Mar 09

Everything you need to know about the March Xbox update.

As a gamer, I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming launch of “Titanfall.” I’ve played the game and it’s awesome – I can’t wait to see you online! This launch is particularly special because our team has been working to make Xbox Live on Xbox One the best place to play.
We have received lots of feedback since the launch of Xbox One in November and listening closely to you. I’m excited to share that our second, and most significant, system update for Xbox One is starting to roll out today and includes improved matchmaking, party chat and friends features that will make gaming on Xbox One an experience like no other. To me that means playing games like “Titanfall” on the best multiplayer service on the planet, using a new headset or the one you already own, while live broadcasting your games on Twitch.
Here’s a breakdown of more of the features in the March update, addressing some of the biggest feedback you’ve shared:

Prepare for Titanfall: Marc Whitten Provides Details on Xbox One March Update

Mar 09

Users gave us very valuable feedback on multiplayer and party after launch. As we always do in Xbox we listened and march update has lot of improvements based on feedback we heard. Smile Great article below form Marc Witten summarizing the improvements.

Since we first launched Xbox One, we have been thrilled to see our fans spending millions of hours on Xbox Live. Your enthusiasm reinforces our commitment to making Xbox One and Xbox Live the best place for gamers and entertainment fans.
This week marks a big week for Xbox One as we will start to roll out our first product update for Xbox One. As previously shared, this update offers many new improvements – including lots of behind-the-scenes updates for developers building apps and games for Xbox One, several new features we believe Xbox fans will love, stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time.
This is step one on our journey and commitment to deliver continuous innovation to Xbox One customers. Xbox One is a platform designed to offer the best games and entertainment experience and we are committed to delivering more and more features to our customers.  
While we’re thrilled to launch the February update this week, we’re already looking ahead to March. We’ve prided ourselves on having the best multiplayer service for Xbox 360 and we’ve listened to your feedback about the features you want to see on Xbox One and Xbox Live. We’ve heard your feedback and the team has been working overtime to deliver updates that will significantly improve the multiplayer and party experience on Xbox One.  
Here are more details on what’s coming for parties and multiplayer in March:

  • Get to your friends list faster. The friends list will be front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
  • Party chat will be turned on by default. When you party up, chat audio will be turned on by default.
  • Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat will be separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
  • We’re adding an “Invite friends to game” option to your multiplayer titles moving forward. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, this will appear inside a games’ menu and offer a simple and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” will let you invite friends to your game and party.
  • We’re adding “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, or add new friends after your multiplayer battles.

Our March Xbox One system update will start rolling out in early March. We’re excited to get these multiplayer and party improvements out in time for the March 11 launch of “Titanfall,” the highly anticipated team-based online multiplayer game.
The March update includes many more great features. The improvements to multiplayer and parties are just a few of the features that will be included, and we’ll continue to share more details in the days and weeks ahead, including in-depth videos so you’re all ready to take advantage of the new features in March. We’re lucky to have a passionate community that shares feedback. Thanks for helping us make Xbox One even better.

Multiplayer and Party Updates for Xbox One Coming in March

Feb 09

Nov 17

In 4 days and 12 hours Xbox One will launch… Last 12 months have been crazy busy building it, excited to see it all come together. Smile

Xbox One
Oct 29

Since November 2011, I have been working in Entertainment Services team as part of Xbox Live. Last week was a huge milestone for us, millions of customers around the globe started getting updates to their Xbox 360 and hopefully millions more will be buying and installing Windows 8 especially Surface from Microsoft. Smile All these devices have a common and consistent entertainment experiences powered by services built by our team. Yes when you play a track on Xbox Music or watch a movie on Xbox Video that experience is powered by our team. It is amazing to be at the edge of a space that is changing so fast.

It was amazing experience to drive key discovery scenarios for the release including

  • Most Popular Music, Movies and TV
  • Top Purchased/Rented Music, Movies and TV
  • Top Rated content
  • Search Relevancy

Pictures are worth 1000 words:

Most Popular Movies on Xbox 360

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Windows 8 Music App: Top Music

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Windows 8 Music App: Top Songs

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Windows 8 Music App: Top Artists and Play Top songs

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Windows 8 Video App:Top Rented Movies

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Windows 8 Video App: Top Selling TV Series

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Working on more amazing stuff but more on that once we launch. Smile

Jun 05

CNN article on SmartGlass. SmartGlass has created some good buzz at E3. It is pretty awesome stuff. Check it out once we release it this fall.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xbox SmartGlass aims to make the console a key entertainment component
  • App will tie TV and console with tablets and smartphones
  • It uses Windows 8, but Apple and Android mobile devices also will work
  • SmartGlass app will be free and available this fall

(CNN) — Perhaps the biggest splash in the early going of this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles was made by Microsoft with its unveiling of Xbox SmartGlass.

