An internal email sent to PayPal employees reveals that Microsoft is planning to launch the new Xbox dashboard on November 15. The date marks the 10-year anniversary of the original Xbox launch in 2001.
More specifically, the memo asks PayPal employees to test the new dashboard ahead of the launch. But why are PayPal workers being selected for testing? Microsoft added PayPal payment options to Xbox Live in May, allowing users to buy Gold memberships, games and Microsoft Points using the online payment service.
Previous dashboard releases have dropped in November (2008 and 2010), marking this rumor as very plausible. Coinciding with the 10-year anniversary of the original Xbox certainly helps validity as well.
The planned update will allow users to browse content faster and use the Kinect motion-sensing device to further navigate and interact with the dashboard. A growing library of content is prompting the update which indicates that Microsoft is committed to the user experience on the 360.
New features include game invites that don't expire as well as full Bing integration. Before, you could only search for something in specific categories, such as movies. Search results will now return any relevant content, regardless of category.
Visually, the new layout borrows aspects from Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 UI, the same interface that will be making its way to Windows 8 next year. Microsoft has confirmed Xbox Live integration on Windows 8, although not many details about it have surfaced yet. A rumor earlier this year suggested that Windows 8 will allow you to play Xbox 360 games on your computer, although we suggest you take this with a healthy grain of salt.