updated 02:10 pm EST, Thu March 10, 2011
Microsoft starts Xbox Live Labs network test
Larry Hryb, Xbox Live programming director, let it be known through an update that Microsoft is introducing a testing program called Xbox Live Labs. It will perform network tests between a user's console and Xbox Live in order to improve the service. Participation is optional, and Hryb said the data collected during the process will not be used to identify users.
Users need to download a testing app and are warned that, while the tests are being performed, they can't perform other Xbox Live activities such as gaming. Those who do participate will be rewarded with an Avatar item and a zero-point achievement for each completed test. Three different Avatars are up for grabs for each test, including a lab coat, brain helmet and crazy mad scientist hair.
The Xbox Live Labs kicks off today and runs until March 27. It's open to all Xbox Live members living in the US.