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Microsoft Announces Custom Apps for Xbox 360

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Tomorrow, Xbox owners will have a variety of new ways to stream video to their consoles, as Microsoft has announced the first custom apps from premium content creators. U.S. Xbox owners will be able to use EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Today (MSNBC) apps, while Canada will get Netflix, the U.K. will get LoveFilm, Japan will get Hulu, Austria and Germany will get Sky Go, and Spain will get Telefonica Espana.

More apps will go online later this month from YouTube, Vudu, Vevo, TMZ, MSN, Crackle, and several other content owners, while the BBC, HBO Go, MLB.TV, and Xfinity on Demand will follow early in 2012. Microsoft first announced that it had signed content agreements on October 5, 2011.

Microsoft isn't just providing apps, though; it's including Bing search and Kinect voice control to offer remote control by voice. Owners will be able to use voice controls to call up TV shows, movies, music, and games. English voice search will begin in the U.S. and Canada, and in the U.K. for Zune video, Xbox Live Marketplace, and some content partners. 

"With this update, Xbox 360 system owners will experience Kinect voice control integrated with Bing search, making your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever," says Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

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