Many of you have been involved in the 2012 Xbox LIVE Update Public Beta and have been busy getting an early look at the latest Xbox LIVE features. Today we’re starting to roll out the official release of the update to Xbox LIVE subscribers around the world. To ensure a stable release, this will be a gradual deployment across subscribers and regions over the course of the next week. Our initial deployment will reach approximately three million consoles worldwide, with additional users being updated over the course of a couple weeks. Don’t panic if you don’t see an immediate update, just keep checking back in.
In this update, you will see the following features.
What about Xbox SmartGlass? That’s coming too, but not until Windows 8 launches on October 26th. When the Xbox SmartGlass app launches on tablets, PCs and smartphones, it will include key foundational experiences for interacting with your Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom.
Yesterday, we shared all the details about Xbox Music, our brand new digital music service. Xbox Music begins rolling out today on Xbox 360, it will launch with free streaming on all Windows 8 PCs and tablets on October 26th and Windows Phone 8 as devices arrive in market. Xbox Music combines all the different ways people love to enjoy music, creating the ultimate all-in-one music service.
For all the details on Xbox Music, check out the Microsoft News Center.
Xbox has officially announced Xbox Music tonight which begins rolling out to Xbox consoles on October 16th. Starting on October 26th, Xbox Music will deliver free streaming music on Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets in 15 markets worldwide!
Xbox Music has a music catalog on par with iTunes and will give you access to millions of songs and albums that you can subscribe to or purchase through the Xbox Music Store. Buy an Xbox Music Pass for just $9.99 (U.S.) per month and you can get access to ad-free, unlimited playback of any song in our catalog. Your music experience will be effortlessly integrated across Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets, Windows Phone 8 and your TV with the Xbox 360. Xbox Music is cloud-powered: if you have an Xbox Music Pass you can create the perfect playlist on your Windows 8 or Windows RT PC or tablet and then see it automatically appear on your TV with your Xbox 360 or on your phone with Windows Phone 8.
For more information on Xbox Music, visit Xbox.com/music or check out this press release with all the details
Starting today, you can reserve a packaged DVD of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 USD ERP* (U.S.) at select retailers. When you receive your copy of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade, you’ll see that the packaging takes a fresh approach, in the reimagining of Windows. Your package will feature one of 5 vibrant illustrations – you can check out all 5 here on Facebook. We moved to paper based materials (the exception of course being the upgrade DVD inside) which allowed us to make an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. And we’ve reduced the packaging weight by 41%.
In the U.S., you will find this offer at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot and the Microsoft Store and many more. I suggest checking with your local retailers.
However, if you want to wait until October 26th you will be able to upgrade online via Windows.com using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 USD ERP*. Online upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is supported for 140 countries worldwide, with 37 languages, and 23 supported currencies!
You will want to upgrade your PC to Windows 8 Pro sooner rather than later – this upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs only through to January 31st, 2013.
Read more here
Moments ago, the Office engineering team signed off on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build. This milestone means the coding and testing phase of the project is complete and we are now focused on releasing the new Office via multiple distribution channels to our consumer and business customers.
This is the most ambitious release of Office we’ve ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.
General availability is planned for the first quarter of 2013. Starting October 19, customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office for free upon availability. Customers will also see a preview version of the new Office on Windows RT devices, beginning with the Windows 8 launch on October 26.
Additionally, we have a number of programs that provide business customers with early access so they can begin testing, piloting and adopting Office within their organizations:
2012 seems to be quite the year for Microsoft. We will see these products releasing through February 2013.
Did I miss anything? I will update as I find more.