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Farewell, dear sweet Kinect

Kinect, while fun in short bursts, never really achieved the success of the motion-controlled Nintendo Wii that Microsoft had hoped to capitalize on. Though for a short a time it was the fastest selling electronic consumer device in history.

Kinect incorporated an array of cameras that could detect depth, motion, and various other nuanced data that developers could then leverage to create experiences. The second Kinect camera, armed with infra-red, was powerful enough to detect pigment fluctuations in the skin to the level of being able to accurately estimate your heart rate. Applications like Xbox Fitness combined this data to create unique exercising experiences, while game developers built all sorts of wacky and wonderful experiences, including the raunchy and violent shooter Blue Estate (opens in new tab), and the yoga photo platformer Commander Cherry (opens in new tab).

Kinect certainly had its fans (including myself), but a series of missteps at Microsoft, combined with a general lack of compelling experiences essentially doomed the accessory. With production of both the camera and the adapter finished, Kinect will now join Microsoft Band, Groove Music, and Windows Phone on a growing scrapheap of consumer products Microsoft failed to position properly.

This is a farewell to Kinect, gone but not forgotten (even by Microsoft).

Kinect in history

Project Milo, 2009.

After Kinect's E3 2009 reveal, under code name "Project Natal," Microsoft garnered an equal amount of amazement and ridicule as a result of its now-infamous demo "Milo & Kate," which, while billed as a live demo, turned out to be conceptual at the very best. Kinect sadly never lived up to the promises made by that near-10-year-old demo, which arguably contributed to its demise.

Ex-Lionhead Studios lead Peter Molyneux claimed that Project Milo would recognize the emotional tone in people's voices and faces, and respond realistically in real time. The demo (among other things) would earn Molyneux a reputation for over-promising and under-delivering. I only had a casual interest in Xbox at the time (due in large part to a massive World of Warcraft addiction), but even still, news about Milo filtered beyond the hardcore crowd and into the mainstream, owing to its sci-fi like promises of full, virtual, interactive artificial intelligences.

Kinect V1.

Kinect V1.

Almost ten years later, Microsoft (or any other company for that matter) hasn't realized this futuristic vision, but Kinect went on to become the fastest selling accessory of all time. And probably, the fastest selling paperweight of all time, as a lack of apps and games, in addition to poor recognition and weak processing, prevented the camera array from achieving consistent adoption.

Microsoft went to surprisngly lengths to market the first Kinect despite its foibles, enlisting Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Fallon, and various other celebrities to promote the tech to casual audiences in an attempt to capture the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii, which had its own motion-tracking controllers. Microsoft also reportedly hosted a star-studded L.A. party to launch the device, reportedly attended by a-listers like David Beckham.

Reviews of the device were generally positive, with Kotaku calling it "magical." Indeed, many comparisons were drawn between Kinect and the sci-fi movie Minority Report, which has motion-controlled computer interfaces. I have to say, when I used Microsoft's upgraded Kinect V2 with the Xbox One for the first time, I completely felt the same way.

Microsoft released a second version of Kinect to ship with the Xbox One in 2013, although its inclusion was mired in controversy.

Indeed, Microsoft released a second version of Kinect to ship with the Xbox One in 2013, although its inclusion was mired in controversy. Hardcore gamers never wanted the thing, but now they were forced to purchase it with the Xbox One, which inflated its price point $100 above that of the PS4. Microsoft's attempt to drive adoption, and thus get more developers on board, was a gamble that ultimately didn't pay off. Arguably, the mis-step contributed to Xbox's position far, far behind that of the PlayStation 4. Xbox has been playing catch up ever since.

It's a shame how it all played out, because for me, Kinect coupled with voice control was a key differentiator between the Xbox One and other consoles, and something I felt was key to Microsoft's general living room computing strategy.

"Futuristic"

When I finally kicked the Warcraft habit and jumped back on the Xbox train, I found myself thoroughly enraptured by Kinect V2 on the Xbox One. Far beyond its clunky Project Milo roots and Wii Sports clones, Kinect V2 allowed me to yell voice commands at my TV, leveraging the console's IR blaster to turn the TV off and on, control volume, and even change channel. And my friends, it all just worked.

