Microsoft Still Wants Xbox Live TV Service Out This Year

The TV service for Xbox Live is still scheduled to arrive with lots of content

The Xbox Live TV service is still scheduled to appear at the end of 2011, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sharing some more details with eager media representatives.

Besides talking about Windows 8 at last week's BUILD event, Microsoft also highlighted some of the new experiences coming to Xbox Live, its online service currently available on the Xbox 360 console and scheduled to be included in the new Windows 8.

The earlier announced Xbox Live TV service, which was confirmed back at E3 2011 in June, is set to allow Xbox 360 owners access to all sorts of entertainment experiences, from a much broader portfolio than existing services like Netflix, Hulu or ESPN, which are used a lot by current console owners.

"Having all of that content is right on, it's fantastic, but it brings a new challenge with it," said Ballmer, via CNN. "Certainly we all know the frustrations of using guides and menus and controllers, and we think a better way to do all of this is simply to bring Bing and voice to Xbox. You say it, Xbox finds it."

Microsoft once again demonstrated on stage how the Bing voice search feature works on the new Xbox Live interface, and Ballmer confirmed that it's going to be deployed before Christmas 2011.

The Microsoft executive emphasized that his company is partnering with dozens and hundreds of additional video content suppliers, in order to allow Xbox 360 owners access to a variety of entertainment options.

Many expect the new Xbox Live TV feature to be similar to existing services resulting from partnerships between Microsoft and Sky, in the UK, Canal+, in France, or FoxTel, in Australia, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet by the company.

Until Xbox Live TV is released, Xbox 360 owners can look forward to the upcoming dashboard interface overhaul, set to be released sometime in the next couple of months, as part of the traditional Xbox Live Fall update.

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