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Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Dashboard update this week will introduce a smart phone application that turns your Windows Phone handset into an Xbox system remote.

The Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone application will let you browse and search through films, TV programs, games and other content available via Xbox 360.

The app will let you also select a searched result, launch a film, TV show, or game and – apparently – give you standard remote staples of play, pause, fast forward and rewind.

The update was mentioned on Major Nelson, a Microsoft blog maintained by Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox LIVE. But it has been somewhat buried in an avalanche of content-related aimed at drumming up console and games sales in the run up to Christmas. The app is due to be released on December 6.

On Tuesday titles for Xbox 360 will come on tap from, among others, the Amazon-owned Lovefilm – which recently ditched Adobe’s Flash Player for Microsoft’s Silverlight player – and Netflix in the US and Canada. Netflix in recent months has haemorrhaged users thanks to a series of errors on pricing and an unpopular attempt to split its DVD and web streaming businesses.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings, a member of Microsoft’s board, has apologized personally for the DVD-streaming split if not the price increase.

Back on content: later in December, Microsoft will make available content through the Xbox 360 catalogue from ABC, MSN and MSNBC, and TMZ in different countries. And it will give customers the ability to stream cats playing videos courtesy of global access to YouTube. The BBC throwd its lot in with Xbox 360 in 2012. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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