Microsoft's Mundie: Kinect SDK for PCs due in Spring

They say if you can't beat them, join them. Rather than fight back against enterprising hackers aiming to get the Xbox Kinect motion-sensing controller working with Windows, Microsoft has now announced the availability of an SDK to come this spring.

The news shouldn't be all too surprising, however: CEO Steve Ballmer had made statements that compatibility with PCs was in the works at this year's CES.

Hacks of Kinect have been floating around the Internet for just about as long as the device has been in the public's hands. However doing so has not been easy, and without official support it required a good bit of reverse engineering.

A version intended for commercial use still appears quite a bit into the future, according to statements made by the company. This version is intended for personal use, aiming to harness the ingenuity of these hackers.

"As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale, the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing," research and strategy chief Craig Mundie was reported to have said at a press gathering in Redmond.

Microsoft seems to have hopes that by legitimizing hacking of the Kinect, developers will be able to come up with innovative ways of using motion-sensing technology to interact with computing devices. It also may show that Redmond might be looking beyond gaming for Kinect and into other uses in everyday life.

"The possibilities are endless. Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment," Microsoft blogger Steve Clayton wrote on The Official Microsoft blog on Monday.

"They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education."

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