Kinect V2.

Kinect V2.

"Xbox, watch BBC News." "Xbox, volume up 5." "Xbox, record that." It was all just so magical, intuitive, and frankly liberating to finally ditch the remote control, and celebrate Xbox as the center of my entertainment system. Getting home from a long day at work and speaking those words, "Xbox on," was like a magical incantation – it really defined the start of my experience with this console generation.

Getting home from a long day at work and speaking those words, "Xbox on," was like a magical incantation.

Developers had also picked up Kinect, building a wide array of homebrew solutions and non-gaming applications, in both medicine and sign language translation (opens in new tab), and more.

Combined with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) which arrived on Xbox a little later, it was easy to envision a world where developers could incorporate Kinect into entire smart home systems. Some of them did, too, creating third-party apps for smart bulbs and other home automotive devices. "Xbox, turn on the lights." "Xbox, who's at the front door?" etc. I previously wrote about how Kinect could have been Microsoft's Amazon Echo. All of the pieces were in place, Microsoft just never made the play.

Xbox with Kinect

Xbox with Kinect (Image credit: Microsoft)

With UWP app development adoption seemingly weaker than ever, and Kinect out of the window, Microsoft has essentially conceded the home automation market to the likes of Alexa and Google Home, needlessly, and frustratingly. At least for the time being.

Microsoft bought Cortana to the Xbox One a little while ago as an option to replace the existing voice command structure. The two-system solution has been nothing short of disastrous however, creating a confusing scenario for consumers. Cortana on Xbox One was also slow, unresponsive, and just plain clunky compared to her native counterpart. While Cortana on Xbox bought features like her Notebook, reminders, and more, those media controls were harder to use than ever, and became less convenient than simply using a controller. I've been told that Microsoft still has plans to shore up Cortana and voice commands on Xbox One by various sources, pending new technology, but whether those plans are still in play are unknown. If they are, hopefully we'll see something in 2018.

In any case, with Kinect production shut down, and the Xbox One S and X adapter along with it, Microsoft is waving farewell to the peripheral, but not the technology.

Moving forward

The technology and research that powered Kinect lives on in Windows Mixed Reality, which in some ways, can be considered Kinect V3. Windows Mixed Reality's camera-laden head mounted displays (HMDs) perceive the world in a similar way to Kinect, sensing depth and using it to inform developers and thus, create experiences. HoloLens is even powerful enough to track specific hand gestures, just like Kinect, and the Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers are far more accurate and responsive than camera tech can account for at this time.

Mixed Reality certainly has its downsides too, though. Unlike Kinect, you're currently tethered to a PC and a headset to use the system, and "native" Microsoft Store support from games is limited. SteamVR is doing a lot of the heavy lifting right now, but without proper WMR support via UWP (both for games and apps), it still feels a little clunky.

That said, WMR already feels far more promising than Kinect ever did, at least as a games device. The accuracy of the motion controllers, the immersion afforded by the headset, and the inside-out camera tracking is supremely encouraging, even if the system over all has some growing pains to overcome.

Where does that leave Xbox though? We still don't know when (or indeed, if) immersive WMR will ever come to the console, but even then, it's a solution primarily aimed at gaming and some fringe productivity scenarios. Home automation, smart speakers, and TV controls have returned to a pre-Xbox One age, bound to remotes and dreams of techies and sci-fi fantasists.

Goodbye Kinect

That "Minority Report"-inspired sci-fi magic that the Kinect V2 seemed to promise has burned out. Xbox is just a games console once again with a few media apps, rather than a forward-facing futuristic all-encompassing media hub that could have (and should have) been the center of your entire home's technological set-up.

There are simple ways Microsoft could reintroduce itself in this market, by adding a microphone to the Xbox media remote for example, and improving Cortana's skill set (which the company is doing), but it doesn't feel like anyone at Xbox is pushing for that sort of scenario any more.

