This fall’s XBox Dashboard update is finally here, and a number of highly anticipated services have made their way onto the dash, including Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune Video. You’ll get the update automatically the next time you sign in to XBox Live.
At the same time as a number of pundits are heralding this as a remarkable addition to XBox Live, and as much as people are cheering for the ability to read and see your friends updates on Twitter and Facebook from the comfort of your couch, and the ability to stream tunes via Last.fm, and the ability to check out video content from Zune Video, I’m a little more focused on Microsoft’s strategy here.
Back in the late 90s and the early 2000s, everyone was talking about “convergence computing,” where single devices in your home would be responsible for the bulk of your home entertainment experience. Those boxes started off by looking like WebTV and other similar products, boxes that put internet access first and other services second, but they never caught on.
Microsoft realized they had a seller with the XBox gaming platform, and since it was connected to the Internet to download games and such, it was natural to make the XBox 360 especially – even more-so than the original XBox – that convergence device. Now, with just one gadget attached to your TV, you can surf the Web, keep up with your friends, chat with them or talk to them online, play games with them, and now, watch videos via Zune Video, stream movies from Netflix, and stream music from Last.fm. We’re seeing Microsoft’s goal of convergence computing come to life, it just took a different – and less direct – road.