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Microsoft designing custom version of Silverlight for Xbox dashboard update


While media companies like Comcast and Verizon are anxiously awaiting the potential November 15 release of the Xbox 360 dashboard update, Microsoft’s Xbox team is furiously working to create a version of Silverlight to stream content to users. According to Gigaom, the code name for the project is Lakeview and contains a variety of new actions for the Xbox 360 Kinect system including more gesture and voice controls. Microsoft is rolling out different revisions of Lakeview for third-party developers to test prior to the launch of the Fall update. Ideally, this initial framework should allow developers to build video apps for the Xbox 360 console without significant assistance from Microsoft. 

xbox-360-dashboard-upgrade-2011-officialPartners are not utilizing Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming service for content delivery, but rather Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming technology encoded in H.264 video. With the rapid development of Lakeview currently underway, Microsoft hopes to find the most stable version of the software before including it within the dashboard update. In addition to the information about Lakeview, the rumored November 15 release date for the Fall update may be pushed forward to the following week. Targeting a launch around Black Friday, this would provide U.S. Xbox 360 owners time to play with the new dashboard while on vacation over Thanksgiving weekend. It would also provide a new dashboard for any new owners that pick up the Xbox 360 on a Black Friday sale.

Microsoft recently announced new partnerships with 50 content providers around the world. Through the new dashboard update, users will be able to locate content by either typing a keyword search into the Bing search engine customized for the console or use the Kinect to search through a voice command. While several of the video services require a subscription to your current cable provider, many services require a download of the application to access movies and television shows. 

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