It’s Vista time!

“Microsoft… will lead the Ultimate Exclusive selection and posting process. While some Ultimate Exclusives will consist of Microsoft products and services, most Ultimate Exclusives will be comprised of third-party offerings.”

It's Vista time!

Ah, the fog is beginning to clear now – this is a web bric-a-brac store for selling other people’s Ultimate efforts, not Microsoft’s. To get your juices flowing, there are discounts off a GeForce graphics card, some video-editing software from Pinnacle, and some more software from Stardock. I tried to buy some but soon fell foul of the site’s US-only view of the world. And it’s just as well I didn’t want anything in Italian, of course. But no, the release goes on and on, now resorting to bold type and underlining to bolster its points:

“It’s important to note that Windows Ultimate Exclusives are not replacing Windows Ultimate Extras. As mentioned previously, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers and we are now in a position to shed more light on that roadmap. The Windows Ultimate Extras which we plan to ship in the coming year will include but are not limited to an original game, enhancements to Movie Maker and DVD Maker as well as additional DreamScene experiences, screensavers and sound schemes. As we have said all along, we are committed to Windows Ultimate Extras but the bar for shipping any Windows Vista feature is high and we look forward to delivering them to our valued Windows Vista Ultimate customers when they are ready.”

Important point importantly noted, and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. The words “too little”, “too late”, and “rather depressing” may be rearranged according to taste.

Vista prices!

And there’s more good news: Vista pricing is changing, too! If you want the retail boxed product of Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, Microsoft has done away with separate upgrade and full versions so that now there’s just one full version of each, but sitting at the price point the upgrade formerly occupied. Or something like that: making sense of Vista’s pricing options is enough to bring on a migraine. Naturally, things are different in “emerging markets” – let me share this glorious bit of marketing speak from the press release:

“Question: It sounds like your strategy is to have different price points in different countries and regions, depending on whether they’re developed or emerging markets. What will the changes look like when they’re in place?

“Answer: Our research, along with feedback from promotions by our retail partners, has illustrated powerfully to us the degree to which customer needs vary, not only between developed and emerging markets, but also within markets. But the desire for the best value remains the same. As such, the Windows Vista editions involved and specific price decreases will likewise vary from region to region across the globe.”

Vista lawsuits!

There’s a rumble in the jungle over exactly what constitutes the difference between a Vista-compatible machine, a Vista-capable machine and a Vista Fabbo Experience machine (okay, I made the last one up). This has all come to the surface in the form of a lawsuit across the pond, which basically claims Microsoft wasn’t being wholly clear in what was meant by the various designations. Some early documents were presented to the court for this case a few months ago, and I was thrilled, nay honoured, to discover that Yours Truly and PC Pro magazine had done their parts in deflating the marketing nonsense that Microsoft had attempted to spin around the various editions.

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