On May 7, 2007 Microsoft is going to release a spring update for the Xbox 360 that adds in Windows Live Messenger features. When the system is online people on Windows Live Messenger can see if their friends have gamertags. Players will be able to use the virtual keyboard or a USB keyboard when the unified service launches. This summer Microsoft plans on releasing a QWERTY text input device that attaches to an Xbox 360 controller so you can type IMs faster. Adding in Windows Live Messenger is the big announcement, but there are other features in the spring update like an Xbox Live Arcade feature that lets you see what your friends are playing. See all of the features past the break.
· A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check the Achievements list.
· Enhanced family settings features for Xbox LIVE communications enable different defaults for video chat and voice chat.
· A new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade lets Xbox LIVE members access the content they seek — whether it is game content or TV shows and movies (available in the United States) — from one place on Xbox LIVE.
· Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox LIVE members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. Expanded Tell a Friend capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
· A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox LIVE Arcade games.
· New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
· Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.