The next time you turn on your Xbox 360 and connect to Xbox Live, you'll be asked to download the latest dashboard update from Microsoft. Like previous updates in the past, this spring '07 update is filled with dozens of tweaks and additions to make life a little easier and more enjoyable when navigating through the 360's operating system.
This time around, Microsoft has focused the update on communication, as support for Windows Live Messenger has been added to the system. Additionally, Microsoft has announced that sometime in the summer it will release a keyboard attachment for all 360 controllers, to make chatting with friends even easier.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. While there are too many updates to list completely, I'll outline the ones that are most notable:
Achievements revamp: Now whenever you unlock an achievement, the corresponding name and gamer score value will pop up, eliminating the need to click the Guide button to check what you actually unlocked. New Marketplace blade: An entirely new blade will be added to the dashboard, encompassing all of the content available from Xbox Live. Improved player's and friends' lists: Users can now quickly and easily determine if a friend's game session is joinable. Greatly improved video support: The console now supports H.264 and MPEG-4 part 2 formats; more playback control (fast forward, chapter skip, and so on) while videos are being downloaded; bookmarks (remembers where you left off watching a video); video information bar now tells you exactly where you are when watching a video. WM-DRM support: Windows Media-protected content can now be streamed via PC to console. The name of the game in the disc tray will now be displayed in the dashboard instead of just "Play Game."
For a complete list of all the new, spring '07 update features, check out Microsoft's Newsflash.