At their E3 keynote, Microsoft introduced a major update to the Xbox 360 dashboard. The update includes a new interface and deeper Kinect integration.
The dashboard now looks a lot more like Zune with tiles and navigation categories at the top. The Metro UI is now part of Windows 8 (tablet), Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox. The live tiles are updated with relevant information.
Microsoft’ s decision engine is slowly becoming an integral part of the company’s product portfolio. Bing is an important feature in Windows phone 7 and today Microsoft integrated Bing’s search capabilities in Xbox 360. The Bing interface on the Xbox is elegant and coupled with voice control, searching your catalog and the Internet looks fun.
With Bing, a user can search within apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and Xbox LIVE Marketplace to find relevant entertainment content.
With Kinect integration, Microsoft has now enabled voice control throughout the Xbox. Voice commands can be used with Bing to search within apps for content.
Live TV and YouTube
Microsoft has promised subscription based TV services starting this fall in the US. Currently, Microsoft has partnered with Sky TV in the UK, FoxTel in Australia and Canal+ in France for live television in the respective countries. In addition to subscription based local TV content, Microsoft will be streaming martial fights under Ultimate Fighting Championship and feature some exclusive UFC videos.
Microsoft has been able to strike a deal with Google to bring YouTube to the Xbox 360. This allows users to access the huge repertoire of videos on the website using voice control in their living room. Looks like Google just lost a reason to sell Google TVs.
As spotted by Tom Warren, the dashboard update has an apps section with Marketplace. The apps are the currently available third party services integrated in Xbox. As the people at This Is My Next noticed, live TV has a tile named My DVR.
Images courtesy This Is My Next and Microsoft PR