Microsoft now accepting Xbox 360 fall 2011 dashboard beta testers

By Tom Warren, on 12th Oct 11 7:19 pm with 28 Comments

New Xbox Dashboard

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it is now accepting sign ups for the Xbox 360 fall 2011 dashboard preview program.

The software giant is accepting nominations via its connect beta testing site. “Now that our work on the dashboard is almost complete, we are announcing an open call for all Xbox LIVE members to register to participate in a preview program to help us test the system,” said Microsoft’s Larry Hryb in a blog post on Wednesday. The newly designed dashboard will offer the following features:

  • New design with integrated Kinect voice and gesture controls
  • Beacons
  • Facebook Sharing
  • Cloud Storage for Game Saves and Xbox LIVE Profile

Codenamed “Madrid”, the November dashboard update will bring Microsoft’s Metro style interface to the Xbox. Microsoft is also preparing to include YouTube and Bing on the Xbox. Bing users will be able to use Kinect’s voice recognition feature to search for movies, music and other content on their consoles. Microsoft is also planning to include some type of Marketplace with applications for Xbox 360.

Microsoft will also introduce an Xbox LIVE TV service as part of its dashboard update. The company announced deals with nearly 40 content providers recently. Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO and Syfy are amongst a number of TV providers for U.S. Xbox owners. The BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are partnering with Microsoft in the UK to offer programming on the Xbox 360. Xbox users will need the latest dashboard update, due in November, to experience live TV with Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is planning to make the TV channels available to Xbox LIVE gold subscribers and some partners will integrate Kinect experiences with their TV channels. Microsoft’s TV service is powered by the company’s Silverlight software.

Visit Microsoft’s connect site to register for the preview program.

  • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

    Signed up for the preview. I was hoping to put a video of it on youtube… but whats with all the confidentiality? Whats the point of it if we aren’t allowed to show it to anyone or even talk about it. 

    • Anonymous

      the point is to test their software to make sure it is ready to ship. the confidentiality is incredibly standard for this type of program.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Well I know it is for testing… but why release it for public testing if you don’t want other people to see it? They didn’t do it when I was on the preview for a couple of dashboards ago.

    • Anonymous

      well despite the NDA somone (day one) always makes a video of the dashboard and posts it to YouTube. like Kieran Kelly said… it is mostly to keep people publishing info as if it is a finished product (they do not want the press publishing on a beta becuase there could be glitches and software hangs or all sorts of potential unknown problems)

    • Kuroshi_san

      It’s always been part of the preview program.  You release it for public testing so you get a wider sample of users and problems than you otherwise would with closed testing.

    • Matthew Smith

      One of the great things about Microsoft is their use of the public for testing – makes for better software and those really interested can get involved!!

    • Kieran Kelly

      You can obviously talk about it to your friends just not to the press

    • Anonymous

      It’s just lawyer stuff to keep the press from showing off too much of the new features.  I’m sure MS will not hunt down your average person posting a picture here and there.  This isn’t Apple or Sony we are talking about.

  • NarcoSleepy

    I’m glad that they changed how you register.  Last year you needed to know your xbox information, so by the time I got home, it was already full.

    • Anonymous

      Yup, this year it was easy as eating pie.

    • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

      In my case, Mango flavored!

    • Anonymous

      Nice one :)

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Registered via my WP7!

    • Anonymous

      Me too!

    • Asherberman

      Me three!

    • Matthew Smith

      Me fourth!!

    • http://www.xenra.com YouTube to MP3

      I am in too! =D

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to start using Bing voice search!

  • darioe3

    oops… this is what i’m talking about!

  • Anonymous

    What do they mean with Beacons…

    • darioe3

      @Jarrichvdv:disqus you’ll be able to somehow tag your friends to let them know you want to play a game or specific title. i believe you can do this even if they are offline.

    • Anonymous

      Thx! And sounds awesome :D

    • darioe3

      Sure, no problem! Here’s the actuall statement from Microsoft’s Press Release… 

      “Beacons. We want to make it easy for you to connect with friends over your favorite games on Xbox LIVE, so we are introducing Beacons to the service. Beacons are a way to tell your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends that you want to play a game on Xbox LIVE. By setting a Beacon, you tell Xbox LIVE what you want to play. Then, Xbox LIVE lets you know when friends are playing or want to play the same game. With Beacons, no matter what you’re currently doing on Xbox LIVE your friends know that it’s ok to ask you to play your Beaconed games. Imagine sending out a Beacon to let your friends know you’re interested in playing “Halo,” while watching a movie on Netflix. It’s about making it easier for you to share and discover games and multiplayer opportunities with friends on Xbox LIVE.”

  • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

    Done.  Can’t wait. :D

  • http://twitter.com/Rocklee99 Austin Agli

    why cant i sign in?

  • Anonymous

    i want them to make an option to disable sending the command for bing voice search because i don’t want it sent 

  • kody kaplish

    i did not know this was on oct 11 i did not sign up for dashborad beta i forgot to sign up 

  • Anonymous

    Looks awesome!