Microsoft’s Xbox Team issued a call for what it is calling the “2012 Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta.” According to the latest information that we have, shortly after posting the link the beta already reached the level of participants that Microsoft was looking for, and it was promptly closed.
From what we have been able to cobble together from a number of sources, the beta will include testing of the latest dashboard revisions as well as Internet Explorer for Xbox, personalized dashboard recommendations, and enhanced category search and discovery functionality. Whispers suggest that this might be only the first wave of stuff that participants will be testing, and more may come later.
It would seem that Microsoft is focusing on feedback and suggestions and is looking for participants to be very active in the beta process. We think that it is a great way to help shape the platform for users that have the time to be involved.
This update is being viewed by many as the last major overhaul of the Xbox dashboard and system software as far as adding major feature additions. Many expect that while Microsoft will still release additional updates going forward, the focus will likely start to shift toward the future and Xbox Next.