Xbox needs Hotmail and Windows Live!

The Xbox 360 games console is arguably the best interactive entertainment platform currently available. A wide range of excellent third-party services are available through an Xbox, most of which were implemented in recent months. There's a big advertising campaign for Hotmail running at the moment, and this got me wondering where Hotmail, Messenger and other Windows Live services fit into the vision for Xbox.

On an Xbox today, for example, through its smooth, sexy interactive 3D menus, we can use Facebook and Twitter; we have satellite TV services from Sky, including movies on-demand, as well as news and sport, with some content free and instantly available to everybody; we can listen to the personalised radio service from Last.fm; and other third-party services are in the pipeline. And Facebook alone is not just a trendy brand, it's a big deal. Bear in mind that Facebook has overtaken Google as the most popular website in the USA! (Google is a plain, boring, antiquated website which got lucky by leading the way in web search with the first good, simple web search portal.) Of course, we also have Zune on the Xbox, as you would expect because it's Microsoft's own media service, streaming movies in true HD (and I'm talking the full 1080p) along with movie trailers (often exclusive like Avatar) plus other video clips, music videos, etc, alongside high-quality music on-demand.

And yet, we don't have Hotmail and other Windows Live services on Xbox! Why is that? It's a Microsoft service. It would be easy to integrate. We already use a Windows Live account to sign-in to Xbox Live; indeed people use the very same account to access their Hotmail online! I believe that Hotmail on Xbox is inevitable. I want it ASAP!

If I were running the marketing campaign for the roll-out of Hotmail on Xbox, I'd run competitions in the USA and UK giving away hundreds of keyboards, sales of which would surely increase significantly. In fact, I think I deserve a free one just for writing this blog post. So, how about it, Microsoft? ;)

(I've mentioned the slick 3D interface on Xbox, each menu item oozing with interactive content, often animated or playing video as they slide across your screen... With that in mind, just imagine how cool and intuitive it will feel to navigate through those menus using Natal, the next-generation controller technology that's coming very soon! Scenes from the sci fi movie, Minority Report, will soon be a reality...)

21 April 2010

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Tim Acheson (22 Apr 10, 09:17)

Further information

There's good information on Xbox.com about the last update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard, the new services, and specifically about the social media integration.

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