SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft is bringing the follow you around the room Kinect gaming technology to its Windows PC operating system.
The firm revealed the move at CES in Las Vegas and announced that it will start shipping hardware in February at a suggested retail price of $249. In the same month Microsoft will open its Windows Store for apps.
The company has already sold 18 million of its Kinect sensors and that is only the start of it, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. He said that there are 200 companies working on Kinect for Windows and spoke of the "mindblowing breadth" of their work. "We are just getting started, it's going to be amazing," he added.
It's not far off, and this was perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of the CES keynote, that is if you do not count the expressions on Ballmer's face for most of the proceedings.
Kinect for Windows will let you control Windows with voice and movement, according to the firm, and if it works as well as it seems to on the Xbox then it could be a good step forward, at least in the way that people interact with their PCs.
Ballmer also enthusiastically talked about Microsoft's Metro applications, which we learned earlier can be retained during whole Windows restores.
"Metro, Metro Metro!" he said in reference to Windows 8. "Together, all of us in this industry, in thousands of new ways, will use the software and services and devices to invent incredible things," he said.
The Metro interface is supported by the Windows Store, which he also discussed, and here we heard that Microsoft had cottoned on to how good games like Cut the Rope are. The company is playing a serious game of catch up in the apps download market, and it is pushing the ease of use of its apps and their ability to share information.
"The more apps there are, the richer the experience," said Tami Reller, chief marketing officer for Windows. "We want as many types of apps as there are people's interests."
When Microsoft launches the Windows Store in February it will offer a range of free apps, she added, with paid ones to follow. µ