Microsoft muscles further into your living room with new Xbox apps

It's no secret that Microsoft sees its Xbox platform as much more than just a gaming console. It wants the device to act as the digital hub of our living rooms, and today the company took another step in that direction, announcing more than 40 new entertainment apps.

Xbox Live's Larry Hryb, AKA Major Nelson, posted the news this morning that "more than 40 new global entertainment partners [are] coming to Xbox LIVE, including new apps launching this week."

The new apps are not just for the United States, but for several different markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. There were a few big names in the announcement, such as MTV, Napster, PBS, and Vimeo. The complete list of 43 apps, and the countries they'll be available in, can be found in Hryb's post.

Microsoft recently rolled out its Xbox Smartglass app to iOS and Android, and added SkyDrive to the console this morning. With those developments, and this host of new entertainment options, the company really has taken another giant step towards becoming the best set top box on the market, bar none.

While no specific roll out dates were provided in the announcement, Hryb did say that the apps will be launching between "now and the spring of 2013". Is this now enough to push non-gamers into the ecosystem?

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