After a few months in beta testing, Microsoft is aiming to roll out the updated dashboard for Xbox Live over the next few weeks, starting with 3 million users around the world today. The update (which will be roughly the sixth or seventh one since I bought an Xbox 360 four years ago) will bring a few features that were highlighted in Microsoft’s presentation at this years E3 conference, including the addition of Internet Explorer as a web browser. The full list of changes is listed below, straight from the mouth of Major Nelson:
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.
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.
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 with our Xbox community. You can now rate content yourself and also see Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
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.”
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.
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.
Enhanced Search. The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing voice search to Xbox so you could use voice to search for movies, TV shows, actors, directors and artists. This year we added genre search to the list, so now you can search for action, comedy, romance, drama or sci-fi. Bing voice search now includes results for video across the Web, including YouTube.
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.
Alongside these changes, the Xbox Music service is also now available for all Xbox Live Gold users. On paper, it doesn’t seem like a bad update; the pinning feature in particular has promise if it can remove all the adverts from the home screen. What you do you make of it?