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SDK will leave beta Feb 1
Kinect for Windows will cost $249

The Microsoft Kinect for gaming on the Xbox 360 has proven to be quite a popular device (Microsoft has sold over 18 million units), and the popularity isn't just limited to gamers. There have been a number of hacks to use the Kinect for Xbox for tasks other than gaming. Microsoft is now offering up some firm launch dates and pricing detail on Kinect for Windows.
 
Kinect for Windows hardware and software will launch on February 1 in 12 different countries. The countries include the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and United Kingdom. The hardware will sell for $249 to start and will be offered in limited quantities at launch.
 
The purchase price includes a one-year warranty and access to software updates as they are made for speech and human tracking. Microsoft says that the money on the Windows platform from Kinect will be made on the hardware and the software and SDK will be offered for free. Later in 2012, Microsoft will launch discount educational pricing on the Kinect for Windows at $149.99.
 
The reason for the extra cost compared to Kinect for Xbox 360 according to Microsoft is that the price on Xbox is subsidized by the Kinect games that consumers purchase. Microsoft will be extending the beta license for developers that are already working with the beta SDK and the Kinect for Xbox 360 for another three years for non-commercial applications. After that point, the Xbox Kinect will no longer be licensed for use on other platforms.
 
Microsoft is hoping that the Kinect for Windows will improve how data is captured and sent in the Windows environment. The Kinect for Windows will undoubtedly find use in PC gaming as well. It's worth noting that non-commercial deployments with the new software are not permitted.
 
Microsoft launched the Kinect Accelerator Program in November to spur development of products to use Kinect.

Sources: Microsoft, 123KINECT





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