Kinect for Windows is now Available!

Kinect for Windows sensorsOn January 9th, Steve Ballmer announced at CES that we would be shipping Kinect for Windows on February 1st.  I am very pleased to report that today version 1.0 of our SDK and runtime were made available for download, and distribution partners in our twelve launch countries are starting to ship Kinect for Windows hardware, enabling companies to start to deploy their solutions. The suggested retail price is $249, and later this year, we will offer special academic pricing of $149 for Qualified Educational Users.

In the three months since we released Beta 2, we have made many improvements to our SDK and runtime, including:

  • Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
  • Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
  • Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
  • Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
  • The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
  • Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
  • New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
  • A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
  • Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes

 More details can be found here.

Kinect for Windows can capture depth data on up to six peopleAs I mentioned in an earlier blog post, without many years of intense R&D efforts, including research investments of hundreds of millions of dollars, and deep partnership between our research teams, software teams, hardware teams, manufacturing teams, and games studios, Kinect simply wouldn’t exist.  Shipping Kinect for Windows was another cross-Microsoft effort: not only did the hardware and software teams work closely together to create an integrated solution, but our support, manufacturing, supply chain, reverse logistics, and account teams have all been working hard to prepare for today’s launch.  As well, our research, speech, and Xbox NUI teams have contributed to making Kinect for Windows a better product.   Microsoft’s ability to make these kinds of deep investments makes Kinect for Windows a product that companies can deploy with confidence, knowing you have our support and our ongoing commitment to make Kinect for Windows the best it can be.

Looking towards the future, we are planning on releasing updates to our SDK and runtime 2-3 times per year – in fact, the team is already hard at work on the next release.  We are continuing to invest in programs like our Testing and Adoption Program and the Kinect Accelerator, and will work to create new programs in the future to help support our developer and partner ecosystem. We will also continue to listen to our developer community and business customers for the kinds of features and capabilities they need, as they re-imagine the future of computing using the power of Kinect.

Craig Eisler
General Manager, Kinect for Windows

Comments (44)
  1. Varma says:

    Can't wait to check it out. Kudos to Kinect SDK Team.

  2. bepe says:

    Any word on who the resellers are for the other countries?

    There is for USA, but where can I get it in Germany?

  3. schippre says:

    already ordered one and now i am excited to play with it 😛

    a problem is that the product is still often listed in the XBOX360 section of web-shops so it's a little bit difficult to find, except when you know the serial number which is L6M-00003 for middle europe.

  4. Alessandro Sala says:

    in Italy it seems impossible to find it!!!!

  5. Alessandro says:

    where I can find it in Italy? it seems impossible to find it!

  6. schippre says:

    for the people who can speak german:

  7. cchschmch says:

    when it will be available in Canada ? Impossible to get it online via Microsoft Store or Shipping only in US…

  8. Jose Luis Latorre says:

    Hi, can you tell if there is face (or person) recognition integrated on this device? also there is any detail on how has the skeletal tracking been improved?


  9. jfplopes says:

    Any plans on bringing Kinect games to Windows?

  10. Ark-kun says:

    >we will offer special academic pricing of $149

    Are MSDNAA or Dreamspark Premium students qualified for this price?

  11. Michael says:

    Can the most recent Kinect SDK still be used with the Kinect for XBOX? Or will it only function with Kinect for Windows?

  12. Joshua Blake says:

    Most of the questions you guys are asking have been answered in the Kinect for Windows SDK forums –…/threads. There are also a lot more people watching those forums, both from the Kinect for Windows team and the community, that can answer.

  13. Asad Baig says:

    I want to get one, I need more information on how to qualify as an educational user, I am a University Student.

  14. Gabor Horvath says:


    I donwload the new version of MS Kinect SDK. I have a Windows 7 Hungarian version and the installation is unsuccesful. What can I do?

  15. IPhone User says:

    Can't wait until Apple invents this.

  16. Max Head says:

    It's gettin Time…!!!! 10 years ago we saw in the MOvie Minority Report something like this in Action. I waited for the day when i could scroll texts or webpages without touching my Mouse or my screen! Hope MS try to combine this with windows (8) – to make a big step to future. And I don't wanna see, that the Big Fruit Factory do it and talks again about Revolutions which they rarely invented.

    So MS do It…!!!

  17. Fosta says:

    Can someone please provide clarification of availability for purchase outside the US. Currently it is super vague, I don't mind if it is not yet available in New Zealand, but would look to know who I should be talking to so I can get it at the first available time…

  18. Daniel D says:

    Does speech recognition supports german and russian languages?

  19. Kudos to the Kinet team…what an accomplishment…keep on rocking!!!

  20. Wolfgang K. says:

    Another nice gadget for windows – maybe the right device to advance the functionality and usability of WIndows 8 Metro.

  21. Atul Gupta says:

    this is great. near tracking would be a great bonus and better control on skeleton tracking will also hep

  22. Drew S. says:

    Would be nice to know if the Xbox Kinect works with the SDK .

  23. Very disappointing that in Australia Microsoft forgot to inform distributors about the Kinect for Windows. Just found out from a contact at Microsoft today that they are still a few days away from releasing it in Australia even though the product has been sitting in a warehouse in Sydney since last week…Sounds like the rest of the world except the USA might have the same issue…

  24. Gonzalo Piñera says:

    in Spain is impossible to find it!, Where can i buy it???

  25. Callen says:

    Its a bit disappointing that microsoft invests so heavily in Kinect for PC, but doesn't do anything to expand Kinect on Xbox 360.  Case in point:  Xbox Indie Game developers have asked for the ability to use kinect since it launched, yet no such plans have been announced. Why? You want to see interesting new applications? Give it to the Indies.  Let us experiment in the market with the highest installed user base – the XBOX.  So no, I won't be paying more money to develop with microsoft SDKs, because microsoft can't get its vision aligned with itself.