Kinect

Kinect (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

For gamers, the resources Microsoft leveraged at Kinect will likely be repurposed and refocused towards games and gaming, which is by no means a bad thing, but if that truly is the case, it's not without a sense of sadness that I ask, "why couldn't we have both?"

Since I didn't pick up a Kinect adapter fast enough for my Xbox One X… I guess I have to say goodbye to Kinect too. I doubt killing off Kinect will impact Xbox in any negative way in the long run (I mean, if people were using it, they'd have kept it). At the very least, this one random tech blogger will forever miss saying that magical phrase "Xbox on". Like many Microsoft product deaths recently, I'm sure many of us will continue to wonder what could have been, while questioning the long term future of other new and upcoming hardware products from Microsoft.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

77 Comments
  • Another magnanimous microsoft failure
  • In which way was it "magnanimous"?  Do you mean Microsoft developed a great product and then just let its rivals like Google and Amazon encroach on its idea and graciously stepped aside?  Well then I would agree too that was a failure on Microsoft's part.  Otherwise, Kinect by no means was a failure it did exactly what it was advertised to do.  That's why I still use it today on 3 of my Xbox's. 
  • "it did exactly what it was advertised to do" Did you see project Milo??? Did you hear the promises that were made? How this was going to be the future of gaming? How most games wouls use it? MS gave up on it long ago as they never really supported it by making a lot of games for it. They kept telling us that it was still important even though they weren't making games for it... and now they just kill it. They sold us dreams, kept hyping it and never really supported it this gen...
  • yet Kinect is leading on the business side. a failure it is not.
  • Is it really leading on the business side? Can you provide numbers?
  • Just finished having a party chat with mine...love it but I've grown and come to the realization that Microsoft never loves what I love so not surprised. They killing all the devices I invested in (from bands to WP to Groove to Kinect, etc) and they are becoming relics in my room. The only last Microsoft device in my room that's supported is Xbox, and I doubt that'll even last...no matter what other editors say. I don't even feel like investing in Xbox anymore, Microsoft is unpredictable now and I'm slowly moving away from them.
  • Don't forget the amazing Zune! :(
  • I agree, the Kinect was a great party game system. And the grandkids loved playing the party games as well.  I feel betrayed by them. They need to stop selling the games for the Kinect as well.
  • Dear XBOX One (S and X), being the only device from MS on the consumer market, you better be profitable and be the number 1 console in 2018, otherwise you will be the next one we are going to miss. Satya only believes in the cloud and enterprise. You better take care buddy !! 
  • Yep, as much as I love Xbox Satya is going to kill the whole visison at some point probably within 12-18 months. Wonder if MS will just pretned like they never made consoles like they did with Windows mobile?
  • All I can say is that they better not kill off what little voice commands are left on the xbox right now.
  • If they kill off the firmware for Kinect then mines will be paperweight
  • I saw that recently, Kinect and the adapter have become fairly expensive on eBay, so I sold mine. Burn in hell, Nadella. I won't be caught with another expensive paperweight due to your crappy mismanagement.
  • It will be back when its time for Microsoft to buyout the next company that attempts to produce something similar.
  • Umm, Apple already bought the company that created the Kinect tech. It is in that hideous notch for face ID
  • I just wish they would release a WebCam/Microphone for Xbox that can use the USB port and is certified for voice commands. Or open it up to third parties. Cortana on Xbox is still something I use. I would like to add it to some of the other XBox's I have but don't want to deal with the power adapters and cables.
  • I also use voice on Kinect a lot. What is the story for Skype with no video? I was planning to replace my original XBOX One with a One S, but if I can't get an adapter I won't go forward...not unless they have a WebCam play.
