Microsoft (MSFT) just brought Christmas early for all Xbox 360 owners. Starting today, Microsoft is gradually rolling out the new Xbox 360 dashboard update to Xbox LIVE subscribers across the globe. The new update refines the previous Metro-inspired UI to bring it closer in line with the company’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Aside from a few cosmetic changes to the UI, the Xbox 360 now has Internet Explorer, a “Recommendations and Ratings” section, improved Bing voice search with Kinect and the addition of 9 new supported languages and customizable homescreens. Microsoft’s Director of Programming for Xbox Live, Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb wrote in a blog post that Xbox SmartGlass will also land on October 26th alongside Windows 8.

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Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. He first realized his love for technology when he burned through so many AA batteries on the original Game Boy that scraping battery acid off it became the norm.