  26. Kinect for Windows sensors were made available beginning February 1 through Microsoft distributors. Developers who want to purchase direct are now able to do so in most of our launch countries, and in all launch countries in coming days. Keep up to date on the latest Kinect for Windows purchase options in your region by visiting…/purchase

    Thanks for your comments and interest in purchasing a sensor right away. We look forward to seeing what you develop in coming weeks and months!

  27. I got excited when I saw Kinect Team posting a link to find out details about purchasing but sadly its just a link that says it should have been avaliable 1st of Feb… So much marketing hype to just end up being a tease…

  28. San San Lim says:

    I wonder, when will the windows kinect will be available in Indonesia, I am working on a project which can benefit with kinect.

  29. Kinect for Windows has finally been released in Australia today! Only took me over a week of looking into and constant follow up with Microsoft but you can finally get your copy in the land of OZ from the following link. I believe more online retailers will follow soon.

  30. says:

    You are all clever people, now the population of Europe is 490 Million, with a high standard of living and plenty of potential buyers of your product. You give your product only to one distributor, in Germany (?), who doesn't even have translation of their website to English, French, Spanish … well done guys!!

  31. Joshua Blake says:

    Just because an electronic product does not launch world-wide simultaneously does not mean its meant as a slight to the fine people of Europe. Every country has different eletronics certification standards and procedures. It's quite difficult and expensive to get the product out to all these countries due to the different regulations and the limited time and resources available for launching the product.

    I'm sure the Kinect team is working on making it available in more countries.

  32. Confused says:

    @ Joshua, I am sure they are working hard, but my criticism is to the way the distribution has been planned and executed.  There is close to no stock, the German reseller for the entire of Europe will only deliver to Germany and Austria, and there is no information on any of the European websites. Hardly what I would expect from a company like Microsoft, quite honestly is a bit of joke.

    I am approaching this as a business man, my company is going to create applications using this product, and I am finding it difficult to see this group as a professional one, i.e. lack of planning and seriousness.

  33. GJN says:

    Unfortunately, Kinect for Windows does not work under the latest version of Parallels and Windows 7. Everything installs flawlessly and the Device Manager shows that all three Kinect components are functioning properly, BUT when one attempts to run the Kinect Explorer in the Kinect SDK Sample Browser, one gets the message "Please insert a Kinect for Windows Sensor into your PC".  The same is true for for all other sample programs.  Somewhere the software isn't connecting.

  34. Wisam says:

    Microsoft SCREWED the community big time.

    So we bought two Kinect sensors to do research using Kinect in education as part of a grant. Microsoft decision to exclude XBOX Kinect in version 1.0 of the SDK is just SO evil and ridiculous. I used to think Apple was evil but now MS has joined the club.

    We paid $300 for their hardware. What do we get? no official SDK support or you can stick with the beta. Why Microsoft did not say that from the beginning? We were using your SDK and your hardware to develop an educational software and now we are lost due to lack of support. We even did not think of this coming.

    Not sure even why the new one costs $250. I don't really see improved resolution for the cameras. The only new thing is an improved near view camera which does not justify the price. No improvement in hand gestures like OpenNI does either. At this point of time we will are looking at OpenNI as an alternative to your SDK.

    Sorry but this sucks!

  35. maiolo says:

    I can' t find any reseller, to buy Kinect for Windows in Spain, how can i get it ?

  36. Maxnni says:

    Will SDK be compatible with OPEN NI programs, if not is there a way to make this happen? Its a shame not to be able to access new Kinect programs if you're running on kinect sdk

  37. PhMajerus says:

    I might be overcurious but I’m wondering what the extra adaptor piece is for…

    For anyone who didn’t get their Kinect for Windows yet, or who didn’t look at it closely, there is an extra Kinect female to Kinect male piece between the cable coming from the sensor and the plug in the power-injector cable. It’s taped to the sensor plug to make sure we don’t forget to plug it. Basically it looks like the Kinect for Xbox 360 with its standard USB adapter/power-injector for pre-slim consoles, but the one for Windows adds an extra piece between them.

    This adaptor does not change the plug in any way it seems, so I guess it must do something to electric levels, insulation or something else related to USB signals on PCs.

    Does anyone know what it does, and if it is required, why we don’t need such an adaptor when connecting the Xbox 360 version of the sensor?

  38. kiwidude says:

    Can someone please post or point me to the *physical dimensions* of the Kinect for Windows sensor? I mean complete vertical height in particular. I cannot find it on any website/marketing material or google search.

    I am trying to figure out where I can physically place it.

  39. Kiwidude, the rectangular part of the Kinect for Windows sensor is 11″ x 2.5″ x 1.5″ (w x d x h). The base is 3″ x 3″ x 1.5″ (w x d x h). You need to accommodate for the cable, which sticks out of the base and the rectangular part, which can be tilted up-and-down.

  40. user says:

    When it wil be sell in Ukraine?

  41. Roberto Reto says:

    Does the new SDK work with Kinect for Xbox 360? I ask because in the requiremets it says "A Kinect for Windows sensor which includes special USB/power cabling", while in the SDK beta says "A retail Kinect for Xbox 360® sensor which includes special USB/power cabling". What are the main difference between the two devices?

  42. Vianney says:

    Hello! The new functionalities are from new SDK 1.5 or from the new sensor?

  43. ahmed osman says:

    Where can I buy kinect for windows in Egypt?

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