In a move aimed at insinuating its Xbox 360 even deeper into the lives of the game console’s users, Microsoft has scheduled Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360 for a launch in early May.

Users of the Xbox 360 can now message with anyone using Microsoft Messenger on Windows-based PCs and Windows Mobile-powered devices.

Xbox 360 users can now connect and chat directly from their television using Windows Live Messenger, a network of more than 20 billion relationships and more than 260 million active accounts.

Other features and capabilities in what Microsoft is calling the Spring Update for Xbox 360 include:

* A new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade which lets Xbox LIVE members access the content they seek – whether it is game content or TV shows and movies – from one place on Xbox LIVE (available in the United States).

* New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

* Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.

The Spring Update is free beginning the week of May 7 and is easily accessible to every Xbox 360 owner through Xbox LIVE or on