Microsoft chairman Bill Gates unveiled Extras in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The downloadable features are meant to enhance the premium version of Vista with business-oriented and consumer-friendly tools.
Extras are among the perks Microsoft gives to buyers of Vista Ultimate, which carries an upgrade price of $260. The premium OS targets sole proprietors and small-business owners who want to do work and personal tasks on the same PC.
BitLocker in Vista Ultimate is considered a major enhancement because it provides whole disk encryption for a PC's hard drive, a feature increasingly applied by enterprises to lock down data. This is important to protect information in mobile PCs that might be lost or stolen.