Remember Vista Ultimate Extras? Well they are back according to Paul Thurrott, but this time they will be released for free in the form of two games, Microsoft Tinker and Hold 'Em.
Microsoft's failed Vista Ultimate Extras were a big promise from the company of "cutting-edge programs, innovative services and unique publications." At least they were in Vista RTM, by the time Vista SP1 was rolled out nearly all references to Vista Ultimate Extras were removed (shown below). Blogger Long Zheng called them the "ultimate con" at the time and in hindsight he was right. Microsoft made several promises of more extras which resulted in the company launching UltimatePC.com which now redirects to the Vista home-page.
Hold'Em, a Poker card game, was an original Ultimate Extra released at the same time as Vista general availability. Tinker, a 60-level robot puzzle video game, was originally released in September, 2008. Microsoft confirmed in February this year that Windows 7 Ultimate would not feature the Extras applications, claiming "our new approach to planning and building Windows doesn't have the capacity to continue to deliver features outside the regular release cycle...as a result we don't plan to create Ultimate Extras."
It appears Ultimate Extras, in a small form, live to fight another day and will be available to all. Microsoft has not confirmed when Tinker and Hold'Em will be released, simply stating they are "coming soon".
Ultimate Extras Vista RTM:
Ultimate Extras Vista SP1:
Thanks to Ci7 for the news tip