Finally, Spring dash update releases in hours


It has been a long time coming, but no more rumors and no more speculation ... we have an official release date and time. Today, at around 2:00AM pacific (a few hours away) the Spring dash update will make its way onto the Xbox Live servers for members to download in masses. The update will bring Windows Live Messenger integration, a new restructured Marketplace, and more fixes and fun too numerous to mention. With the amount of anticipation surrounding this dash update, one would think it were going to actually change people's lives or solve world hunger. But it won't, it'll simply make our dash a happier place to be. So, take a seat and relax for a bit, because our Spring dash update will be here in a few hours. Full press release after the break.

Windows Live Messenger Comes to Xbox LIVE, Uniting Friends and Families on the TV, PC and Mobile Phone

Starting tomorrow more than 6 million members of Xbox LIVE can instant message with people on PCs and mobile phones, one of the hundreds of enhancements coming with the Xbox 360 Spring Update

Beginning May 9th, Xbox LIVE, the most interactive gaming and social network available, is once again expanding with the arrival of Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360. This new feature, available as part of the Xbox 360 Spring Update, will connect people across Xbox 360 consoles, Windows PCs and Windows Mobile devices. Xbox LIVE members will be able to socialize with people on their unified friends list, including their contacts from the more than 260 million Windows Live Messengers across the world. With Instant Messenger, Xbox LIVE members will have the ability to:

· Chat via instant messenger with up to 20 contacts in a single conversation, and have up to six different conversations at the same time with people on PCs, mobile phones and other Xbox 360 consoles.
· Instant message while playing games, listening to music or watching movies or TV shows downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
· View at a glance if friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags and add them to a unified friends list.
· Utilize the virtual keyboard on the Xbox 360 to text chat or connect a USB keyboard to the console. Launching later this summer, the Xbox 360 text-input device accessory will connect directly to the controller to support instant messaging.

In addition to the availability of Instant Messenger on Xbox LIVE, the Xbox 360 Spring Update will bring with it hundreds of other features and enhancements to the console. Here are just a few:

· On-screen pop-ups that immediately display the name and gamerscore value of a just accomplished Achievement, allowing gamers to see their progress without leaving or pausing the game.
· An even safer way to communicate through Xbox LIVE with enhanced family settings that enable different default settings for video chat and voice chat.
· A new, standalone Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade houses all Xbox LIVE Marketplace content in one easy to navigate space.
· Xbox LIVE Arcade enhancements that showcase what games friends are playing directly from the friends list. Boasting about high scores, comparing progress and checking out leaderboards are all easier now as well.
· Faster access to free, trial version of Xbox LIVE Arcade games through an improved Auto Downloads feature.
· The ability to fast-forward, pause and rewind video as it is being downloaded on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
· Owners can now set their consoles to turn off after downloading content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace to help save energy, and download speeds have been increased.

The Xbox 360 Spring Update is free to all Xbox LIVE members. For more information, please visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/news/2007/0408-im.htm.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.