The lights are on
As has become the tradition for Microsoft, a public beta will precede the next Xbox Live update. The doors are currently opening for sign-ups, but the process is different this time out.
Instead of signing up online, the beta applications are rolling out on the Xbox 360 dashboard. A tile will appear on your Home tab inviting you to apply. All 41 Xbox Live territories will be able to participate, though Japan's application process will be happening later.
As of now, comments on Major Nelson's announcement post indicate that the tile is appearing sporadically around the world. If you don't see it yet, keep checking. Move fast when it is available though, as spots are limited.
As this is a beta that will be under non-disclosure agreement, no details about the content of the update have been shared. As a reminder, this isn't the only beta going on right now. World of Tanks has started rolling out its own test on Xbox Live.
[Source: Major Nelson]
Our TakeI've participated in nearly all of the Xbox Live betas and the new features are typically worth wanting early. If you get an opportunity, it's a neat way to see what's coming before it hits the masses. Admittedly though, some betas are better than others.
I'm not sure I love the new mechanism for applying, as there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the application tile showing up, but it is a beta. Microsoft is under no obligation to offer it simultaneously to all users.