We've known some information about the Xbox Live service for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 360 console for a while, but now the company has officially revealed the full details. Xbox 360 will include two new Xbox Live memberships, Silver and Gold. The free Silver membership will let gamers connect to the Xbox Live online community and create their own logon name, called a "gamertag," and personalized profile. In addition, they'll be able to send text and voice messages to friends on Xbox Live and shop at the new Xbox Live Marketplace. The Xbox Live Marketplace will sell new content, such as new levels, characters, and weapons, as well as free content such as game updates, trailers, and demos. Gamers will also be able to upgrade to an Xbox Live Gold membership in a variety of different ways, including purchasing an online upgrade for $49.99 per year, $19.99 for 3 months, or $7.99 per month. The Gold membership will offer everything the Silver membership gives you, plus enhanced access that lets you play online multiplayer games, enhanced matchmaking and feedback tools, and rewards in the Xbox Live Marketplace. In addition to online upgrades, the company will offer Xbox Live Premium Gold Packs at retail locations. A 3-month package ($39.99) will include all the Gold-level features, an Xbox Live Arcade game called <I>Joust</I>, an Xbox 360 headset (which is a standard inclusion in the Xbox 360 Premium edition, but not the Xbox 360 Core System edition), a $10 mail-in game rebate for any Xbox 360 game title, and 100 Microsoft Points for use at the Xbox Live Marketplace. The company will also offer a 12-month package ($69.99) that, like the 3-month package, will include a headset and all Gold-level features of Xbox Live, as well as Xbox Live Arcade game <I>Bankshot Billiards</I>, a $20 mail-in game rebate, and 200 Microsoft Points. The company is removing the credit-card requirement for Xbox Live and offering easy subscription cards at retail locations.
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Coming up next.... -- December 12: System Center 2012 & 2012 R2
-- January 23: Implementing a Private Cloud for Your Organization
-- January 30: Become a PowerShell Master
This class will first introduce you to PowerShell, after which you'll learn the basic SMO object model, how to manipulate data with PowerShell, and how to use SMO to manage objects. We'll then move on to creating Policy-Based Management policies, working with the Central Management Server, managing your system inventory, and gathering performance data with PowerShell.