Windows Ultimate Extras are optional features offered by Microsoft to users of the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista and are accessible via Windows Update. Ultimate Extras replaced the market role of Microsoft Plus!, a product sold for prior consumer releases of Microsoft Windows.According to Microsoft's Barry Goffe, the company's goal with Ultimate Extras was to delight customers who purchased the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista, the most expensive retail edition of the operating system.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge Web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers. As of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Windows Vista—a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system—was available in six different product editions: Starter; Home Basic; Home Premium; Business; Enterprise; and Ultimate. On September 5, 2006, Microsoft announced the USD pricing for editions available through retail channels; the operating system was later made available to retail on January 30, 2007. Microsoft also made Windows Vista available for purchase and download from Windows Marketplace; it is the first version of Windows to be distributed through a digital distribution platform. Editions sold at retail were available in both Full and Upgrade versions and later included Service Pack 1 (SP1).
Windows Update is a Microsoft service for the Windows 9x and Windows NT families of operating system, which automates downloading and installing Microsoft Windows software updates over the Internet. The service delivers software updates for Windows, as well as the various Microsoft antivirus products, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. Since its inception, Microsoft has introduced two extensions of the service: Microsoft Update and Windows Update for Business. The former expands the core service to include other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Expression Studio. The latter is available to business editions of Windows 10 and permits postponing updates or receiving updates only after they have undergone rigorous testing.
Windows Ultimate Extras have been discontinued as of Windows 7and the operating system also removes all installed extras during an upgrade from Windows Vista Ultimate.
Windows 7 is a personal computer operating system that was produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009 and became generally available on October 22, 2009, less than three years after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows 7's server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2, was released at the same time.
Microsoft released a total of nine Ultimate Extras for users of Windows Vista Ultimate.
The BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool utility and the Secure Online Key Backup utility were among the first Ultimate Extras to be made available, and were released to coincide with the general retail availability of Windows Vista.BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool prepares the hard drive to be encrypted with BitLocker, whereas Secure Online Key Backup enabled users to create an off-site backup of their BitLocker recovery password and Encrypting File System recovery certificates at Digital Locker, as part of the Windows Marketplace digital distribution platform. Secure Online Key Backup was rendered inoperable after Digital Locker shut down on August 2009.
BitLocker is a full volume encryption feature included with Microsoft Windows versions starting with Windows Vista. It is designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes. By default, it uses the AES encryption algorithm in cipher block chaining (CBC) or XTS mode with a 128-bit or 256-bit key. CBC is not used over the whole disk; it is applied to each individual sector.
In computing, off-site data protection, or vaulting, is the strategy of sending critical data out of the main location as part of a disaster recovery plan. Data is usually transported off-site using removable storage media such as magnetic tape or optical storage. Data can also be sent electronically via a remote backup service, which is known as electronic vaulting or e-vaulting. Sending backups off-site ensures systems and servers can be reloaded with the latest data in the event of a disaster, accidental error, or system crash. Sending backups off-site also ensures that there is a copy of pertinent data that isn’t stored on-site.
In information technology, a backup, or data backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying into an archive file of computer data that is already in secondary storage—so that it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. The verb form is "back up", whereas the noun and adjective form is "backup".
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Vista is language-independent; the language architecture separates the language resources for the user interface from the binary code of the operating system.Support for installing additional languages is included in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. In the Ultimate edition, the functionality is made available through Windows Update as Ultimate Extras.
Microsoft stated that 16 languages were made available on January 30, 2007.The company released the remaining language packs on October 23, 2007 for a total of 35 language packs. An additional 36th language pack version is available for Windows Vista that supports traditional Chinese characters with the Hong Kong encoding character set.
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth-most densely populated region.
Microsoft Tinker is a puzzle game where players must navigate a robot through mazes and obstacles. A total of 60 levels are included, and players can create their own levels with a level editor.
Puzzle video games make up a unique genre of video games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles can test many problem-solving skills including logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion. The player may have unlimited time or infinite attempts to solve a puzzle, or there may be a time limit, or simpler puzzles may be made difficult by having to complete them in real time, as in Tetris.
A robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer— capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed on the lines of human form, but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with no regard to how they look.
A level editor is software used to design levels, maps, campaigns, etc. and virtual worlds for a video game. An individual involved with the creation of game levels is a level designer or mapper.
