Xbox Live Gold Goes Free for the Weekend

It's been a busy week for Microsoft. The Redmond software giant rolled out its much anticipated Xbox Live Dashboard update with a brand new look and fancy new features like voice controlled navigation, and it also launched an iOS app as well as an app for Windows Phone 7 users. And to kick things off, Microsoft is letting all Xbox Live Silver members enjoy the benefits of a Gold membership free for the weekend.

Obviously there's more than good will at play here. Sure, Microsoft's getting in the spirit of the gift giving season, but the real motivator is to give non-Gold members a glimpse of the new Dashboard and feature-set in hopes that they'll be tempted to pony up for an ongoing subscription.

But let's not be cynical; a free weekend is a free weekend, and if you're not already a Gold member, this is a great way to try-before-you-buy. Going Gold gives you access to apps like Netflix, Facebook, and Hulu Plus, as well as online gaming and member-only deals and previews.