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The new Xbox Live Marketplace blade

More information in the game on the main blade

Arcade classic Double Dragon hits XBLA

Enabling background downloading in low-power mode

Achievement pop-ups now tell you more

Chatting using Messenger on Xbox Live
New Xbox 360 Dashboard adds a plethora of new features

The biannual Xbox 360 dashboard update is finally upon us, and new in this Spring edition are a plethora of new features. The one that Microsoft seems to be most proud to advertise is the integration of Windows Live Messenger into the Xbox 360 Dashboard, allowing gamers to text chat while gaming, listening to music, or watching videos.

Xbox 360 users can chat with up to 20 contacts in a single conversation, and have up to six different conversations at the same time with people on PCs, mobile phones and other Xbox 360 consoles. Current relationships on Windows Live Messenger and Xbox Live are now unified on Xbox 360 and users can see at a glance if their existing friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags.

“Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox Live has really become the largest social network on television," said Jerry Johnson, product unit manager of Xbox Live at Microsoft. "For our growing community of 6 million on Xbox Live, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbox 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox Live users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360."

To further facilitate easier text entry on the Xbox 360, Microsoft will release sometime in the summer a QWERTY keypad attachment for the Xbox 360 controller. Perhaps the most effective solution is to plug a USB keyboard into the console, which is now an officially supported feature of the Xbox 360. Those without USB keyboards or the keypad attachment will have to enter text using a virtual on-screen keyboard.

Chatty features aside, gamers will be happy to know that the Achievement system is now more informative. Achievements will now pop-up, notifying the gamer of the name of the achievement and the value, without the need to manually check the list. Also, now the Dashboard will identify which game is in the DVD-ROM drive, rather than simply displaying the “Play Game” text it previously did.

A new Xbox Live Marketplace “blade” has been added to better focus on downloadable game content, TV shows and movies. Great news for those who frequent the Xbox Live Video Marketplace is progressive download control letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded. Furthermore, extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.

Updates to Xbox Live Arcade allow owners to quickly see which games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox Live members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. A new option in Auto Downloads will provide faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox Live Arcade games.

New on the side of Xbox 360’s video playback is support for H.264 and MPEG-4 codecs, though unfortunately for DivX downloaders, the Xbox 360 will only natively support the WMV and MP4 containers—not AVI or MKV.

The Spring Update is now available to every Xbox 360 owner through Xbox Live or on

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Live Messenger
By BMFPitt on 5/9/2007 7:29:39 AM , Rating: 1
Does anybody know a single person that uses "the biggest IM community in the world"?

RE: Live Messenger
By InsidiousAngel on 5/9/2007 7:37:48 AM , Rating: 3
Pretty much everyone I know does (yes, more than 1 person =)). However, a lot of us use Trillian so we access other systems as well.

RE: Live Messenger
By zombiexl on 5/9/2007 7:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
I know a number of companies that use it as a corporate standard.

In my previous job i used it to communicate with all of my co-workers around the globe, my customers, etc.

I dont think I know anyone who doesnt use it for something.

RE: Live Messenger
By Rotkiv on 5/9/2007 7:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
I don't use it. For me, it is just plain redundant.

RE: Live Messenger
By brshoemak on 5/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Live Messenger
By thebrown13 on 5/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Live Messenger
By glitchc on 5/9/2007 9:38:07 AM , Rating: 4
There's no connection between the Messenger service in Windows and Windows Live Messenger. The Messenger service is used to receive broadcast messages from a domain controller to other computers on the network. It should be disabled since it is quite riddled with security flaws, but not for the reasons you stated. It became quite popular as an ad tool a few years ago, until people realized you could do more than just open a dialog box with a message in it.

Please get your facts straight.

RE: Live Messenger
By Jackyl on 5/9/2007 11:33:55 AM , Rating: 3
You sure told brshoemak. hehe. He uses it at work and thought the service was related to Windows Messenger. How funny. Can I have his job? It's people like this that shouldn't be in the I.T. field and is taking all the jobs away from competent people.

RE: Live Messenger
By ObscureCaucasian on 5/9/2007 10:24:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think AIM is only really popular in the US, from what I've heard MSN Messenger is really popular in many European Countries.

RE: Live Messenger
By Vinnybcfc on 5/9/2007 2:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah nearly everyone in the UK uses MSN Messenger

RE: Live Messenger
By enlil242 on 5/9/2007 5:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
I use it as well as most of my friends. I mean it's just IM, not a mobile phone service or an automobile company. I type my message, hit send and the other person recieves it and either chooses to respond or not ... Not to mention that you can add yahoo users now, for which I do not know any yahoo users, but at least I can try the yahoo client if I want. Also, Windows Mobile 6 has the live client now. I don't choose this over anything else, it's just what most of my friends (buddies) use.

RE: Live Messenger
By otispunkmeyer on 5/10/2007 3:45:44 AM , Rating: 2

everyone i know either doesnt use IM full stop, or if they do, its MSN/live messenger.

RE: Live Messenger
By NumpXP on 5/10/2007 7:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
and most use yahoo messenger in Malaysia, if anybody care to know. :D

RE: Live Messenger
By KentState on 5/9/2007 10:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
It's our company standard and I know of other companies that use it as well.

RE: Live Messenger
By nayy on 5/9/2007 10:46:56 AM , Rating: 3
Which one you consider to be "the biggest IM community in the world"?
AOL is virtually non existent outside the US, Yahoo Messenger is integrated with MSN Messenger (and MS may acquire Yahoo), I heard on Cnet that ICQ was a top download but is no where as strong as it used to, google talk and skype are VoIP programs with IM capability, but are not an "IM community" per se.
I'm from Mexico, don't know anyone that uses any other IM.
Anyone form Europe or Asia to comment on what’s hot over there?

RE: Live Messenger
By wien on 5/9/2007 11:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Norway, and most other parts of Europe as far as I've been able to tell, *everyone* uses MSN. ICQ used to be big, but I haven't seen it around for years now.

RE: Live Messenger
By kbk75dt on 5/9/2007 10:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
I live in India and just about everyone I know uses Messenger here for their IM needs. Skype is popular for VOIP, but MSNM is king for text.

RE: Live Messenger
By OblivionMage on 5/9/2007 3:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have always used it...

RE: Live Messenger
By Crowbar77 on 5/9/2007 5:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
MSN is definitively the most common in Canada, aim is actually not very well known around here.

RE: Live Messenger
By OddTSi on 5/9/2007 7:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to talk to anyone outside of the U.S. you'll most likely be using MSN. AIM is only the top IM community in the U.S.

RE: Live Messenger
By Mithan on 5/13/2007 12:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
I use it and why not? Its a great IM tool.

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