  • Windows Mobile. Windows Phone. Windows Media Center. Hubs in Windows Phone. Microsoft Band. Zune. XBOX Music. Groove. Kinect. These are all of the things I wholeheartedly embraced, evangelized and believed in. And they were truly fantastic products. All of these abandoned by Microsoft. I understand the business reasons for sure but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. When Verizon didn’t get the Lumia 950xl, my journey to a mixed ecosystem to “whatever works best” began. Windows and the XBOX are still at the center of my home ecosystem and the Kinect is a big part of it and still is. When I pre-ordered the XBOX One X, I ordered a new Kinect and Kinect Adapter at the same time and glad I did. I still love the Kinect for media control and what little Kinect games we have on the XBOX. Skyping on the XBOX One is awesone as well. My XBOX 360 is in a closet so we can bring it out for kids parties to play Kinect Sports or the crazy fun KINECT PARTY, two games I wish got ported to the XBOX ONE. I do wish that for once, Microsoft would still support something just for the fans, even if it doesn’t make business sense.
  • Key troubling phrase in Jez's article: "...a growing scrapheap of consumer products Microsoft failed to position properly." So far no sign that they've learned from these mistakes, or at least, shown any sympathy for us "evangelists" who spent money following them. I'm closing my wallet to any new MS products until they prove they've changed.
  • Agreed. This is why I've not been tempted by Windows Mixed Reality. I almost did it when the HP was on sale for $199. But this is still a far cry from the original Hololens vision (no pun intended) that wowed us 2-3 years ago. I almost consider Hololens vaporware. 
  • I think you and are were probably part of the last group who make that claim. Except we haven't moved to competing systems.  But I totally share your sentiment.
  • I'm not thrilled to be a Windows PC / XBOX User with an Android Phone, Google Home setup, Amazon Ecosystem Mixed in and Plex Media Center. Sure, I make the most of it but it is far from perfect and "fun." I was thrilled when it all worked pretty well at the height of Windows / Windows Phone 8.1. 
  • Not to mention the Apps they shuttered - Travel, Food & Drink, Health and Fitness, Travel, HERE, and what pisses me off the most are some of these writers on this site insinuating these apps, programs, or hardware were somewhat less than.  Please, I used these apps just liked I used the products they shuttered and there was nothing less than about them.  Just because Microsoft didn't promote their programs to get a foot hold doesn't mean their offerings were not good for the most part they were top notch.
  • 1+ on Food and Drink. For one, the hands free page turning was awesome on my Surface. Loved this. Second, I entered my own entries, over a 100, and I had to export them, one by one when they dropped support for the app. :( 
  • Farewell? I'm not saying goodbye, I'm still using mine to the end of it's life.
  • The only thing I worry about is they may strip Kinect support out of the XBOX on the next big OS update. 
  • I sure hope not, I will take my Xbox one back to Gamestop and trade it in for a PS4 Pro if they choose to kill off support. I own an Xbox over PS4 because of the feature list, and the Kinect is one of my favorites. I also own the Xbox because i like the games better, but if i have to, i will move on to the PS4 or Nintendo Switch.
  • I'm still using mine too. I always loved it, even after MS removed gestures, which were great, and exchanged "Xbox, on" with "Cortana, turn on my Xbox" which is utterly rediculous.
  • My one for my Xbox One and other I received last minute for my Xbox One X will just continue to work as IR basters, Cortana Mics and Skype cameras til they die!
  • Wait, how did you "receive" one last minute? I was promised an adapter for my One X when they came in by a Xbox Support supervisor. That turned out to be a lie because they closed the case number on me without letting me know and then this news broke.
  • Is there any port with the SDK to implement the Kinnect as a home security camera? I have my Xbox in my front room just off from the entrance of my house, with it's amazing IR camera, I'd love it as a motion detector/home security camera as it doesn't look out of place.
  • As I've said before, if there was the slightest chance we'd be replacing our original Xbox One with an Xbox X, that chance is gone.  I've tested the USB web cam capability on the Xbox One, and it sucks compared to Kinect, particularly when the lights are out.  And, I'm sorry, but Microsoft switching back to focusing on Xbox only being for gaming is beyond stupid, and I have a similar opinion of most people who didn't see the value and potential beyond gaming.  Microsoft didn't help things by not simply making the Kinect a free part of the console and let users decide if they want to turn on certain features.    So, like our Lumia 1020, we're holding on to the older tech because it does more of what we want it to do than the newer tech can.  Way to go, Microsoft.
