Windows Vista Ultimate explained

Windows Vista comes in several different incarnations. But essentially there are two pathways -- the home user and the business user. However, at the very top of the pile is the Windows Vista SCU that gives you everything that is in both the top of the lines business editions and home editions -- Windows Vista Ultimate.

The main attraction of Windows Vista Ultimate is that users get all the professional features of Windows Vista Business like domain logon, full backup, full Remote Desktop support, and so forth as well as the full feature set of Windows Vista Home Premium such as Media Center, XBox 360 integration, etc.

But Microsoft sweetens the deal for Windows Vista Ultimate users in the form of Windows Vista Ultimate Extras. Ultimate Extras is an on-going series of downloadable content that allows Microsoft to deliver some outstanding new features to Ultimate users even after release.

This week at CES, Microsoft unveiled the first set of Ultimate Extras including Windows DreamScene, a game, bit locker support, a photo manipulation application, and multi-language on a single PC support.

Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley has more details on this below.

View: Ultimate Extras revealed

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I'll probably be staying on XP Pro (dual-booting with Linux) for the foreseeable future, nothing in Vista draws me to it, i just have to pay more for what i currently have.

XP has served me well in the past, rock solid, never crashes unless it's somethgin I did (bad gfx driver update with experimental stuff or toher bad techie stuff I do).

But after runnign vista I can't see myself going back. more responsive, and nicer looking, GUI.
the Start menu with the built in search wich I hated in the start has grown on me(I tend to have huge start menus).
DreamScene is a nice bonus :)
It's even more rock solid than XP was for me, I seemunable to crash vista, when I do manage to crash it, I no longer need to powercycle or such stuff, it just reboots whatever got hung.

And the ability to use the task manager to see what services a process uses, that's handy, without havign to use third party stuff to figure out what all those pesky svchosts are doing behind my back.

and with a widescreen monitor the sidebar is pretty handy too, even if I miss the opriginal sidebar that was more like desktopsidebar(www.desktopsidebar) that was based off the vista sidebar... or rather the early longhorn one.

there's lots of other minor little things as well, small things like icons, thumbnails on hovers, flip3d, the new sound system(ok, not so minor :))... just tons of minor little things that make it a better OS than XP.


now the only thing I'm waiting for are final(not beta) NVidia drivers

True - to the boneheads that pay $400 for a computer, use AOL, and have that already anorexic system bogged down w/ spyware because they think Weatherbug, and SmileyCentral are cool services - Vista Ultimate is dumb.

On the other hand - for the poweruser/tweaker or the person that wants the good stuff, YET doesnt have the need for the domain, and doesnt like to have a bunch of services running in the background even if the system can haandle it (me)

I dont have an x360, nor will I buy one, HOWEVER the animated wallpaper is something Ive always wanted...

Is Home Premium still the way to go ?

cwalker2734 said,
True - to the boneheads that pay $400 for a computer, use AOL, and have that already anorexic system bogged down w/ spyware because they think Weatherbug, and SmileyCentral are cool services - Vista Ultimate is dumb.

On the other hand - for the poweruser/tweaker or the person that wants the good stuff, YET doesnt have the need for the domain, and doesnt like to have a bunch of services running in the background even if the system can haandle it (me)

I dont have an x360, nor will I buy one, HOWEVER the animated wallpaper is something Ive always wanted...

Is Home Premium still the way to go ?

Ultimate is not for everyone, Microsoft knows that and thats why they made Home Premium. If your just going to buy ultimate for 1 feature [Dreamscene] your probably going to be wasting your money.

I would say stick with home premium or go buy an OEM version of ultimate they sell for 128 pounds online now.

DreamScene is a nice toy at best, but nothing more. Animated wallpapers will quickly go on your nerves when trying to do work on the PC.
The only thing what would actually be useful is the Encrypted File System (better security), and that's in Vista Business as well (look at Paul's site). No need to waste money on Ultimate and its laughable extras :P

Aero Ultimate said,
DreamScene is a nice toy at best, but nothing more. Animated wallpapers will quickly go on your nerves when trying to do work on the PC.
The only thing what would actually be useful is the Encrypted File System (better security), and that's in Vista Business as well (look at Paul's site). No need to waste money on Ultimate and its laughable extras :P

If you get business then you don't get media center and the digital memories applications. I don't think ultimate is something to shrug off so easily. Its pricey but I would lean more towards home premium than business. There are some aspects of ultimate that to me seem useful.

