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1/9/2007
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Microsoft Releases Windows Vista Ultimate Extras, Online Add-Ons For The Operating System

Microsoft's plan for extending Windows with online software will include downloadable features that enhance Windows Vista with business-oriented tools as well as consumer-friendly ones.

Microsoft's plan for extending Windows with online software will include downloadable features that enhance Windows Vista with business-oriented tools as well as consumer-friendly ones.

During his keynote speech to open the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said Microsoft would make available to users of its Windows Vista Ultimate product--which combines the features of the operating system's top-end home and business editions--new downloadable features called Vista Ultimate Extras.

Among the planned add-ons are full-motion video desktop wallpaper called DreamScene, and photo composite-making software called GroupShot. In addition, as part of its effort to add more value to Windows over the Web, Microsoft will make available for download under the program enhancements to some of its security software aimed at business users, company managers said Monday at CES.

The free downloads for users of Vista Ultimate, which carries an upgrade price of $260, will include a storage service for the digital "keys" that can protect stolen laptops using Vista's BitLocker feature. Microsoft general manager Brad Goldberg says the company will likely make available to Ultimate users an online "escrow service" for private BitLocker keys. The BitLocker feature of Windows uses encryption technology to protect a laptop's hard drive from being read without a password in case the machine is stolen.

Microsoft general manager Shanen Boettcher adds that Windows Vista Ultimate will target sole proprietors and small-business owners who want to accomplish work and personal tasks on the same PC.

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