  • They should have kept it out of the console offering. Improved the specs and reduced the price of the consol. A year or so later, with more Kinect Dev time, launched Kinect 2.
  • MS needs to get its **** together. The only news out of MS the last 6-8 months is things they have cancelled or abandoned. 
  • I just bought a used one, soldered a power supply to it and plugged it in with a USB 3.0 cable, works fine....  for about $20. So this thing is brand new to me. I'll use it till it quits.
  • The Kinect camera was heavy too... I always found the kinect adverts that showed it on top of very Slim TV's hilarious as there was nothing in the box that allowed you to 'connect' the kinect ontop of your TV when they bundled it with the Xbox one. Also by choosing a low end custom jaguar CPU and restricting resources to the kinect didn't help. However Kinect and Cortana would have been an awesome solution, if Microsoft made a smart TV o/s they could have sold the Kinect as a usb accessory that was compatible with windows hello and was more than your average web cam. Smart TV's have usb ports so the connectivity potential was there and with UWP, Xbox Anywhere, WoA and Cortana they could have owned the media space. Buuuutttt.... we all know what happened with the Xbox Entertainment Division. Portfolio Growth points. damn it.
  • They should have made a Kinect 3.0 for the new Xbox One X and the S as well. They could have updated it vastly, but chose to kill it off. Now the Xbox is just a media and gaming hub that is all. 
  • Kinect is cool, but had it's run as a gaming device. Not much development for it. I do think they should release a cam/mic setup or let 3rd party cams work. Would love a Brio for Xbox
  • Here's a question though: I currently own the 1st gren Xbox One with kinect. I talk to Cortana or the Xbox for things like muting, turning off and on, changing channel, etc. Without Kinect, where is the microphone? How do you speak to it for these things? And secondly, are you now supposed to go buy a webcam if you want to do Skype over xbox? Thanks for the answers!  
  • You can get a kinect usb adapter and for a time you could get the adaptor free for use with the xbox one s, you needed the serial number of your xbox one s and xbox one to get one - I am not sure if that still valid anymore. Other than the adaptor, yes you need a seperate web cam for the xbox one s and going forward. You can use headsets and the chat pad to communicate with Cortana.  
  • Thank yuo for the answer.   Here's m y next question though , and it's open one for everyone: Whgat's the end game here? In a world were Alexa's and Google Home's are taking over the TV and everything else, Microsoft had the Xbox One already in the homes to let is handle everything. But failed. I know --  they have the new speaker system which nobody will again buy - see band, Groove, Winsows Phone. So waht's the end game? What's the reason? I can't understand Microsoft decisions at times. Look even at the PS4 - which VR, it's going a whole lot more than the Xbox. Again, what is the end game for Microsofts recent decisions. Effectively, I'm not buying another Xbox for this very reason. I play a game here and there, but wanted an entertainment system with voice activation that can handle TV, etc. I'm guessing Alexa will do that for me instead. I've been gone for a while from Windows Central because I sold my Windows Phone, no longer use my Surface RT, my band broke, and don't play Xbox as much. So how has this been sold as? Why these changes that seem to go against the current?
  • After Satya Nadella took over from Ballmer and the focus shifted from a devices and services company to a software and services now it's just software as a service company as they retrenched from the consumer space. Ballmer's end game was three screens and the cloud vision this became what we know as the universal windows platform. Where all devices are the end points and Azure is the back end (cloud). But there has no been focused vision, only short term money grabbing. With Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates there was long term vision and willingness to take risks, understandably Satya Nadella is not so willing to take risks and by doing so they are second guessing themselves. It shows, they may not be aware but there are countless number of examples. Microsoft Band, Bing, Cortana, Hololens, Tap to Pay etc. Let's start with Steve Ballmer and a proven fact which impacts everyone - during the RROD fiasco - Ballmer was told it would take over a billion dollars to take care of their xbox customers - he didn't hesitate, 1.15 Billion was spent in ensuring customers got a first class service. Bing, Surface, Xbox were run at a loss and these losses were offset by other divisions suchas