I think Microsoft is finally listening to its customers! After all the criticism received with Vista Ultimate, Microsoft will not offer “Ultimate Extras” in Windows 7, the company has confirmed, saying it abandoned the heavily criticized concept to focus on “existing features.”

“Our new approach to planning and building Windows doesn’t have the capacity to continue to deliver features outside the regular release cycle,” a company spokeswoman said in response to questions about Windows 7. “While our core development team is focused on building the next release; our sustained engineering team is focused on updates to existing features. As a result, we don’t plan to create Ultimate Extras.”

Ultimate Extras was among the elements Microsoft cited in the months leading up to the early-2007 release of Windows Vista Ultimate to distinguish it from lower-priced versions. According to Microsoft’s marketing, Extras was to be “cutting-edge programs, innovative services and unique publications” that would be regularly offered only to users of Vista’s highest-priced edition.

But users blasted Microsoft for the paltry number of add-ons it released and its leisurely development pace. Just five months after Vista was launched, critics started to complain, which led Microsoft to promise that it would do better.

Two months later, however, users again pounded Microsoft on blogs and the company’s own support forums as its self-imposed deadline for delivering more add-ons came and went without any new downloads.

If only Microsoft could eliminate at least half of the six Windows 7 versions, we would all be happy.

Source: ComputerWorld