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Adding Internet Explorer just feels like a last-minute decision to finally give the 360 a browser, something its competitors have had out of the box.
This update does show that Microsoft is trying to increase the 360’s usefulness for more than just games.
CONCLUSION This year’s dashboard isn’t a wild departure from the last update, but it does fix some of the major complaints I had about Microsoft rolling out a fully Kinect-enabled interface.
Being able to create your own menu for games and applications makes the Xbox 360 a more enticing multimedia option and makes it easier to use content you want without flipping through menus.
Since most video content online now requires Flash in some capacity, that detracts from the usefulness of having the Internet on the largest screen in your house.
Perhaps if you really wanted to check the news after playing a game, Internet Explorer might make sense.
But I know I’m not the only person who keeps a tablet or laptop beside them so they can tweet and browse while they play.
IE will have Smart Glass support when that initiative rolls out, but that’s even more ridiculous once you consider that you’re using a handheld device that’s perfectly capable of going online to control a less intuitive browser on your television.
Oh, and IE is also only available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, who are already paying to use applications that do all the things other console browsers can’t do.
With the My Pins feature, you can cut out searching and browsing for the content by adding each app to a menu that pops up on the home screen just below the window that shows you what game you’ve got in your 360 at the time.