Office and Windows. Now to present day, We have multiple instances of broken promises, flip flop approaches for example The Lumia Accessory programme unveiled and cancelled shortly after. Satya Nadella expressingly stating if no one builds phones they will build them, they will target the duo user through two budget, two enthusiast and two business focused devices. Next... comes the axe that literally obliterates the mobile division. They lost so much talent, Juha Alarkhu is the one of the most prominent individials lost, he was the co-creator of Pureview whilst a Nokia. His other colleagues work at Apple (who also acquired primesense the developers behind the original kinect). In regards to customer care, Lumia warranty support was outsourced now compare that to what happened with the RROD issue. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL were THE most buggiest flagship phones ever released. As such people would have been in eligible for a replacement under warranty as it was a "manufactures defect" but Microsoft outsourced that problem resulting in shoddy customer service. These are just to key examples. There are currently good things happening at Microsoft but they do not offset insane amount of missteps. In regards to overall vision? There is no coherent strategy at play, because they were so focused on generating shareholder value through Quarter to Quarter gains through monetisation of the competitor's user base at the expense of their OWN ecosystem. It may appear on paper there is a coherent pathway, but in reality they are trying to get point Z with out going through point A, B, C, D etc as they want to focus on Progressive Web Apps. But what are the progressive web apps going to be based on? thin air? The UWP platform is a culmination of decades of work, this platform allows them to leverage the Windows Core to it's full potential.. But is Microsoft visibly focusing on UWP? No, they are not and when I say visibly - Linkedin and Mixer their two marquee applications of 2017 don't even have UWP apps on the road map. Hence why you see banks.. foregoing the platform completely and secondly enterprise users don't use apps to the extent as consumers. Thus reduction of monetisation incentives for developers therefore... not many UWP apps in the store. The only thing Microsoft has going for it right now, is Xbox and by promoting Phil Spencer finally to the Senior Leadership Team we are finally seeing greater focusing on gaming. Prior to his promotion, the xbox division was cut heavily and studios closed thus causing the Xbox One X to launch with almost zero first party titles. A direct result of quarter to quarter money grab as the most simplest way to increase net profits is to reduce your wage bill. In short, the overall vision is a incoherent mish mash due to lack of self confidence and risk aversion combined with focus on telemetry data (the most misguided approach when it comes to design as Microsoft has the habit of a all or nothing approach + knee jerk reaction to almost everything). The andromeda device rumoured to be released this year, cannot be hampered by lack of self confidence and risk aversion.To succeed they most be bold and allow the Surface team do what they do best - innovate.
  • I bought my daughter an invoke to use as a bluetooth speaker in her bathroom while she showers . I have no hope for it.
  • MR Catfish,  have you not heard?  Satya has just ordered the removal of bluetooth functionality out of the envoke.   
  • "Xbox is just a games console once again with a few media apps, rather than a forward-facing futuristic all-encompassing media hub that could have (and should have) been the center of your entire home's technological set-up." Yup, they could have ruled the living room/smart home with this setup. Kinect could have been the smart speaker years before the others. Windows Media Center could have been the core of your entertainment needs. All that on top of a great gaming console, all in one box. How could Microsoft go wrong? All the pieces were there, they just needed connecting. Oh ya, we got the "cloud" guy in charge and the rest is history. So much potential, so much failure.
  • I still use my Kinect everyday. "Xbox go home" and "Xbox watch tv" and "Xbox pause", etc. Kids use it for Just Dance games and Skype calls to grandma. I'll drive it until the wheels fall off.
  • I dont know why they dont make a nice webcam that can do Windows Hello and Skype for XBox.  Kinect always seemed like another one of those things that really could have been great if developers had really put effort into it. But this was MS, developers really dont take risks like that for Microsoft's ideas - burned too many times, I guess. 
