Oh dear. Sean Alexander, director at Microsoft's Advertising Business Group, has strongly suggested that you'll soon be seeing advertisements every time you fire up your 360 dashboard.
Apparently, Microsoft "plans to bring IAB specifications for rich media technologies, including Silverlight, to Xbox Live within the year". With Silverlight being Microsoft's version of/competitor to Flash, MediaPost say "Silverlight-powered media on Xbox will have the same appearance as ads seen on a Web browser".
Since the goal is for advertising companies to launch the same campaign across multiple platforms - desktop, TV, mobile phone and Surface (Microsoft's touch-screen table) - it sounds a lot like the tech would be used on the 360 to display ads on your dashboard.
This had better only be for Silver users. I'm not paying an annual fee to get stuck with ads.
We've contacted Microsoft for an explanation of how exactly this tech will be used with Xbox Live, and will update if we hear anything.
Kotaku AU Note: Can't wait for the dash to become even slower than it already is!
Microsoft Silverlight For Xbox Live Eases Creative Across Platforms [Media Post, via Gamasutra]