Ben Smith, director of program management for Xbox Live, sent us an email after we expressed concern
over some quotes he'd given about the Xbox 360's Netflix
service. Following up, we asked Smith if Netflix was putting the kibosh on Microsoft implementing the search feature to continue driving customers to its site for that functionality. He stated that Netflix has been a great partner to work with, and that the company hasn't applied pressure to prevent a search function from being added to the Xbox version.
So, why not add the search feature into the latest update? Why emulate the video store presentation that Netflix has been hammering out of business? Smith deftly avoided the question: "We have not yet brought a full-fledged search feature to the console yet. Like many things it's an area that's interesting to us for potential future releases but we don't have anything to announce right now."
We were also curious if Netflix was cutting into the Xbox Video Marketplace, to which Smith stated that the two have "co-existed well." He notes that the different payment models and content catalogs service different types of users.
Given that Xbox 360 "power users" can access advanced functions using the Xbox Guide, we wondered if such functionality could be implemented, thus leaving casual users with the NXE functionality. Smith responded, "Our goal is to make experiences great and easy to use for all users."
Oh well, maybe with the next update we'll get lucky.