Last year only a couple of weeks after Kinect hit the market, a bunch of dubious hackers managed to crack the hardware and get it running on a Windows 7 machine. While the function it performed was fairly basic, it opened the flood gates for the rest of the hackers and developers since they had the necessary drivers.
Initially it didn’t look like Microsoft condoned this practice and didn’t seem to happy about it. But then at CES, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company would announce official PC support for Kinect “in the right time”
It looks like Microsoft decided to talk a leaf out of the hackers book and realised the potential that having the Kinect controller connected to a PC would bring. Microsoft’s gaming division obviously must have been planning on incorporating Kinect into Windows at some stage, but the hackers beat them to it.
None the less, they are said to be planning an official release of drivers and a Kinect SDK for Windows machines so that users could have genuine software for using the device with PCs, and not just botched up programs from hackers.
I’m sure having Kinect on Windows would greatly enhance the experience, especially the home media center where you could control everything on your Windows machine without actually having to be at it. There is a lot of possibilities for the Kinect hardware on Windows.
Winrumors have reported that some insiders have let slip that the first drivers will be distributed with a beta tag and incorporated into a “Community Technical Preview” of the company’s XNA Game Studio tools in the coming months.