Hold 'Em is a poker card game released on January 29, 2007that is fundamentally similar to Texas hold 'em. Hold 'Em allows users to play against up to five computer players and up to three levels of difficulty, and also allows users to customize aspects of the game's appearance; the game relies on DirectX to produce hardware-accelerated 3D animations and effects. For optimal performance, Hold 'Em requires a computer with a Windows Experience Index rating of 2.0 or higher.
According to Paul Thurrott, Hold 'Em was originally intended to be bundled alongside the premium games— Chess Titans , Mahjong Titans , and InkBall —included by default with the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista, but was instead made an Ultimate Extra because of its gambling themes.
A total of three sound schemes for Windows Vista were released: Ultimate Extras Glass, Ultimate Extras Pearl, and Microsoft Tinker. The first two were made available on April 22, 2008,while the latter was made available on the same day as Microsoft Tinker. The Glass and Pearl sound schemes are similar to the Default sound scheme included in Windows Vista as they were also developed in accordance with the design language and principles of the Windows Aero graphical user interface.
Windows DreamScene is a utility that enables MPEG and WMV videos to be displayed as desktop backgrounds. DreamScene requires that the Windows Aero graphical user interface be enabled in order to function as the feature relies on the Desktop Window Manager to display videos on the desktop.
Additional extras were also proposed but not released, including a podcast creation application,a game performance optimization utility, custom themes, exclusive access to online content and services, Windows Movie Maker effects and transitions, templates for Windows DVD Maker, digital publications, and the Group Shot photo manipulation application developed by Microsoft Research and shown by Bill Gates at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2007.
Although not considered to be Ultimate Extras by the company, the Ultimate Extras team also released two wallpapers for users of Windows Vista Ultimate. Titled Start and Strands, the wallpapers were based on the design of the Windows Vista Ultimate retail packaging and were made available in three different display resolutions.
Reaction to Windows Ultimate Extras was mixed. While Microsoft was praised for creating a value proposition for users who purchased the most expensive edition of Windows Vista, the company was criticized for its delays during delivery of updates,perceived lack of quality of delivered updates, and a lack of transparency regarding their development. Early on, there were concerns that the features would not live up to users' expectations. The company announced several Ultimate Extras in January 2007, but only a fraction of these were released five months later. After months without an official update since January, Microsoft released an apology for the delays, stating that it intended to ship the remaining features before the end of summer of 2007. The delays between consecutive updates and months of silence had led to speculation that the development team within the company responsible for the features had been quietly disbanded.
When Microsoft announced its intentions to release the remaining Ultimate Extras and released an apology for delays, Paul Thurrott stated that the company had "dropped the ball" with the features.Ed Bott wrote that Ultimate Extras were "probably the biggest mistake Microsoft made with Vista," and that the company would downplay the Ultimate edition of Windows 7 as a result. Bott would later list them among his "decade's worth of Windows mistakes."
Microsoft was also criticized for changing the description for Ultimate Extras within the operating system. The offerings slated to be made available were initially described as "cutting-edge programs," "innovative services," and "unique publications," but the description for the features within the Control Panel applet was later modified in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to be more modest; this was interpreted as an attempt made by the company to avoid fulfilling prior expectations.
Emil Protalinski of Ars Technica wrote that the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista "would have looked just fine without the joke that is 'Ultimate Extras'" and that the features were supposed to provide an incentive for consumers to purchase that edition, "not give critics something to point and laugh at."In the second part of his review of Windows 7, Peter Bright of Ars Technica wrote that "the value proposition of the Ultimate Extras was nothing short of piss-poor." Bright would later criticize Microsoft's decision not to release Internet Explorer 10 for Windows Vista, but would go on to state that this was still "not as bad as the Ultimate Extras farce."
Windows XP is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and broadly released for retail sale on October 25, 2001.
Windows Virtual PC is a virtualization program for Microsoft Windows. In July 2006 Microsoft released the Windows version as a free product. In August 2006, Microsoft announced the Macintosh version would not be ported to Intel-based Macintosh computers, effectively discontinuing the product as PowerPC-based Macintosh computers are no longer manufactured. The newest release, Windows Virtual PC, does not run on versions of Windows earlier than Windows 7, and does not officially support MS-DOS or operating systems earlier than Windows XP Professional SP3 as guests. The older versions, which support a wider range of host and guest operating systems, remain available. Starting with Windows 8, Hyper-V supersedes Windows Virtual PC.
