but MS could probably be excused for trashing Dream Scene due to the changes to the OS.

  3. Well this is not new, since build 6801 i remember that this same message was given when updating from Vista Ultimate to Win 7 Ultimate

  4. Product management at Microsoft is starting to become childish and inferior. How can you call Windows 7 Ultimate Ultimate if it removes Ultimate features, how is this an upgrade?

    also gone is the classic start menu. What made Vista unpopular to the point where businesses deployed it at the less-than-7% level, this will be even worse.

    I’m running build 7077 right now on the spare box and see no compelling reason to rush out an buy this software. Its a brutally overpriced paid-for service pack at best.

    This is coming from an MCSE – worked with NT 3.51 and Citrix Winframe, and before that all Novell. It is amazing to see how badly Microsoft is handling things.

  5. The selling point of Ultimate was never the Ultimate Extras, but getting some of the features of Business along with the Professional. The Business edition had features that the Professional edition did not have, but the professional had features that the Business didn’t have, so to get both, you had to get Ultimate (which didn’t have every feature Business had).

    Pretty confusing.

    With Windows 7, most people will be able to get by with Just the Professional edition. The Ultimate will be the home user edition of Business (which will be available to only to businesses, for the most part).

  6. The bottom line? It’s all about the money. I must say I’ve been running Windows 7 Beta since the limited public release in January on one Media Computer and have not had one blue screen or any issues to speak of. I do like the new look and ease of use, but with MS it seems to be all about marketing and $$. Amazing how Apple can come out with their new OS versions on a rock solid platform and sell it for $129.00 and MS wants several hundred. Sorry, but for me it’s all about the $$$ with Microsoft. They rule the majority of the market and force you to take the OS if you are buying a new computer. That’s why I’m glad I learned how to build my own computer, giving me a choice of OS. Would love to be able to run a stable version of Apple’s OS on my PC.

  7. I’m really not certain it is excuseable to delete dreamscenes. Its moving wallpaper. just how difficult would it be to transfer it accross to Windows 7? In any event, I tend to agree with Mick. Most Vista users, such as myself, are not going to pay the amount of money they would pay for a totally new OS for what amounts to a service pack – and one that apparently will delete features you already have.

  8. To Rob, if you really want to buy that cheap software by Mac, go for it dude, but you get what you pay for. I’ve used both (and am a Windows fan, so I’m biased); the Mac just feels way too limited, especially it’s limited custimization and configuration at it’s core levels. I probably didn’t get into it enough, but I was that dissatified right off.

    To Simon, your ignorance comes across as hateful when you talk about 7 like a patch or update. Vista runs on Server 2003 core, and 7 runs on Server 2008 core. It’s simply different code in essence. This is noticed, during the same update that’s pictured above, that Windows Vista only passes its settings and (user) files onto 7 (if you opt to), and after that Windows’ is rewritten.

    I’m currently using 7 RC (7100) as my primary machine, and am running (near*) flawlessly, which is slightly better than I had Vista running. This OS is about 25-33% faster than Vista on equal hardware (50% faster boot time and shutdown on my laptop (P4 3.4, 1 GB RAM DDR, 256 MB Radeon 9800 Mobile), and it’s still not finished.

    My thought on the money, have Microsoft put all of the Ultimate features from Vista into every version of 7, keep the OS functionality count at 3 (Basice, Home, Enterprise), and watch the businesses and home users flock to the new OS. OEM’s are getting cheaper all the time, and will be loading 7 by launch, so all those people running a 4 or 5 year old mid to high grade PC will be picking up cheap configurations with much increased performance. Vista was, quite frankly, the ME of XP. Features on old architectures, and limited scalability for the time. This is the next generation of Windows.

  9. Have any of you tried Ubuntu?
    You might be pleasently supprised. Didnt cost me a cent.

  10. well for starters the windows 7 beta and RC are really meant to be installed on a clean and empty system wich i have done on my Acer 5520 aspire laptop running AMD Turion64x2 dual core 2 ghz processor with nvidia graphics and 2gigbytes of ram. it came with vista home premium wich did not run well from day one without tweeking. i have tryed some macs and played a little with linux and liked them both compared to windows but i must say if you have the chance try 7 it has made my laptop run like it should have with the vista and then some. if your worried about games then go buy some.

