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Kinect for Windows is dead, long live Kinect for Windows

While Microsoft’s Kinect sensor has never been an enormous hit among gamers, it has enjoyed much more popularity in other, more scientific areas. Now Microsoft has announced that, although the sensor will no longer be sold for Windows, developers don’t have to worry about its availability for the platform.

The past year has seen Microsoft consolidating many of its products and services, and this is another step in that direction. While the Kinect for Xbox One is popular with developers, the recent introduction of the Kinect Adapter has removed the need to sell a separate, Windows-only version. The adapter allows a Kinect for Xbox One to be connected to Windows 8 and 8.1 devices exactly as a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor would.

The Kinect for Windows Developer program allows Kinect sensors to be used for a wide range of applications, many of which were never imagined when the project was in development. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for example, paired a Kinect for Xbox One with an Oculus Rift to manipulate a robotic arm.

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Microsoft seems to have a keen understanding of how valuable its sensor has become for scientific and medical uses, and so the company has no intention of halting availability of the Kinect for those purposes.

“Microsoft remains committed to Kinect as a development platform on both Xbox and Windows. So while we are no longer producing the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, we want to assure developers who are currently using it that our support for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor remains unchanged and that they can continue to use their sensor,” reads the post announcing the change on the Kinect for Windows Blog.

Microsoft will continue to support the use of the Kinect for developers, and will showcase interesting uses of the device on the Kinect for Windows blog.