CES 2012: Kinect for PC, Windows Store, and the Windows 8 beta coming in February
Last night, during the final Microsoft CES keynote, the electronics and software giant confirmed that Kinect is headed to PC for public consumption on February 1, 2012. Kinect for PC will launch initially in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Amazon currently has the device listed for pre-order for $249.99 USD / €195,00; a full $100 more than what it sells for on Xbox 360. That's a lot of money even if it boasts a second generation camera.
While Kinect initially will have very limited functionality with Windows 7 (it will be little more than a glorified webcam), the possibilities for its use and implementation with Windows 8 are limitless. Just as we've seen with the latest Xbox 360 dashboard update, the Metro layout of tiled applications should make hands-free control of the operating system a simple process, not to mention the hundreds of Kinect apps currently being developed by the extensive develper relationships Microsoft has cultivated.
These developers will be able to hawk their wares in February as well, when the Windows Store is launched. The Windows Store is Microsoft's version of the iTunes App Store or Android Market. Here, consumers will be able to browse, trial, and purchase Metro style apps, which will run across Windows 8-based PCs, tablets, and phones.
Finally, February will also likely see the launch of the open beta of Windows 8. Microsoft's Tami Reller gave CES 2012 attendees a demonstration of the new operating system, letting everyone know that the next major milestone for Windows 8 will be realized in late February, which seems to confirm suspicions that the release candidate is near.
Using Windows 7's development milestones as guideposts, we can speculate a full Windows 8 release by the end of 2012. Considering how entrenched Apple products and Google's Android OS have become over the last two years, you can bet Microsoft won't wait until 2013. After all, CEO Steve Ballmer made it clear at the press event that Windows is Microsoft's top priority.
Are you excited for Kinect on PC? How about Windows 8? What do you like? What concerns you?
Source: Microsoft Keynote Address at CES 2012
Cutting his gaming teeth at Aladdin's Castle and on the Commodore 64, JC entered into video game journalism in 2008. Helping run GameDynamo as its director is both a dream and a rewarding challenge.
[Other Tech & Gadgets News +]
More from GameDynamo