Microsoft Xbox 360 update comes to all, introducing disruptive changes

microsoft xbox 360 update comes to all introducing disruptive changesThe Oct. 16 roll out of the new Xbox 360 dashboard was a little confusing for Microsoft’s customers. Some people were able to download the update immediately, while others were forced to wait. “To ensure a stable release, this will be a gradual deployment across subscribers and regions over the course of the next week,” said Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb. The wait’s over. Microsoft made Tuesday the final release roll out for the new Xbox 360 dashboard for all.

Just to recap what’s new in this package, there’s a new layout for the dashboard, which is now customizable thanks to “Pinning,” a tool for marking which apps you most want on the front page. Zune Video has also officially been changed to Xbox Video, and the Bing-fueled Xbox 360 version of Internet Explorer is in as well. All of these new features are really secondary to the real role of the new interface, which is creating greater parity between Microsoft’s home entertainment business and its PC business which is undergoing a major overhaul with the Friday release of Windows 8. Microsoft wants its products to be as broadly familiar, and idiosyncratic, as Apple’s mobile and PC products.

There’s a fly in the proverbial ointment, though. The update removes some features from the Xbox 360 that Microsoft was all too proud of just a few years ago, namely the Twitter and Facebook apps. A Microsoft rep told IGN last week that the company was “retiring the Facebook and Twitter apps” in order to “streamline” app functionality on Xbox 360.

On the one hand, those devoted apps aren’t wholly necessary anymore thanks to the introduction of the Xbox version of Internet Explorer. This is still a television-based living room device, though, and tailored apps are guaranteed to be more usable than the basic web pages, no matter how streamlined the new console web browser is. So why remove the apps?

To better prepare Xbox users for a console that uses Windows 8. The Xbox 720 is said to use the greatly changed Windows platform, and since that’s the case, Microsoft will naturally want Xbox users to leverage Windows 8’s patented “People” app for social networking rather than individually branded apps. That will presumably help strengthen the Windows ecosystem for users. Whether that will work depends entirely on how users cotton to Windows 8 on PCs first. If Microsoft’s new OS is met with the same sort of scorn as past refreshes like Windows Vista, it may have to reconsider these changes.


Microsoft drops Surface Go price to $350 for Black Friday week

The Microsoft Surface Go convertible tablet has seen a large price drop this Black Friday sales season, lowering the base model to $350 and even the upgraded ones have seen $50 knocked off of their asking price.

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…

Razer takes up to $500 off of its Blade gaming laptops for Black Friday

If you're a fan of Razer's understated aesthetics that earned the Blade comparisons with Apple's laptops, you can score some big savings on Black Friday, as Razer is offering up to $500 discounts off of its gaming notebooks.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Buying Guides

Solid-state drives are speedier than hard disk drives. Are they worth it?

As the price of solid-state drives comes down, it's reached a point where it's hard to recommend a system without at least a hybrid solution. In the battle of SSD vs. HDD, a clear winner has emerged.

Service restored after glitch locks out Microsoft Office 365 business users

Microsoft reported that a problem with its system caused some users to be locked out of their accounts. Because the multifactor authentication system went down globally, some Office 365 and Azure users were unable to log in.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…

Want to game on your Chromebook? Here's where to start

Chromebooks aren't great for gaming, but there are a few titles that most machines can run. There's a surprisingly diverse crowd that includes role-playing games, action side-scrollers, and puzzlers.