Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

Summary: Are the new social, video and music services coming to Xbox.com what have been known to date as the mysterious Microsoft codename "Ventura"?

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It looks as if the Microsoft "Ventura" social and music/video functionality for Xbox that I blogged about earlier this year is finally ready for debut.

Microsoft is replacing the "My Box" section of Xbox.com in the "coming days" with new social functionality, according to a November 8 Xbox.com forums post by Games Editor Denny Atkin.

The new navigation bar that Microsoft is adding to the Xbox.com site includes not only a new social section, but also new video and music sections, too. (Thanks to Travis Pope over at enConnected.com for calling out the music section.)

These changes are all in preparation for Microsoft's launch of the public preview of its new Xbox Live dashboard, which is expected on November 15. (Select testers already seem to have access to the private preview of the new dashboard. Update: Or maybe not yet)

The updated Xbox Live dashboard will add support for a number of new features, including Kinect-enabled voice search using Bing, cloud storage for game saves, support for "Beacons" (which allow users to mark games they want to play with others), and the coming Xbox Live TV ("Orapa") functionality.

I believe that the new social and music features called out on Xbox.com are what my tipsters called codename Ventura. My contacts described Ventura as a set of services being developed by Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit that were said to be focused on music and video discovery and consumption. My tipsters, back in March, said to expect these services to include recommendations, ratings and comments.

As enConnected's Pope noted, "I’m not willing to say that this (announcement) confirms those rumors of Microsoft merging (its) Zune (service) with Xbox, but surely it makes the rumors a little more interesting since video browsing and music library browsing are the core functions of Zune.net."

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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8 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

    Even though all current-gen consoles are getting quite long in the tooth performance wise, MS certainly makes it feel like you are getting a new console every year. These new updates look very good indeed.
    Qbt
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  • RE: Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

    The Xbox app for Windows 8 also includes "Music" and "Video".<br><br>They haven't announced anything about being able to leave recommendations, ratings and comments about music and videos, but that would be a really nice addition to the Zune Marketplace. The absence of those features is one of the few areas where Zune Market is inferior to iTunes.
    cool8man
  • RE: Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

    They need to make this worldwide available, not US-only. They just don't get it!!! Xbox/Bing and co in Switzerland are useless. This is why they failed in the past (Zune). And this wonderfull product fails again now, despite the kinect hype.
    frenkiesmart
  • Public preview the 15th?

    I think the title of this article should have been "public preview arriving Nov. 15th." News to me.
    JimmyFal
  • Who named this thing Ventura?

    Other than 'Jesse the Body', this name conjures up the far end of the 101 where not even the unfortunates who reside in The Valley go; dangerous land most often noted for DEA roundups of outlaw motorcycle gang members.
    HollywoodDog
  • RE: Microsoft's Xbox.com to get new social, Zune video and music functionality

    The new Xbox.com arises us to a fact that how much Microsoft is focusing on the metro style even on websites and trying to integrate social elements to win the gaming industry
    http://thetechnologycafe.com/xbox-comrefreshed-with-new-social-video-sections-review-pictures/
    samzbest
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