Microsoft's latest overhaul of Xbox Live will give gamers more control over who they play with — as well as who they don't. The Cortana-powered Find A Group and Club modes will make it easier to find people who are a good "cultural" match. Whether you hate homophobic and racist trash talk or would prefer to only play with your gender, Xbox Live has you covered. In short, you'll soon be able to erase the gamers you don't want to interact with forever.
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At Microsoft's huge Xbox reveal earlier this year, the company made a big hubbub about the 300,000 cloud servers it would be adding to help speed up GPU and CPU heavy tasks. But in an interview with Gizmodo, Xbox Live Lead Programmer John Bruno detailed how it could change the way we think about gaming in the future.
The Verge reports today that Microsoft will release a set-top box next year alongside its next generation Xbox. The "Xbox TV" will deliver the popular Xbox Live streaming entertainment services currently available on the Xbox as well as some basic gaming. In other words, it'll bring you streaming videos and Angry Birds but not Call of Duty.
Major Nelson just announced that Microsoft is accepting beta testers for the next version of Xbox Live which includes new features like Internet Explorer for Xbox, better search and discovery, an updated dashboard and more. Here's how to get it.
Update: Aaaaaaand it's closed. Sorry about that, readers.
If you're interested and of course you are, you can sign up right here. It's that easy.
Microsoft Zune and Windows Live apps may not be included in the upcoming preview of Windows 8 — at least not the way we're used to seeing them. Though the brands and apps will be gone, their functionality will be included in other parts of the OS.
Only suckers pay RRP for Xbox Live. Or so a commenter told me the other day, anyway... So why not take advantage of this deal - 14 months of Gold Xbox Live for just $50. It's a Gears of War 3 promotion, but doesn't require the game in order for you to take advantage of the great price (although if you haven't played it yet, you should probably give it a go...
Windows Phone 7 - it's the platform we hate to love. Why? Because despite being a fantastic example of what Redmond can achieve when it innovates, it's been let down by slow reaction times and average hardware. And while the partnership with Nokia will help on the hardware front, the slow reaction times are still hanging around, as exemplified by Xbox Live.