Club-Admiralty

v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Thoughts on the new xbox interface


When I came home yesterday I fired up my xbox 360 to get the new OS update that gives me the Metro style UI. In the grand scheme of things I do like it. I think it's high time that Microsoft looked at its product offerings and designed some consistency (or at least a common theme) across its services. The desktop and Window metaphor is getting a bit stale - it's still useful, but not in all contexts (remember Windows CE and Windows Mobile?)

In any case, there were a few things that were a bit of a #fail for me. Social media is prominent now in in the xbox interface. It was there before, but the social media apps were not easily seen. This isn't the fail moment. The fail is that you need a microsoft xbox live gold subscription in order to access them.  Seriously? If I want to post or read my facebook and twitter feeds I need to pay you a service fee? I already pay my internet provide thank-you-very-much! I don't need to pay microsoft another $70/year for the privilege.  This seems like a missed opportunity for microsoft to have their achievements auto-posted as they get them and indicate to people that users are indeed using THEIR product.

The other fail is that media apps (like hulu and netflix) are now more prominently shown. Again, this wouldn't be a fail if it weren't for the fact that I need xbox live gold in order to access these features! I mean, I do pay netflix for the ability to view films, why then do I need to pay microsoft an additional fee to have access to these films on my console?  Hulu is a bit more annoying in that it's free on a computer with a browser (ad supported, with premium content for subscription) but on xbox (and iPads for that matter) I need to pay a monthly fee to access hulu on my devices. This wouldn't be much of an issue if it weren't for the fact that hulu still serves ads even when you pay them!  Speaking of ads, microsoft is taking one (small) tile from each screen and using it as an ad space...major fail! I wonder if these go away if you pay the $70 per year for gold...

OK, I got off on a bit of a tangent there.  All things considered, the new interface is great that blemished by some unfortunate money making schemes...
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