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Kinect for Windows

Is Microsoft ready to push ahead with gesture control in Windows?

So this week it has come to light that Microsoft haven't given up on Kinect for Windows. While of course the company will no doubt have played down this aspect, in light of the touch control focused release of Windows 8 just around the corner. It's no secret that they want to bring arm waving and Windows together.

This much is evident by their current platforms, with the Xbox and Windows 8 starting to share a lot of functionality and style touches, one suited to gesture control the other to touch. It makes sense then to bring one to the other. While I can't see touch control coming to Xbox any time soon, with the exception of aditional displays via SmartGlass. It's certainly not difficult to port more features into Windows 8 to allow for better Kinect support.

This kind of tech has been and gone before, but this time Microsoft is laying the cards out carefully. A new OS, a well established piece of hardware (Kinect), with millions of users established on both Windows and soon Windows 8, millions more fitted out with the popular arm waggle device, now all they need are the killer apps.

Peter Zatloukal, the head of engineering for the Kinect for Windows programme said recently, that Microsoft was wanting developers to create a whole new class of apps, controlled by gesture and voice, for Windows.

Now obviously people are saying "it's the replacement for touch" and "it's going to change the way we use computers for ever"... no it won't, it's just going to be another thing we can do. Touch is about to take off big time with Windows 8 but I don't think it's going to revolutionise anything at all, it's just going to change it around a little, at least for home users.

The big seller here though is the opportunities they could open up in the classroom, hospital, factories, businesses, the sort of places that could really make good on the functionality of gesture control over touch. That's where all this will start, because if it can't succeed in a meaningful way there, there is little hope for it in the home besides playing fruit ninja.