Multilingual User Interface (MUI) is the name of a Microsoft technology for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other applications that allows for the installation of multiple interface languages on a single system. On a system with MUI, each user would be able to select their own preferred display language. MUI technology was introduced with Windows 2000 and has been used in every release since. The MUI technology is covered by an international patent titled "Multilingual User Interface for an Operating System". The inventors are Bjorn C. Rettig, Edward S. Miller, Gregory Wilson, and Shan Xu.
Windows Defender is an anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows. It was first released as a downloadable free antispyware program for Windows XP, and was later shipped with Windows Vista and Windows 7. It has evolved into a full antivirus program, replacing Microsoft Security Essentials as part of Windows 8 and later versions.
Windows Media Center (WMC) is a discontinued digital video recorder and media player created by Microsoft. Media Center was first introduced to Windows in 2002 on Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). It was included in Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista, as well as all editions of Windows 7 except Starter and Home Basic. It was also available on Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro as a paid add-on, before being discontinued in Windows 10, although it can be reinstalled unofficially through a command script installer.
Windows Anytime Upgrade is a discontinued component of Windows Vista and Windows 7 that enabled users to upgrade their editions of Windows. Pricing for upgrades purchased through Anytime Upgrade was also reduced when compared with traditional retail packaging. In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the feature was re-branded as Add features to Windows and was used to purchase an upgrade license to the Pro edition of the operating system or to add Windows Media Center to an existing Pro edition installation. However, support for this feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 was dropped on October 31, 2015.
Development of Windows Vista occurred over the span of five and a half years, starting in earnest in May 2001, prior to the release of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, and continuing until November 2006.
Windows DVD Maker was a DVD authoring utility developed by Microsoft, first released in 2007 in Windows Vista. The utility allows users to create DVD slideshows and videos for playback on media devices such as a DVD player. It is comparable to Apple's iDVD, which was released in 2001.
Windows XP visual styles are customizations of the graphical user interface of Windows XP. "Luna", "Royale", "Zune", and "Embedded" are codenames of the official visual styles designed for Windows XP by Microsoft. Since Windows XP, themes include the choice of visual styles as well. By default, "Luna" is preinstalled on Windows XP Home and Professional editions, "Royale" is preinstalled on Windows XP Media Center Edition and "Embedded" is preinstalled Windows Embedded Standard 2009 and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009. In addition to the preinstalled visual styles, Microsoft has released additional ones for download. Third parties have also released visual styles, though these require modification of core Windows components to work. Visual styles are compatible with all Windows XP editions.
Windows Essentials is a discontinued suite of Microsoft freeware applications that includes email, instant messaging, photo sharing, blogging, and parental control software. Essentials programs are designed to integrate well with each other, with Microsoft Windows, and with other Microsoft web-based services such as OneDrive and Outlook.com.
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a suite of utilities for Microsoft Windows customers who have subscribed to Microsoft Software Assurance program. It aims at bringing easier manageability and monitoring of enterprise desktops, emergency recovery, desktop virtualization and application virtualization.
The Mojave Experiment was a failed advertising campaign by Microsoft for Windows Vista. The campaign was an unsuccessful part of Microsoft's efforts to change what it felt was an unfair negative consumer perception of the operating system. Mojave spanned a series of advertisements that consisted of individuals being shown a demonstration of Windows Vista by Microsoft; however, the operating system was rebranded in disguise as a new version of Windows codenamed "Mojave," which was not revealed during the demonstration.
Windows 7, a major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system, was available in six different editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Only Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate were widely available at retailers. The other editions focus on other markets, such as the software development world or enterprise use. All editions support 32-bit IA-32 CPUs and all editions except Starter support 64-bit x64 CPUs. 64-bit installation media are not included in Home-Basic edition packages, but can be obtained separately from Microsoft.
Windows 8 was released with four editions, with varying feature sets. The editions each with varied features are called Core, Pro, Enterprise, and RT. There are versions of these that features modified for legal or marketing reasons.
Microsoft Office 2013 is a version of Microsoft Office, a productivity suite for Microsoft Windows. It is the successor to Microsoft Office 2010 and the predecessor to Microsoft Office 2016. It includes extended file format support, user interface updates and support for touch among its new features. Office 2013 is suitable for IA-32 and x64 systems and requires Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or a later version of either. A version of Office 2013 comes included on Windows RT devices. Mainstream support ended on April 10, 2018. Extended support ends on April 11, 2023.
Windows 10 is a series of personal computer operating systems produced by Microsoft as part of its Windows NT family of operating systems. It is the successor to Windows 8.1, and was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and broadly released for retail sale on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10 which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.