Microsoft has always been pretty firm in their mission with Xbox Live, Create the best content, curate it well, and charge a small fee for that. This however creates a barrier to entry that (At least on the Xbox 360) it seems Microsoft is working to remove. This weekend only, Xbox 360 owners will be able to access Xbox Live services. These services will not come with the other benefits that Xbox Live currently offers (free games with gold, and deals with gold) but it will get you online and playing. The free weekend extends through October the 8th.
This is the first time that Microsoft has ever done such an event, and I hope that it signals a willingness to allow the non gold subscribers to test out the online services prior to forking over the $60 necessary to usually access it.