By now many of you have noted that the Windows Vista Ultimate team has launched a new site: UltimatePC.com
Seems the Ultimate team has been busier than many people thought...
More than anything, the new UltimatePC site communicates that the team is determined to make good on Ultimate Extras. It also suggests that the team is going to be able to build and ship out of band and that they are now freed up to make and deliver some exciting extras and exlcusives - the new name given to offers focused on the flagship version of Windows Vista.
I'm betting that the Ultimate Team delivers and we'll see a great many extras and exclusives over the remainder of the year.
I feel bad for the Windows Vista team in general and the Ultimate team in particular. They built some terrific products that truly are innovative and I think Windows Vista Ultimate specifically, deserves another look. Before getting into what differentiates Ultimate, I want to address what this version is not - Windows Vista Ultimate is NOT about Ultimate Extras. Sadly, and because there aren't many "extras" Windows Vista Ultimate has come be defined by the lack of the extras many assess were promised to them by Microsoft. Microsoft, by failing to deliver significant extras, allowed Windows Vista Ultimate to be defined by the dearth of extras that it does not have, vice the plethora of unique features that it does.
A lot of people have been asking the question, What is so "Ultimate" about Windows Vista Ultimate?
Well, plenty and a good number of the people asking that question are the very people that should be providing the answers to it - you know who you are: IT/MIS professionals, enthusiasts and technology press, pundits and "Ploggers" or Professional Bloggers. press, pundits and ploggers, oh my... no wonder we're all in the dark and under-informed. If you know what makes Windows Vista Ultimate unique, share it - if you don't, you should know. If you should know and you don't, you suck and need to either get your heads back in the game, or get out of it entirely.
I am both none of the above and all of the above - therefore I am very likely least and occasionally, best qualified to answer the question about what is so ultimate about Windows Vista Ultimate... any other business owner will know exactly what I mean by those apparent contradictions - we are what we decide to be; what we decide to pay ourselves for at any given moment - tomorrow I may be a gardener, a poet, or a nightstand. Silly as it may sound, that last sentence says all that needs to be said about what is ultimate about Vista Ultimate - it is all things Windows and what one uses and when is largely a matter of choice - as simple, or as difficult as making a decision about what to do and when - not that many people can actually do that.
Decisions, decisions, decisions... we make them all day and in so many cases, we make decisions, because we have choices - about what to eat, what to wear, what to drive, what to do and yes, about which version of Windows we'd like to use. <not that alternatives to Windows aren't among one's choices, but let's be real, does either Linux, or OS X offer any real choice when it comes to hardware and software options when compared to the vastness of the Windows ecosystem?> Windows Vista Ultimate is about choices and it supports about any decision regarding a modern computer one might make. It best supports our own individual diversity - underwriting and facilitating a myriad of complex tasks and the multi-disciplined digital lives many of us lead.
YOU: Oh shut up and give us the list already, and spare us the wall of useless text - as if context never mattered... ME: and while I'm at it, <talking to myself as though I were talking to you... I think you'd have done a Windows Live Search on Vista Versions by now and found your own list and God forbid, actually explored the OS and made your own...>
ME: Okay, okay, I hear ya... dang, context does matter - or at least it should.
For those with Internet access, that have an inability to use an online search tool, or for those that write, ***, piss and moan about Vista Ultimate that have never actually used the new operating system, here's a list with some notes that lays out exactly what is ultimate about Windows Vista Ultimate editions. I've added links where I assess people may want, or need more information about a particular feature and in many cases, I have annotated what each is used for.
Windows Vista Ultimate retail boxed full and upgrade packages contain two DVDs - one for the 32 bit based version of the OS and another DVD for the 64 bit version.
SafeDocs, backup and restore
Shadow Copy Client [this is instantaneous - make any change in a document and one may reverse that change by accessing previous versions] (Home Premium does not have this feature)
Encrypted File System (EFS)
Automated Migration Support
Cached Credential Support (this is not in home premium)
Local Security Policy Manager (this is not in home premium)
Desktop Windows Manager (DWM)
Aero Glass, animations, and visual effects [even over remote desktop connections!]
Productivity Features, rolodex, tab previews, task bar previews
Unlimited Screen Resolution Support
Fast User Switching [FUS]
RDP/Remote Desktop (this is not in home premium)
P2P Meeting Place [ad-hoc meetings, people discovery, presentation broadcast] (this is not in home premium)
Windows Web Server [IIS 7] (this is not in home premium)
Windows Fax Client (this is not in home premium)
Digital Media and Entertainment:
DVD Video Authoring (this is not in business versions)
Direct Media Mode
Media Center [including extender support for 5 devices and games] (this is not in business versions)
Multiple Simultaneous Media Extender Support [up to five extenders] (this is not in business versions)
Movie Maker High Definition [HD] Publishing (this is not in business versions)
HDCP HD Content Support (this is not in business versions, or other operating systems like OS X)
DVD Playback without the need for third party software (this is not in business versions)
Advanced Photography Features
Windows Media Player and related [read CODECS] components
Number of Supported Network Connections - 10
Domain Join Support (home premium only supports Quattro)
1:1 Network Projection
Internet Connection Sharing
Remote Differential Compression
MS Rally and LLTD
IPv6 over IPv4 "TEREDO" (use Meeting Space over the Internet without changing a thing on your firewall)
Tablet PC Functionality
Auxiliary Display Support with Independent Resolutions
Offline Folder with Client-Side Caching (this is not in home premium)
Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications [SUA] (only enterprise and Ultimate have this)
Secure Startup [cornerstone] (only enterprise and Ultimate have this)
Single Session Virtual PC (only enterprise and Ultimate have this)
Multi-Language User Interface with Localization [use more than one language at a time without separate installs] (only enterprise and Ultimate have this)
Software Inventory Module
Disable Windows Activation Services [Yes, one can] (enterprise and Ultimate only)
Startup Repair Tool (SRT)
Windows Vista Ultimate Extras:
DreamScenes [and StarDock's DeskScapes]
Premium Games [Texas Hold-em]
Online Key Management
Language Localization Packs
As is clear to me, Windows Vista Ultimate is more about choices and the decisions based upon them than it is any one thing, or group of things. Ultimate is a premium blend of PC features, providing users with the best of all worlds - media, productivity and management - all in one place and under one operating system. Ultimate is not about extras, but it is about also having extras, many of them - all of them.
Windows Vista Ultimate Challenge
Here's a challenge for all: Find a single operating system that does all of the above [ and I do mean all of it ] out of the box and without third party software or hardware, and post a link to it here. If there is one, we'd all love to know where it is and how we can get our hands on it.