Microsoft announced today that the Xbox Live Spring Update will be available to download on Wednesday, May 9 at 2:00 AM PST (5 AM EST). Users signed into Xbox Live will be prompted to download the free update automatically. Here's what you get:
Windows Live Messenger
- 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.
Messenger is the key feature with this update, but there are a number of improvements to the Live service that of which you should take note.
- 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.
*Edit* According to Major Nelson (his site is being hammered to death as we speak) the Spring Dashboard update is indeed now being pushed out to eager users. The update is not being pushed out based on location, so when you get the update, you get the update.