I have been looking around at the progress of this story, and wondering why it is that Microsoft even cares why people are buying the Kinect add-on for the Xbox and adapting it to other uses.
As long as these people are buying the units, and not stealing them, what should be the problem? The large Microsoft boot licking sites like ZDNet have already told us that there is only about $60 worth of componentry in the unit, which is about right for something like this. Only the terminally stupid will make anything of that news.
Those same sites are keeping us informed that Linux users have gotten the item to work in a limited fashion, and today the Mac crowd has it working in a severely limited fashion as well.
What does that mean? It means that Microsoft is selling more of these than it otherwise would be, as these people don’t seem to also own Xboxes. Why should that be a problem? If it was a case of Microsoft not making enough profit on the item, then they should not sell it separately. However, since we know that it is selling at a comfortable margin, Microsoft should be happy that these people are widening the interest in the item. If everyone decided that it was a good thing to have one with a PC, that should make the company ecstatic.
In the background, that is probably what is happening. The complaints are only there to spur on the crowd that is driven by doing something “naughty”.
The opening of the Kinect yielded quite a laundry list of stuff, and when the list was first made, it was observed that the price could have been much higher.
So though Microsoft may want to be the one to put this out for the public, it cannot help but be silently glad for , and outwardly hostile to, the efforts of these people adapting the hardware to their own uses. When Microsoft finally decides that the moment is right and the unit is made officially available, it will owe a debt to those that got this effort going, and saved them millions in advertising dollars.
This is much more than the Sony EyeToy being adapted to PC, this time there is much more to it, and much more challenge to those doing the hack of it.