  • Kinect was the perfect webcam. Zooming in to the person that talked! It was also good for workout. But was a little cumbersome since one had to move funiture to get room enougt in front of the TV. The idea to bundle Kinect with every console was good, that would make it more likely for developers to make programs for Kinect. But that was effectly put down by the "gamers" that cried that it was $100 more than PlayStation. When Xbox One first came it was a console for the whole family. The families media center. But Microsoft gave in for the hardcore gamers. 
  • At least Steve had the sense to go back to Apple when he saw someone killing the company. Where's Bill???
  • Doing more important things like COUNTING MONEY!
  • @hans-martijn As long Shareholder value is up, there isn't much he can do.
  • Microsoft needs to be 2 companies: one for consumers and one for business.
  • Microsoft can give me the replacement for kinect i wont spend a penny on it! i already purchased enough of there crap to have them throw in the towl! F ms
  • The only MS product I have left is my xbox one. When this one breaks, I'll sell my account with dozens of digital games and move on to Sony. Never gonna buy anything from this pathetic company.
  • MMGN,  I want to say I would do the same but,  I HATE MacOS,  Linux is not for me as a daily driver.  That leaves Chrome.  Just can't move away from windows 10 on my computer.  
  • Microsoft should have added a far field listening microphone into the Xbox console so that you can issue commands from across the room. If my Alexa powered Ecobee thermostat can have far field mics and I can speak to Alexa from another room, Microsoft could have done the same or better with internal mics as the Xbox One S/X is a much bigger box.
  • I am going to pre-order one as I am a hard core MS fan and I like the design of this device. This is defnitely one of the most beautiful Thermostats out there and has other USPs like Air Quality monitoring, occupancy detection ...etc. which is great. I hated Satya for his lack of focus on the consumer space but I love him for making MSFT stock a wall street favorite. I hope his idea is to focus on the software and services and work with the partners to develop the consumer products. If that is his idea, then I don't think there is anything wrong with that. The strategy for Glas is similar to the Invoke in my opinion. I love my Invoke just for the hk speaker itself and if there is anything to be improved on that device, it is Cortana. Cortana is the real bottleneck there as I can access music only from Tune In, iHeart Radio and Spotify. If the proposed Cortana - Alexa friendship is going to happen then I will be a happy customer as I will be able to open Alexa to play the music from my Amazon Prime Music. So friends, let's be optimistic like Jason Ward ... I think Satya is following the foot steps of Bill Gates ... Leave the hardware business to the hw experts and provide them the support they need from a Software Service stand point. They are continuing Surface just because the PC hardware partners became lazy and Google also started making contracts with the same HW partners with Android and Chrome book. They might continue Surface just to make their partners innovative... They may continue with XBOX till other HW partners agree to make game consoles. I think MS will stop XBOX at some point of time as most of the games are now compatible with Windows 10 as well and Mixed Reality is not supported yet in XBOX. Now I hope some companywill start making the Band with Windows IoT core and more PC manufactures will make the ultra mobile PCs (aka Surface Phone) and the home hub in the future. Lets be optimistic about the devices coming from the Hardware Partners !!
  • It is hard not to trip all over Kinect sensor adapters on Ebay.  They are everywhere along with the Kinect sensors. I highly recommend getting them both with your Xbox.  They allow you to use Skype, use speech commands for the Xbox and they serve as a powerful IR blaster and control EVERYTHING within miles.  Very useful and very much worth 150.00.  Not a failure in my hands.
  • I love using my Kinect for voice commands and Skype. Kinect wasn't a failiure, Microsoft the company is the failure here. They terminated Windows 10 mobile, then Groove music pass and now the Kinect. I was heavily thinking of getting a Surface Pro 5, but now i may not because i don't have any trust in the company anymore. I still use Windows on my main PC and laptop, but i don't think i will be buying any of their products again. I"m not even impressed with the Xbox One X, unless they can add different colors and a 2TB hard drive. 