And while there’s a video-gaming aspect to it, the feature promises a lot more (which, to be honest, is the sort of thing that plays bigger in the rest of the world than it does at E3, where the crowd is heavily made up of hard-core gamers who were probably more excited about the preview of "Halo 4").

Less than a day after SmartGlass was introduced, details are still emerging about how it will work.

But what’s clear is that the application, which will work hand in hand with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, is Microsoft’s play to make the Xbox 360 an indispensable tool for all kinds of entertainment.

How Xbox SmartGlass will work – CNN.com

Jun 05

Video of Microsoft at E3. This is going to be great holiday season. Am working on some of the Xbox live features that power some of the features you see in the video. Smile 

Microsoft at E3 2012

May 30

Good article by Yusuf Mehdi.. Am looking forward to E3. Smile 

Next week, the Xbox team heads to Los Angeles for E3. Having recently joined the team, I have the benefit of fresh perspective, and one of the things that has struck me is the amount of opportunities we have ahead.

Before joining Xbox, I had the fortune of being a part of some incredible periods of innovation and incubation such as in the early days of Windows and Internet Explorer, and, more recently, with the creation of Bing. I have also had a great passion for gaming and entertainment, and watched the growth of MSN into one of the world’s largest media sites on the Internet.

Similar to many of those experiences, the Xbox has arrived at an important inflection point in its growth and development. In particular, in the last year, the Xbox has transcended from a gaming console to a broad entertainment device inclusive of movies, TV, music and sports. I will give you an example of what that means.

Xbox Beyond the Box – The Official Microsoft Blog – News and Perspectives from Microsoft – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

May 30

It is great to see Amazon app go live on XBox 360.. Already installed it and looks great

If you’ve bought or are currently renting movies or TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, you’ll now be able to watch them via an Xbox 360 console.

It’s part of the new Amazon Instant Video app that Amazon.com and Microsoft introduced today for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The app also offers access to Prime Instant Video, if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

The Xbox 360 joins other devices, including the Roku box and Sony’s PlayStation console, that can stream Amazon Instant Video.

"Working with Amazon.com marks a significant milestone in our mission to make the entertainment you love more amazing on Xbox," Ross Honey, general manager of Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising, said in a news release.

It’s all part of Microsoft’s move to make its Xbox not just a gaming console but also the hub of all living room entertainment, as well as a gateway for entertainment on everything from PCs to tablets to phones.

With the launch of Windows 8, which many speculate will happen in October, "we’ll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer for its Interactive Entertainment Division, wrote in an official blog post previewing the Xbox team’s appearance at the E3 conference next week. "With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Since the Xbox 360’s launch in 2005, about 67 million consoles have been sold, according to Mehdi. It currently holds 47 percent of the console market.

In the past six months, Microsoft has increased its entertainment library to include more than 200,000 movies and TV shows and Xbox Live subscribers now spend an average of 84 hours per month on the console, compared with the 150 hours per month of TV the average American watches, Mehdi wrote.

Amazon Instant Video now on Xbox 360 | Microsoft Pri0 | The Seattle Times

Feb 01

Kinect for Windows is now available. Below are details from the Kinect for Windows Blog … Smile 

On January 9th, Steve Ballmer announced at CES that we would be shipping Kinect for Windows on February 1st.  I am very pleased to report that today version 1.0 of our SDK and runtime were made available for download, and distribution partners in our twelve launch countries are starting to ship Kinect for Windows hardware, enabling companies to start to deploy their solutions. The suggested retail price is $249, and later this year, we will offer special academic pricing of $149 for Qualified Educational Users.

In the three months since we released Beta 2, we have made many improvements to our SDK and runtime, including:

  • Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
  • Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
  • Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
  • Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
  • The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
  • Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
  • New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
  • A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
  • Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes

More details can be found here.

Kinect for Windows can capture depth data on up to six peopleAs I mentioned in an earlier blog post, without many years of intense R&D efforts, including research investments of hundreds of millions of dollars, and deep partnership between our research teams, software teams, hardware teams, manufacturing teams, and games studios, Kinect simply wouldn’t exist.  Shipping Kinect for Windows was another cross-Microsoft effort: not only did the hardware and software teams work closely together to create an integrated solution, but our support, manufacturing, supply chain, reverse logistics, and account teams have all been working hard to prepare for today’s launch.  As well, our research, speech, and Xbox NUI teams have contributed to making Kinect for Windows a better product.   Microsoft’s ability to make these kinds of deep investments makes Kinect for Windows a product that companies can deploy with confidence, knowing you have our support and our ongoing commitment to make Kinect for Windows the best it can be

Kinect for Windows Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs