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Xbox Live gets chattier

Microsoft announced Thursday that it will provide a redesigned interface for Xbox Live, the online service for the company's video game console, later this month. The revamped "dashboard" will include faster access to the subscriber's friends list.

New tools will also allow subscribers to set up voice chat sessions. Xbox Live users can currently talk to each other while playing a game by using a headset that plugs into the Xbox controller. The new service will allow chat outside a game. The new interface will automatically be downloaded to Xbox Live subscribers the first time they log on to the service or after Aug. 25.