Beginning today, Microsoft invites businesses around the world to innovate with new the Kinect for Windows hardware and software
London – 1st February 2012 – Microsoft puts the power of Kinect into the hands of companies around the globe, launching the Kinect for Windows commercial program today. Now any business can join innovation leaders, such as United Health Group, American Express, Mattel, Telefonica, and Toyota that already are developing applications with Kinect for Windows. As part of the Kinect for Windows early adoption program, over 300 companies from more than 25 countries are exploring ways to improve internal operations, build new customer experiences, and potentially revolutionise their industries.

To further encourage small businesses to change the world with Kinect for Windows, Microsoft and Tech Stars are running a Kinect Accelerator program—offering entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators the opportunity to develop applications with Kinect as part of a 3-month intensive competition. For more information, visit the Kinect Accelerator site.

“It’s been just over a year since we launched Kinect for Xbox 360, and we’re only starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible with Kinect,” said Craig Eisler, general manager for Kinect for Windows. “By offering hardware and software that’s designed specifically for Windows applications, we hope to inspire visionaries around the world to create transformative breakthroughs with Kinect—taking its gesture and voice capabilities beyond the living room into other industries such as education, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail.”

Kinect for Windows features and availability
The Kinect for Windows sensor is a fully-tested and supported Kinect experience on Windows and is built for developers. It offers features such as advanced speech and audio capabilities with the latest Microsoft Speech components; “near mode” which sees objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the sensor; improved skeletal tracking that enables control over which user is being tracked by the sensor; and a commercial ready installer that makes it easy to install Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.

The Kinect for Windows commercial license and purchasable hardware will be available in 12 countries (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and United States). With a one-year warranty and access to ongoing software updates for both speech and human tracking. Kinect for Windows sensors and accessories can be purchased directly from an online store or from our global network of distributors and resellers. You can visit KinectforWindows.com to find a distributor or reseller.

For more information, please visit kinectforwindows.com and the Kinect for Windows blog.

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About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. With the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as the largest on demand library of music, standard and high definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment centre of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with a network of 40 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

About Xbox LIVE
Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360, connecting you to an ever expanding world of games, movies, music, sports and social entertainment. Xbox LIVE lets you play the best games, enjoy the largest on demand library on any console, listen to millions of songs and share the fun with friends around the world. Xbox LIVE is now also available on Windows Phone 7 putting the power of connected entertainment in the palm of your hand. Xbox LIVE is the exclusive home of controller free online entertainment through Kinect, making your Xbox 360 more intuitive and interactive than ever before. With an active community of 40 million people across 35 countries, Xbox LIVE provides you with instant access to the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about. More information about Xbox LIVE can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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