  11. Well, the problem with Ubuntu and Mac OSes is that there is a lack of compatibility with some programs and certain file formats. So since the majority of people you have to work with are people with one way or another connected to a windows machine, packed with ms software a few hundred dollars worth (a machine with windows vista and the microsoft office costs more than 600$ in M$ software) you are actually forced to use windows just to be able to do your job. Ubuntu + open office might be nice, but at work for example there is a big database for our resources management that is run on access. Access is not properly supported in any other OS (or not at all) and migrating away from access would take too much time and would be too frustrating while at the same time you run the risk of loosing data. So in our case we are locked to windows + office and that tends to be a stalemate since any upgrade and future purchases are made for that platform…

    so going away from windows is not as easy as a home user suggests. In businesses, you are bound to run to an incompatibility at one point of your transactions…

    Yes, microsoft is really hard to beat…

  12. Zaide

    This comes from a person with ample experience in both windows and mac worlds (I love them both but mac gets me where i want to be much faster). you’re right about one thing.. you’ve not spent enough time with osx at all, hence the reason you feel that it is limited. In-fact the unix base of osx is about as unlimited as you can get on any computer. The true power of osx is behind the blind fold. Any pc user who spends as much time with it as they have done with osx could reap much more out of it than they could with a pc. I see you’re point though, who has time to relearn anything.. Stick with what you’re used to or like.

  13. You see it’s not about what I think. It’s not about me relearning everything. Its about the other people. The people I have to work with. That’s the point. If you see an operating system from a single user point of view, then it’s fine to use any. Just pick the best one, that suits the user. The problem arises when you have to work with someone. That’s the challenge. It’s not very good to have to solve a riddle on how to do every day tasks. I did not say that MACosX is limited. I have some xperience with ubuntu. That’s the os I think that has some limitations. Not MacOSX.

  14. Alexandros:

    I’m a Ubuntu and windows user.
    There is not a format out there that I cannot open, modify, or create in Ubuntu.

    The issue with Ubuntu, and it is a big one, is that it’s not Windows, and therefore people think it’s going to be too hard for them to use.

    I do tech support professionally and so I deal with people learning new systems or wishing for different programs constantly.

    The biggest hinderance to anyone learning a new system is themselves.

    I don’t believe any Linux flavor will ever get beyond the realm of the geeks who love it and those willing to try it, but it’s most definitely not a lack of format support.

    It’s the people.

  15. There is a format. A quite important one. The mdb format. Not the actual database of Access, but all the forms code interractions and stuff. In anycase a complex database system based on access cannot be used within Linux. The thing is that Access is not a database only. It’s a coplete database design tool with all the addons that you normally would add from third party programmers in a database like firebird or any other other than Access. Of course you might say that you should transfer to another database in order to detach ourselves from the limitations of access. However when I started working in he company I do atm, the access database was already up and running, and migrating to another one is really hard work and frankly there is no time to do so. However transferring to a new os is not really a problem cause it’s fast and easy (and free btw). Such a transfer would look like an upgrade to all the pcs. Instead we had to upgrade the actuall machines to get faster computers which could run Windows just because our database, forms and everything is written in Access.

    Cant really find a solution to that. Any future upgrades are bound to be made in windows again for the same reasons… We are really trapped. I tried to find a way to use the mdb file in Ubuntu but in vain. Programs that promise they do that dont work at all. Haven’t been able to open the database part of the file, let alone the forms and code behind it.

  16. Ok, gotta hand that to you. I should not have painted with the broad brush and generalized quite as I did.

    No doubt you agree it would’ve been much better to begin with a more open system, such as MySQL or similar. But since your company began with and has become entrenched in the AccessDB system, it would be very difficult to migrate.

    A possible solution would be to use the web database capabilities of Access, migrate the actual database to a web-based solution. The coding may need to be modified a little, but I’m sure MSSQL server would support import from AccessDBs for companies trying to expand in that way.

    Then the client computers could be any OS and they’d simply access a web portal for use of the database.

    It may not be possible in your situation and/or you may indeed have already investigated this potential solution.

  17. Well I just hope that Macro$haft continue to piss people off until they decide to use `something else than windows’. GNU/Linux would be nice…

  18. @dorni

    You can’t use XP forever! ;-) (He says from an XP box!)

    What’s windows 7 like anyway? I hear it is just Vista but fixed(ish).

  19. @Jala-neti:

    Windows 7 is all the good things with Windows Vista, minus the bad things, plus some pretty UI.

    You should take a more in depth look on Wikipedia.