One path you can take though is that you can upgrade at any time from home premium to ultimate.

-d

I knew about this over the weekend.. Best Buy Vista Training :P

also gonna get Windows Vista Ultimate, an Intel Core 2 Duo, and Mobo for $220


Ultimate has a lot of stuff in it. Paul's tables have more information
http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_02.asp

Stuff found in ultimate but not home "premium" include domain support, web server, remote desktop (premium is client only), fax/scan, encrypting file system, 128+ GB ram in x64 version (home=16), bitlocker, full windows mobility center, etc.

-d

For 99% of the users worldwide, they don't need domain support, web server, remote desktop, fax/scan, encrypting file system, 128+ GB RAM (for 64-Bit), BitLocker, or Full Windows Mobility Center. Out of those an average home user might need remote desktop and/or fax/scan functionality. But for the most part, it isn't needed. It would be a huge waist of money. And none of that is worth the extra $160 from Home Premium to Ultimate. No, I can't see justifying that cost.

Web server: Apache (free). 128+ GB of RAM? Who can afford 128+ GB of RAM in the first place? What motherboard supports that amount of RAM? BitLocker? Most home users would never figure out how to configure BitLocker or even an encrypted file system. Remote desktop: VNC (free). Domain support: Samba running on Linux (free). Fax/scan: Use the software that came with the Fax/scanner you purchased (included in price paid for fax/scanner). Windows Mobility Center: is this even needed? I used it and don't see the need for it.

Wow, I just blew Ultimate out of the water. Out of all of those "extras" that are included with Ultimate out of the box, you can get 4 for free right now.

Hurmoth said,
For 99% of the users worldwide, they don't need domain support, web server, remote desktop, fax/scan, encrypting file system, 128+ GB RAM (for 64-Bit), BitLocker, or Full Windows Mobility Center. Out of those an average home user might need remote desktop and/or fax/scan functionality. But for the most part, it isn't needed. It would be a huge waist of money. And none of that is worth the extra $160 from Home Premium to Ultimate. No, I can't see justifying that cost.

Web server: Apache (free). 128+ GB of RAM? Who can afford 128+ GB of RAM in the first place? What motherboard supports that amount of RAM? BitLocker? Most home users would never figure out how to configure BitLocker or even an encrypted file system. Remote desktop: VNC (free). Domain support: Samba running on Linux (free). Fax/scan: Use the software that came with the Fax/scanner you purchased (included in price paid for fax/scanner). Windows Mobility Center: is this even needed? I used it and don't see the need for it.

Wow, I just blew Ultimate out of the water. Out of all of those "extras" that are included with Ultimate out of the box, you can get 4 for free right now.

More people use remote desktop than you think, we who have jobs for a start like to stay logged onto our home pc systems whilst at work!

mrk said,

More people use remote desktop than you think, we who have jobs for a start like to stay logged onto our home pc systems whilst at work!

yeah i use VNC though far better than remote desktop :P

mrk said,
More people use remote desktop than you think, we who have jobs for a start like to stay logged onto our home pc systems whilst at work!
But you are in the tech world obviously. Most people don't know how to setup Remote Desktop, and a lot of those who do use VNC because it is free, more secure than a built-in Windows client, and more powerful.

Hurmoth said,
For 99% of the users worldwide, they don't need domain support, web server, remote desktop, fax/scan, encrypting file system, 128+ GB RAM (for 64-Bit), BitLocker, or Full Windows Mobility Center. Out of those an average home user might need remote desktop and/or fax/scan functionality. But for the most part, it isn't needed. It would be a huge waist of money. And none of that is worth the extra $160 from Home Premium to Ultimate. No, I can't see justifying that cost.

I don't think "ultimate" is intended for most users. btw, just fyi but some of the applications within ultimate are more sophisticated. Backup and restore tool comes to mind. Somewhere I had a link to Paul's paragraph on it but sorry can't find it now.

-d

Fubar said,
yeah i use VNC though far better than remote desktop :P

Each to their own but I do not share that opinion. RD is extremely fast and efficient and very easy to set up. With vista it even carries over the new composite desktop. How cool is that?
http://www.windows-now.com/blogs/abudja/ar.../10/29/914.aspx

Also, I found the info on the backup: Ultimate (and business/enterprise) contains Complete PC Backup.

