Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) posted today that the 2012 Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta program is open for registration.
Users who register and are accepted into the program can expect updates to be pushed out to their enrolled console(s) that will include dashboard features such as:
- Internet Explorer on Xbox
- Personalized dashboard recommendations
- Enhanced category search and discovery features
- Pins to customize the Xbox dashboard
Other features may also become available during the program, and Microsoft notes that consoles in the program are expected to remain fully compatible with standard retail consoles not in the program (meaning you should still be able to play against others on Xbox LIVE whose consoles aren't running the beta dash).
It's of course too early to know whether the beta updates or the final update will bring about any changes that affect the Xbox 360 DVD drives or c4eva's cfw. However, once the beta updates start being pushed out, we'll report here on c4evaSpeaks if there are any firmware-related effects after team member's test boxes have been put through their paces.
*UPDATE* [2012-07-27 06:43PM UTC]
Registration is already closed. The first Beta program update has been pushed out to enrolled users, and brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel up to version 2.0.16091.0. Users have reported that backups still boot fine on LT+ v3.0 and xk3y also continues to work on LIVE. So far, there have been no reports of any adverse effects on c4eva's iXtreme firmware.
*UPDATE* [2012-08-10 12:32PM UTC]
A second update has been pushed out to all users in the Public Beta program. This update brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel up to version 2.0.16113.0. LT+ & backups still work fine, as does xk3y. Here's a compiled list of noteworthy changes:
- Added Internet Explorer browser to Apps
- Added "My Pins" panel
- Added "Recent" panel
- Added recommendation panels to Dashboard
- Added ability to name console from settings
- Added option to turn on SmartGlass
- Added option to enable Play To
- Dashboard tiles enlarged
- Smaller background stage size
- Combined TV and Video into TV & Movies
- Authentication servers updated
- Fixed USB bug when unplugged from console
- Fixed black level problems in Xbox Video and Xbox Music
- Fixed connectivity issues with some older model routers
- Fixed network discoverability issues with some home wireless networks
- Fixed issue with Rock Band and Guitar Hero wireless accessories that were broken in the last update
*UPDATE* [2012-08-21 03:08PM UTC]
A third update has just now been rolled-out to all those in the Public Beta program. This update brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel up to version 2.0.16133.0 (we rubbed our eyes too at first, but quickly realized it's "133", not "113" which was the previous update). c4eva's iXtreme LT+ still working fine with backups, and xk3y also continues to function normally as well. This update's changelog isn't as hefty as the last, and centers primarily around bug fixes, performance improvements and features for Internet Explorer, namely the ability to customize Xbox Pins with one's favorite websites. Microsoft has also integrated a third list type in the Web Hub to display featured websites, selected by MS and tailored for the user's region.
*UPDATE* [2012-08-24 09:41AM UTC]
Microsoft has decided to expand the Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta program by accepting a new round of users, according to email invitations sent out earlier today and yesterday. The Beta update, destined for final release this Fall, allows participants early access to several new features in advance of launch, including voice search, Internet Explorer for Xbox, improved category search and personalized recommendations.
"Due to the overwhelming demand for the Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta, we will be opening up the beta to additional users. The last beta filled up in a matter of hours so be one of the first to sign up for this public Xbox beta program and see what all the excitement is about!"
*UPDATE* [2012-08-28 07:44PM UTC]
Microsoft has just pushed out a fourth update for the Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta, which now brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel up to version 2.0.16145.0. Short and sweet: LT+ v3.0 working, xk3y working. We'll update this again in a bit with the notable changes once those details are available.
*UPDATE* [2012-09-04 11:03PM UTC]
A fifth SystemUpdate has been deployed to all those in the Public Beta. Another eye-crosser this time ("145"->"154"), with the new version of the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel now being 2.0.16154.0. Backups are working fine with LT+ v3.0 both offline and on LIVE, and the same goes for xk3y both off and online.
*UPDATE* [2012-09-11 06:31PM UTC]
A sixth update for the Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta program has just been released. This update brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel up to version 2.0.16167.0. As with the previous updates so far, backups under LT+ are still working fine on LIVE and offline. The same applies for xk3y, which also continues to work without issue both on and offline.
*UPDATE* [2012-09-18 09:15AM UTC]
Microsoft has released a seventh update for all participants in the Public Beta of the Xbox LIVE Update for Fall 2012. The Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel is incremented to 2.0.16178.0 following the update. LT+ continues to function as normal with backups, tested offline and on Xbox LIVE. Xk3y is also operating fine under the same testing scenario.
*UPDATE* [2012-09-24 06:17PM UTC]
An eighth Public Beta update has been rolled-out today to all users in the program. This new update puts the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel version at 2.0.16189.0. Backups running on LT+ work fine still, tested off and online. The same story with xk3y — it too remains fully functional on LIVE and offline.
*UPDATE* [2012-09-27 07:59PM UTC]
Microsoft has deployed yet another update today for participants in the Fall 2012 Public Beta. The ninth in the series so far, this one bumps the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel version up a little bit, coming in at 2.0.16191.0. LT+ and xk3y are both still working fine with backups on Xbox LIVE and offline.
*UPDATE* [2012-10-06 04:48PM UTC]
A tenth update has been released as part of the Fall 2012 Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta program. This latest update brings the Xbox 360 dashboard/kernel to version 2.0.16197.0. Backups continue to work fine under LT+ and xk3y, both offline and on Xbox LIVE.