  20. G’day All, Thanks for putting together your thoughts on W-Vista and W7. Personally I’ve tried XP Pro, being the best for me so far, then Vista, which is slow, takes tooooo long to boot up and shut down. Then I’ve got and tried Ubuntu which is bloody great, quick and easy to use once you get your head around the differences from using Windows for so long.
    My biggest grip will be, after purchasing a NEW laptop, Qosmio DualCore 2 2.5hz, 4 gig ram and lots of other goodies, I got it with Vista Ultimate 32bit with a recover partition giving me my chose of 32bit/64bit. If I were to upgrade to W7, are they going to give me a descent discount to upgrade to Ultimate??? if there will be one in W7???
    Plus being from down under in oz, we are given some high prices of upgrades and full around the $460 mark for Ultimate in W7.

    Again we are getting slugged twice over for being a loyal user of Windows products (legal) when there is a new version released. It’s no wonder so many people out there have taken the option of pirated software to keep their budgets low. I’m on a pension and a full time student, which being the latter gave me a decent Ultimate Office 2007 for just $90.40.

    If MS keep giving these sort of discounts to students I’ll be upgrading, but if not, STUFF ‘EM all at MS.

  21. Back at ya Croydon Builder. Been a hard battle with the price of windows and office ware when both being a pensioner and student. My one real big gripe is when will MS EVER!!! get it through their thick heads that WE the consumer and let’s face it, WE are what keeps them in jobs and their HIGH profits year after year….will they start to listen to us the customer and user. They say in their advertising that they listend to us with the building of the new W7, they say we asked and they listend. But they don’t and never will.

    Get’s me so p….. off when they condem the poorer countries trying to get cheap computers for their students to use, that when they get them have to delete EVERY bloody thing from the computer whether it’s legal or not just to have to pay more outlay to get windows system back on it for the kids. It’s all so dam crazy when we try to help the underprevilaged counties a helping hand and they still get ripped off.

    Personally, if with the new W7 they don’t give the version of Ultimate, and even if they did, what sort of cr.. will they dish out to get small business’s and home owners to buy it with so called upgraded versions with lots more ‘extras’ I’ll be thinking twice about, real hard. I feel the lappy I have now, there is no way in a flying ….. will I get another ultimate verson.

    Sorry for flogging a dead horse with all this, but it’s just plain wrong what MS do with new or existing customers to get them to “Downgrade” from the full version. Thing is, why don’t we all go back to buying illegal software and stuff MS. Maybe then they’ll stop and smell what ever they are shovelling to us customers.

    PS.. I love Ubuntu and use it all I can to get away from the cr.. system of Windows.

  22. I think this takes absolute liberties how can they bring out a system and then discontinue the upgrades for it you would have thought MS would have enough money.


  23. There’s no reasons the games won’t work.
    Besides, there’s backwards compatibility modes.
    There are also hacks to make DreamScene work.
    So, this attempt by MS is bogus.

  24. thanks for all the interesting posts.. I was furious when my my laptop (a compaq presario) came pre installed with vista and found many of my programs (audio apps such as cubase and reason) either didnt work or worked poorly in vista. Worse I couldnt simply install my copy of xp because the compaqs bios would not recognize the boot disk. Now it seems I have to fork out a few hundreds bucks to fix a faulty os.. as in a previous post.. windows 7 is really just a service pack of vista.. ms’s greed and monopoly allow them to charge for it.. Ubuntu or osx are clearly better os’s .. ms are just better (but dishonest) salespeople.

  25. It seems that Windows 7 has truly proven to be much more up to the task than Vista, almost like XP vs 2000, after we got comfortable with 98 2nd edition initially. While I am still a die-hard XP fan, my time to upgrade my equipment is almost at hand, and I am seriously considering to look towards Ubuntu as my operating system. If Windows 7 comes pre-installed then I suppose I’ll have to try it out. Some of my friends are very excited about using it.

  26. Overall, I enjoy W7. I agree however with a lot of the people here on the legal and $$ stuff. I recently installed Linux Mint to a virtual machine to test it out and see how well I like it before installing it as my main OS for my laptops (I have 2).

    However, I have used Windows since I started using computers at age 14 (2004), so I feel it is going to be a difficult migration from primary Windows user to primary Linux user. I would love to try out OSx but Idk if it is really possible to run on my PC. I’ve heard of a piece of pirated, modified software on the bittorrents but haven’t actually tried it, kinda afraid to.

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