In the end, get the addition you want.

-d

dugbug said,
I don't think "ultimate" is intended for most users. btw, just fyi but some of the applications within ultimate are more sophisticated. Backup and restore tool comes to mind. Somewhere I had a link to Paul's paragraph on it but sorry can't find it now.

-d

Backup and restore is an absolutely awesome feature and a much welcomed addition to the Windows OS, but I still don't think most users would use it if they had it. Shoot, they probably wouldn't even know they had it.

I applaud Microsoft for adding great new features to Windows, but I still don't see how I can justify spending an extra $160 on Ultimate.

But you're most certainly right, Ultimate isn't intended for most users, but I have a feeling that OEMs and Microsoft will try pushing it on more users that won't be able to really use the feature set that they'd be paying for.

Talking about RDP and VNC... I have tried both, since I connect to my home computer from work every day. And I can confirm that RDP is a lot faster and more responsive than VNC, even more when the connection slows down for any reason. So for myself, I stay with RDP included in Vista. You can use VNC if you wish (and like to wait for screen output).
Remote Desktop is not hard to set up by the way... just turn it on on your computer, write down your IP address... and ready to go.
Edit: Oops, I forgot. I ordered my Ultimate for 180€ (and you can get it even cheaper if you wish). That's about 70€ difference from Home Premium. Can't see where that is too expensive.

Fax stuff came with XP pro (and going back to 95). And the MUI should be a standard feature of at least the Business one.

IIS also came with 95/98 (PWS), same with the backup tools, and even XP Home has a RDP server (limited to one user, it's for Remote Assistance), Pro has better support.

So i have to buy Ultimate just to get stuff that came as standard in previous versions of Windows?

I will be ordering Ultimate at the end of the month when I get my pay,

mostly because I allready have ultimate installed and it's tickign down, and downgrading to home premium I would have to reinstall, not somethign I really want to do. But I also want some of the Ultimate stuff, and I like the ultimate extras even if they're just..

I'll be buying the OEM anyway and the price difference isn't that big there.

"allows Microsoft to deliver some outstanding new features to Ultimate users even after release."

Of course, every XP customer knows what that's all about. Think about it: Once you buy the original Windows XP Microsoft doens't legally owe you anything. No updates, no upgrades. But, look what they've delivered: A brand new IE for free, two service packs, upgrades to DirectX, Media Player, Photo Story, Power Toys, security fixes and improvements, and other applications you can download from Microsoft for free. Microsoft certainly didn't have to offer all this for free but it's a great way that they improve the value of your purchase even years after you've made it.

Or, if you aren't a gamer, you can just go download an entire OS for free too along with every application. :P

The only reason I have Windows is for gaming, and f it werent for that, I'd be Linux 100%. :)

You make good points though, they have given a lot of free apps out, but it could be so much better.

Look to me like another Microsoft PLUS!! edition. Vista is cute, but let get real here for a moment. this is just another windows me edition. No professionals going to buy this, why? cause it is just another window skin with full of bugs in the incoming year. I would have to say that Windows XP is the best build they ever build .....if you wish to have the little fancy little dress ....get vista skin and then customize your windows xp. Dont go off buying hardware just to get this little new dress that will also cost you more money.

Of course unless you to spend the money and make your desktop look cute. I prefer a solid operations, I if i get bored the windows look like ....i just get windowsblind application to customize my windows in my own taste. CHEAPER and SOLID.

Nope not a advertisement for windowsblind :suspicious: , I would never steal the glory of this famous Ultimate advertisement of Microsoft and yes I do know a lot of professionals that would never install this vista has there MAIN operations system. :sleeping:

C_Guy said,
Is this an advertisement for Windowsblind or do you not know many computer professionals?

Moonwolf said,
Nope not a advertisement for windowsblind :suspicious: , I would never steal the glory of this famous Ultimate advertisement of Microsoft and yes I do know a lot of professionals that would never install this vista has there MAIN operations system. :sleeping:

FFS, vista is not a skin for xp. Use some brains or google...

A 2 second search on wikipidia would give you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista

Also, Ultimate is not for every single user. Don't expect everyone to go buy ultimate. Home premium has more than everything you will prob ever need. So who cares if all the professionals you know won't buy Ultimate.

With your stupid arguement, you can say XP was just 2000 with a skin. There is a lot more in vista that YOU WILL NOT SEE but its still there running quietly in the background.

