Xbox 360 gets a new UI, brings Internet Explorer and more "Windows-like" elements

Microsoft’s future focus is pretty clear if you ask me. The company is all about a new universal approach with their product offerings. Whether you are on a phone, tablet, PC or game system– the experience should work and feel familiar. Honestly though, it goes deeper than that.

With Windows Phone 8 arriving with the NT core used in Windows 8, the mobile and desktop/tablet OS share even more in common. The reason for this shift is to make this universal approach appeal to more than just consumers. Even developers will soon find that all Microsoft products are quite easy to port back and forth to and write for.

Microsoft’ Xbox is likely included in this vision. I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked if the next Xbox features the NT core and has an app store that allows easy conversion of existing Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps.

We’ve already seen Microsoft attempt to bring the Xbox experience closer to their new modern approach with the Metro-like UI update. Now a second update rolls out today, bringing Xbox 360 even closer to the new Windows/modern experience.

What arrives with this change? Internet Explorer, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, improved search, new personalization options and a heck of a lot more. This is a global update and will make its way to all Xbox 360 markets within the next few weeks.

Not only is the UI even closer this time, so is the capabilities. Having Xbox Music on all Windows devices is a great move and could finally give Microsoft the edge it needs to knock down existing music giants like Apple with their iTunes.

Microsoft’s Future is Quickly Starting to Be Realized

I wasn’t so sure about Windows 8 before. Why force change on users? Obviously, change for change itself is never a good idea. Microsoft’s strategy was instead about change in order to lay out a more unified future that makes development and operation experiences simple to pick up no matter what Microsoft-based device you are talking about.

This is part of Microsoft’s claim that they aren’t a software company, they are a software, services and hardware provider. What’s next? While the Xbox 360 will likely not see any more dramatic changes like the switch to an NT core, I think it is in card for the Xbox line.

I’d also not be surprised to see a full “Store” experience with productivity and entertainment apps. Sure, this somewhat-exists on Xbox now, but imagine having the same kind of apps you find in Windows 8 and Phone 8 on the big screen.

Microsoft’s future still has a lot of questions unanswered, but the puzzle pieces are coming together. What do you think of the new changes heading to the 360?

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