The new Xbox 360 Dashboard will be without two of the most popular apps and will include many new features instead. Microsoft decided to get rid of the Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook apps, which will likely cause many users a great deal of frustration since for three years, they have been able to post tweets and update their Facebook (News - Alert) status directly from the Xbox 360.
Enhancements that were announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June have been incorporated in the new Dashboard, including an Internet Explorer app that finally brings Web browsing to Microsoft’s (News - Alert) console. For years, competitors PS3 and Wii have had fully functional Internet browsers. Microsoft hopes this will be a more seamless experience, however.
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In order for users to see social ratings for downloadable movies, the update also adds integration with Rotten Tomatoes. From within the Xbox Marketplace, a new recommendation feature also lets users rate all sorts of content. The Dashboard is getting more personalized, with the ability to “pin” games, TV shows, and other content that is usually buried under layers of menu screens so that it is the first thing they see on boot.
The update also ushers in the newly branded Xbox Video platform, which at this point is effectively the same as the former Zune Video Marketplace, but without the “Zune” moniker. The update also improves voice search, integrates TV shows and movies into a new channel, and there is now a dedicated “Sports” channel as well.
Now all of a sudden, social connectivity has vanished even though users can stream music, watch live TV, and access full Web browser capabilities. Whether Microsoft plans to roll out new versions of the apps or doesn't like the idea of people spending Xbox time on social networks anymore, whatever the reasons are, it remains unclear. Perhaps it is part of Microsoft's plan to get users to only connect with Microsoft services.
Edited by Brooke Neuman