After the release of a new dashboard update the Xbox 360, Microsoft has now taken the Facebook and Twitter apps off the Marketplace. According to Eurogamer, the company removed the apps in the dashboard update as the company wants you to use the newly introduced Internet Explorer on the console to access these social networking websites.
"We are retiring the Facebook and Twitter apps," Microsoft confirmed in a statement. "Xbox Live subscribers will have the ability to access these sites through Internet Explorer on Xbox, available through the Web Hub located on the new dashboard."
Microsoft would prefer that you use Internet Explorer
Perhaps the biggest feature in the new dashboard update for the Xbox 360 other than Internet Explorer is the inclusion of Xbox Music. Microsoft had officially taken the wraps off its latest attempt at a music service yesterday. Xbox Music shows that the company is focusing on the Xbox 360 as more than just a gaming machine; the company looks at the console as an entertainment machine. This can be seen through the inclusion of many apps over the years, such as Netflix, Facebook and ESPN, among others.
The company seems to have realised recently that music is just as important as any of those things for consumers. During the launch, Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson said, "We also realize, as an entertainment company, that music is an important ingredient on its own and as a part of different user experiences."
This would be Microsoft’s second attempt at creating a music channel, the first being the not-very-successful Zune. This time, the company is focusing on integrating the service into as many of its devices as it can. While starting with the Xbox 360, the company plans to integrate the service into other devices that would be running Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 through its SkyDrive cloud service.
Microsoft's Xbox Music aims to compete with the likes of Spotify by giving the capabilities to stream music, and have a free as well as a paid account. The main attraction of the service would be the inclusion of a download-to-own music store. The store will include over 30 million songs in its catalogue, rivalling, and surpassing the catalogue on Apple’s iTunes. The service is also all set to have over 70,000 music videos, but these music videos will only be available for the Xbox 360.
Microsoft seems to be gunning for the entire online music market, especially iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora, with the inclusion of the store as well as the artist-based radio service. The biggest letdown is that none of these services are available in India. If Microsoft can capitalise on that, it will probably surpass all the other services. There is no news yet of the inclusion of India in the list of 22 countries where the service will be available.
The inclusion of Internet Explorer into the console opens up new options for things to do on the console. Users can now browse any website they want through the web browser. Microsoft has also included safety and privacy settings, in case parents don't want their children to view objectionable content on the console's web browser.