Amid the volley of announcements from Microsoft's Build conference, is word that the new Kinect for Windows has a near-future release timeframe for both the hardware and its SDK. The desktop version of Microsoft's do-all sensor will be available to the public this summer, as will its development framework. Perhaps more importantly, once they're done, developers can publish their creations to the Windows Store; meaning, there'll probably be more Kinect applications for Windows in one place than ever before. As Redmond tells it, this self-publishing will happen "later this summer." Next summer (notice a theme here?), Microsoft is adding support for one of gaming's most pervasive dev toolkits to Kinect for Windows: the Unity engine -- tools developers already know the strengths and weaknesses of, which should bolster the app selection even further. Given that the Xbox One will see Unity support this year, this could mean that cross-platform apps and games are a distinct possibility. Or, maybe we'll get a cool new bank account manager instead.
Microsoft Kinect for Windows 2nd-gen