Most of the apple OSX upgrades are mostly like simple patches that, lets be honest, can be given as free patches. But nooo, lets change a few things here and there, add an integerated dvd player, put indexing search and voila sell it for 100usd+

Guess you're going to be stuck with your current OS for a long time. DRM is the future, it is going to be in every version of Windows from now until the end of Windows. It wouldn't be a surprise me to see it pushed more heavily in Mac OS and eventually make its way into Linux one day. Something we're going to have to live with.

lbmouse: Don't hold your breath on DRM. Everyone knows the license is transferrable, Microsoft cleared that up a long time ago. You jsut can't have it on multiple machines at the same time.

Hurmoth said,
Guess you're going to be stuck with your current OS for a long time. DRM is the future, it is going to be in every version of Windows from now until the end of Windows. It wouldn't be a surprise me to see it pushed more heavily in Mac OS and eventually make its way into Linux one day. Something we're going to have to live with.

Guess I am for a short time. Hurmoth of anyone, I'm surprised that you are willing to lay down and just let the content providers put the screws to your thumbs. DRM is NOT the future, information by nature needs and wants to be free. There is no place for DRM in the future just as Sony lost the Betamax case... content providers will always find a way to make money. Don't cry for them. How much cash have the studios made off of VHS and rentals after the Betamax case?

lbmouse said,
Forget Ultimate... still waiting for the Windows Vista No-Embedded-DRM-Fully-Transferable-License Edition.

You cant blame microsoft for DRM. Blame RIAA/MPAA and pirates. If you owned a software company and people started pirating your products, I would think you would be ****ed too.

I actually thought these "ultimate" features would be something that would make me want Ultimate, but now I feel they're reasons not to splash out as much. The animated desktop looks nice but I have a feeling that after a couple of days the novelty will wear off and just become annoying. For that reason I can't justify the extra cost of Ultimate.

Windows DreamScene is a cool feature, but for the most part, Ultimate Extras are not worth getting Ultimate for. I suspect that Ultimate will be a failure and Home Premium will win in the consumer area. Tech enthusiasts and rich people who want the latest and greatest will purchase Ultimate, but not most consumers who are only going to be paying $300-500 for computer. It is kind of silly to pay $300 for the hardware and $400 for the operating system to get the hardware to work.

The pre-order of Vista Ultimate (32 or 64 bit) is surprisingly cheap when you get the oem version, for this reason I'm sure it will not be a failure at all.

AMDMEFX-55 said,
If people can afford an iPhone then people can afford this.
Who can afford the iPhone? It costs $600. I'd rather a PS3 or an XBOX360.

winmoose said,
The pre-order of Vista Ultimate (32 or 64 bit) is surprisingly cheap when you get the oem version, for this reason I'm sure it will not be a failure at all.
$379.99 from Amazon; $343.47 from AtomicPark.com; $351.99 from onSale; & $358.99 from PC Mall. How is that cheap? Still, compared to a normal consumer PC, that is expensive.

$379.99 from Amazon; $343.47 from AtomicPark.com; $351.99 from onSale; & $358.99 from PC Mall. How is that cheap? Still, compared to a normal consumer PC, that is expensive.

It is available for £128 inc. VAT from dabs, I actually consider that good value, especially for a pre order of the most advanced version (64bit, ultimate). I was expecting to pay well over £200.

Also, I think you are looking at the retail version, the oem version is much cheaper.

winmoose said,

It is available for £128 inc. VAT from dabs, I actually consider that good value, especially for a pre order of the most advanced version (64bit, ultimate). I was expecting to pay well over £200.

Also, I think you are looking at the retail version, the oem version is much cheaper.


Once the OEM version is activated it's stuck to the PC on which it was activated.

MrCobra said,

Once the OEM version is activated it's stuck to the PC on which it was activated.

What constitutes a new PC vs an upgrade?

New motherboard? New processor? New Video card?

Can it be re-installed on the same hardware, or is there a limit to this?

Shadrack said,

What constitutes a new PC vs an upgrade?

New motherboard? New processor? New Video card?

Can it be re-installed on the same hardware, or is there a limit to this?

You will have to change the GPU, CPU and the HD [or at least one i cant remember] before you will have to re-activate. If you have run out of activations, just phone them up and explain the situation and they will reactivate it for you.

Could this article be any more of a rehash of much of the same announcements made over the past couple of days?