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I Thought Ultimate Was Supposed To Be Super?

Joe Wilcox found something interesting in Microsoft’s product support cycle pages: Windows Vista Ultimate has the same support cycle as Windows Vista Home Premium.

See, the way it works in Microsoft-land is that consumer, hardware and multimedia products are on one support tier, and business and developer software is on a seperate tier. In the first, products get five years of mainstream support followed by eight years of web help, while in the second, products get the same first five years, plus five more years of extended support, plus ten years of web help.

Now, Vista Ultimate is described as a superset of both the Vista Home and Vista Business product lines, encompassing all the features of Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Home Premium. Presumably, it would inherit the product support of both its parents, thus going with the longer support cycle of the Business tree, but you’d be presuming wrong.

This creates a whole new problem for owners of Vista Business: To upgrade Business to get Media Center, you have to purchase an Anytime Upgrade to Vista Ultimate, since Vista Home Premium is a downgrade (or wacky retrograde, or something). Do that, and you slash your product support in half, while spending money to do so!

There’s only one reasonable explanation: Microsoft doesn’t want to support the Home Premium features past their normal due date, and is viewing the entire Ultimate product by its shortest cycle. This makes sense, because if you want to end Vista Media Center support on 4/10/2012, you can’t keep supporting the same software in Ultimate, which few people will pick up.

The solution is a compromise, a dual headed support cycle for Microsoft’s uniquely dual-headed operating system. Give Vista Ultimate two tiers of support, 5 years for consumer features, and 5+5/10 years for enterprise features. Don’t make people suffer for giving you more money!

In the UK, Brits are angry that Windows Vista is far more expensive than in the U.S.. Windows Vista Home Premium, which carries an MSRP of $159 in the States, is £129.48 in the UK, coming out to $254.53. Microsoft offers no explanation for the huge gap, although most all products are more expensive in Britain than America, just not by so large a margin. For example, a $600 Mac Mini is $778.61 in England.

Talking about pricing, Robert McLaws has done a study of basically every single version ever of Windows, and determined that based on inflation, Windows has gone down in price for the most part for more than a decade. Useful info next time you get into an arguement.
(via Long)

Here’s a video featuring everything you get with Vista Ultimate, also via Long:

Oh, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has banned Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and Office 2007 from their systems until there is a compelling reason to upgrade. Hope they still plan on getting it with new PCs…

March 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Windows, Vista | no comments
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