Vista Ultimate Users Continue To Get Short Shrift

Dennis Faas's picture

Buyers of Vista's Ultimate Edition have long complained they were ripped off by unfulfilled promises for extra features and better performance. Now they're outraged by feelings that they've been left out of cheap deals for switching to Windows 7.

Upon its release, one of the top-billed extra features in the Ultimate version of Vista was 'Ultimate Extras'. Buyers were told they would regularly receive updates containing "cutting-edge programs, innovative services and unique publications."

In reality the extras came irregularly and were underwhelming to say the least. It's now more than nine months since the last update, and that simply contained a puzzle game, some screensavers and some alternative sounds for Windows functions.

Extras Ditched In Windows 7 Ultimate

Microsoft later announced that the Windows 7 production schedule meant it wouldn't be practical to include Ultimate Extras on the new system. However, many believe the firm simply dropped the scheme as a flop.

Only six weeks ago, an independent analyst made a high-profile call for Microsoft to compensate Vista Ultimate owners by offering a free upgrade to Windows 7. Analyst Michael Cherry said "It would buy them a lot of good will, and I don't think it would cost them much." (Source:

No Ultimate Upgrade Deal

Unfortunately, Microsoft has taken the opposite approach.

Not only must those with the Ultimate Edition pay more to upgrade to Windows 7, but the edition is exempt from the limited-time deal where customers can get an upgrade at a heavily reduced price by paying now and then taking delivery in October.

In short: it means that somebody with the Home Premium edition of Vista can get an upgrade to Windows 7 for just $49, while those who shelled out for Vista Ultimate must pay a whopping $219.

The only way such customers can get Windows 7 at a reduced rate is to get the Home Premium or Professional editions, which will have fewer features than their existing copies of Vista.

No Simple Upgrade for Ultimate Users

To rub salt into the wound, those who do switch from Vista Ultimate to a different edition of Windows 7 won't even be able to use the simple upgrade process that's available for like-for-like upgrades (eg. Vista Professional to Windows 7 Professional).

Instead they'll have to back-up all their data and do a completely fresh install of Windows. (Source:

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