Microsoft Begins Roll-Out of Massive Xbox Live Update

Microsoft has begun rolling out a new update to Xbox Live today that will add a plethora of new features and a better user interface, according to a post from Xbox Live's Larry Hyrb.

The update will be deployed gradually across subscribers over the course of the next week, with the initial roll-out reaching approximately three million consoles worldwide. If you don't see the update right away, don't worry about it – it will eventually make it to your Xbox 360 anywhere from today to a couple of weeks.

So what's new in this update? Well it offers an improved user interface which consolidates and organizes entertainment categories a little better, introduces the Internet Explorer browser on Xbox Live (with HTML 5 support), adds a recommendations and ratings system, the ability to "pin" your favorite content or games (kind of like with Windows 7's start menu), the introduction of Xbox Video (what used to be Zune Video Marketplace), Recent (an improved version of Quick Play), improved and enhanced search functionality, and an international expansion of Voice Search that supports 9 new countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.

Hyrb also said that SmartGlass support would be coming to Xbox Live after Windows 8 launches on October 26th.

"When the Xbox SmartGlass app launches on tablets, PCs and smartphones, it will include key foundational experiences for interacting with your Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom," he said.

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  1. 0
    Kojiro says:

    Allow me to translate:

    Refreshed Xbox 360 Dashboard. We’ve updated the UI with a few things, including an updated layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in the US, a Sports destination.

    Translation: MOAR ADS!

    Internet Explorer for Xbox. With Internet Explorer on Xbox, you can easily find and view internet content on the biggest screen in the house, including HTML5 videos.

    Translation: We give in, you can have your stinking browser.  Also, more IE ads!

    Recommendations and Ratings. Recommendations will allow you to discover new favorites, generated based on a number of variables including the content you previously viewed, what your friends are consuming and what is most relevant and popular…

    Translation: Ads fed from your friends!

    Xbox community. You can now rate content yourself and also see Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

    Translation: Rotten Tomatoes Ads!

    Pinning. Pinning lets you personalize the dashboard by saving your favorite movies, TV shows, games, music, videos and websites right to the home screen. It’s as easy as opening an app or a favorite movie and clicking “pin.”

    Translation: Actual new functionality.

    Xbox Video. Formerly called Zune Video Marketplace, Xbox Video offers hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies for buying or renting in instant HD streaming.

    Translation: Zune is dead.

    Recent. Previously called Quick Play, the Recent view gives you a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that you most recently accessed on the console.

    Translation: We don't care about games anymore.  We want your family to use the Xbox for everything but games so you are always left playing your Nintendo DS while Dad watches the presidential debates.

    Enhanced Search. The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing…

    Translation: Still not Google Search.

    International Expansion of Voice Search. We’ve expanded our Kinect voice search capabilities to 9 new countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.

    Translation: Kinect ads in more countries.

  2. 0
    Imautobot says:

    Excellent interpretation!  You pay for a premium product but you get forcefed ads.  This is the same reason I can't bring myself to pay for Hulu Plus.  Frankly, the fact that Microsoft is earning ad revenue off it's online customer (Gold and Silver), they shouldn't require us to pay.  This has a lot to do with why I left XBL after having been a member since day 1.  I canceled my membership back in February and I don't miss it.

  3. 0
    Longjocks says:

    I imagine it'll involve more advertising screen real estate. And I don't understand the sudden want to give users the ability to organise their entertainment when there has been an unwavering trend to make the interface more and more difficult to navigate for each iteration of their Dashboard.

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