Microsoft revealed earlier today that it's planning to roll out its Windows 10 update to Xbox One consoles in November. While that's the date when most will be able to access the new dashboard user interface and features, preview members will get it a little earlier. Mike Ybarra, head of platform engineering at Xbox, has revealed on Twitter that the Windows 10 update for Xbox One is planned for preview in September for testers. That gives Microsoft around two months to receive feedback about the big changes and implement various fixes and improvements in time for the roll out.
Most of the changes are focused on speed. The current Xbox One dashboard is slow to switch between various tasks like viewing a friends list, party chat, and installed games. Microsoft is aiming to improve this with the help of Windows 10. The software giant first detailed its upcoming dashboard update at E3, and the company has unveiled the design of the home screen today. Features like search, friends, messages, and notifications all appear to be integrated natively to provide quick access to simple tasks. There are also a number of new tabs and sections like community, watch, apps, and music.
A new home section and speedy built-in features
The new community section includes an upgraded Activity Feed and the Trending on Xbox Live feature to track popular TV, games, and content. The new Watch section also combines apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and live TV to surface content whether it's live or on-demand. Microsoft is also improving OneGuide, its built-in TV guide for Xbox One owners who use cable boxes or USB TV tuners. OneGuide will display fullscreen to show more channels, and include a full picture-in-picture while the guide is in use.
Microsoft is also building Cortana into Windows 10 for Xbox One. You can say "Hey Cortana, record the last minute and share it to my activity feed" and it will publish a game clip straight away. Likewise, "Hey Cortana, start a party and invite Amanda" will invite a friend into a voice chat all without having to lift your fingers from your controller. Cortana will require the Kinect sensor for audio controls. Once the Xbox One dashboard update is available broadly in November, Microsoft will be able to start merging its game stores to enable app developers to create apps for the Xbox One. Microsoft's Windows 10 update for Xbox One will arrive in preview in September, and rolls out to all consoles in November.