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Microsoft reveals revamped Xbox dashboard

Remote control out; gesture, voice recognition in

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Microsoft announced the next update to its Xbox dashboard yesterday, bringing a host of new features into play, including the introduction of voice search using Bing on the console which will be integrated with the firm's motion sensor tech, Kinect.

While Apple was busily trying to outplay Microsoft with its iCloud announcement yesterday, Redmond decided to tell its customers to speak to their TV and tell it what they want to view and listen to.

The update includes Bing on the Xbox searches services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and ESPN, explained Microsoft. The revamped dash also looks at music, video and Xbox Live Marketplace to help customers track down the entertainment they want access to.

The software maker has also slotted YouTube into the mix, allowing its Xbox Live users to play videos from the Google-owned site.

In effect, Microsoft is beefing up its 360 box to be a one-stop streaming service shop for the consumer market. The new features won't debut until the autumn, however.

Microsoft was light on details about its new live TV service. It did say that it would have similar functions to the company's current IPTV services geared toward the Xbox.

The vendor has already inked live television deals with Sky TV in the UK, Canal+ in France and Foxtel in Australia over the past two years.

It said it planned to expand access to live television programming on Xbox 360 to US and worldwide providers over the course of the next year. ®

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