Microsoft revealed its new Xbox dashboard interface on Monday.
The new user interface borrows key elements from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 user interfaces. The Xbox dashboard now features live tiles in the same way that Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 do. The interface uses Microsoft’s much talked about Metro UI standard across the whole dashboard. The company has also integrated Kinect and Bing into the core of Xbox to allow Kinect owners to control every part of their Xbox 360 with voice or gestures.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the new dashboard is the presence of an applications section. Simply named “apps”, Microsoft didn’t venture into the section during its on-stage demos on Monday, but made several screenshots of the dashboard interface available in a press kit. The apps section appears to contain existing third-party Xbox applications and a Marketplace, presumably to discover more. Microsoft previously revealed in November that it was planning to bring Silverlight to the Xbox as part of the next wave. The company has been suspiciously quiet about its Silverlight Xbox plans ever since. Microsoft is positioning Silverlight as its strong multi-platform base to bridge the gap between mobile, PC and Xbox.
Microsoft isn’t talking Silverlight on Xbox or Windows 8 at this stage but given that the company uses the development platform for its Windows Phone applications, it seems a natural fit for its future platforms. The company plans to make the dashboard update available later this year by which time we’ll know even more about any plans for app development on the Xbox 360.