  • Killing off the Kinect, is just Microsofts way of saying "F***U" Xbox One owners, and consumers. First they killed windows 10 mobile, then Groove music pass and now Kinect. What's next? Movies and TV? IF Microsoft wants to give it's conusmers hope for a brighter tech and services future, they need to start getting their **** together. Because many of us are losing faith in Microsoft's ability to serve the community. I understand cloud and mobile first, but they killed Windows Mobile, and getting rid of Groove music pass and forcing us to use Spotify with a ****** app on the Xbox One, well that was truly messed up. Luckily i got the Kinect adapter when i bought my Xbox One S last year, so i still have the abillity to use my Kinect. For everyone else who just opened up their brand new Xbox One S/X for Christmas now can't get a Kinect with adapter. We are now losing our confidence each and every day in Mcirosoft to deliver for their fans and suppotrers.
  • Sad to see them do away with yet another great bit of kit.  The way Microsoft is acting I wouldn't be surprised if Cortana was shelved, they really need mobile and maximise its potential.  Data is the fuel of AI and machine learning, MS are now wayyyy wayyyy behind compared to Alexa, Siri and Google Now, that's just a fact as the data inputs are small compared to what Apple, Amazon and Google have.  
  • I bought into Microsoft products and loved the Zune then Groove, Surface Pros, Band 2, 950XL, and XBOX One/Kinect, but after watching them abandon the products I loved, I'm done with them. When my SP4 dies I'll buy elsehwere  I'll get a Garmin or Fitbit. I already bought an OP5T and I won't replace my XBOX. Goodbye MS, it was nice knowing you.  
  • I use my kinect daily for its voice commands, although MS gimped it's functionality with the S and X. No one should ever believe Microsoft again when it comes to products or services aimed at consumers.
  • Everything's moving towards AR headsets, now using just wifi, but will be 5G later, with AR-games/sensors/phone abilities/location based ads, face recog... its the next "smart device" thing. Some or maybe even Microsoft says about new category of device(surface phone), but I see this as Next big category to grow on.  Kinect just transformed to be wireless. Also with microsoft xbox ways, I can expect support of old games and for new, if technology is prepared for it. Seeing movements of body from the head may be harder than from afar, some see-through-clothes/body sensors will be necessary. Or some bracelets sensing hand/legs/fingers movement. Kinect is not dead.
  • While I certainly agree there's crossover capability between the Kinect and WMR, they aren't the same.  I don't want to have put some contraption on just to interface with something.  We bought the Xbox One w/Kinect because ANYONE could walk into range of the Kinect and interact with our system, using only voice and gesture.  I certainly can't do that with WMR.  When it's 3am and I wanted to control my TV or other applications on the Xbox, it was fantastic to not have to make a single sound or pick up a stupid controller to command my system.  Again, NOT something WMR does without you putting a device on.  I'm disappointed that they killed and equally disappointed so many didn't understand its application should have been WAY beyond just 'games'.  I never, ever considered the Kinect a gaming thing.  It was a practical advance toward the "Minority Report" and "Iron Man" experience.  Which is now all but gone.
  • I have a Kinect somewhere in the basement. It's fun, but interest in it didn't last.
  • Well let's see. Zune, Band, Phone, Music, Kinect, and other comsumer products are gone. Next Xbox. Microsoft is the next IBM. The only difference may be Microsoft will continue to bulild it's services ouit on other platforms for normal consumers with it's apps. IMHO. 
  • I watch back part of E3 2009 with the bs they showed about project natal, E3 2010, E3 2011 and the reveal of 2013. Many of those who are in charge today are the same people who were part of MS back then... When we see the bs that they (and the MS/XB fanboys) were saying back then and we see at kinect now we can see how funny this whole thing is. They mislead people with natal and what kinect could do. They sold fake dreams and made millions of people buy this without actually providing enough support. They saying they were supporting it even until recently... And now they are killing it. They can get away with it. There are always fanboys who are here going to defend this...
  • I only used the Kinect for gaming when it was honestly more of a workout than playing a game and my God it worked well and was fun. Aside from that I only used it for the voice commands to control my TV which was just really nice from Xbox On to Hey Cortana, turn on my Xbox which would then call my Xbox, TV and surround sound system to life without touching one remote control. It was a great interface and I honestly wish Microsoft would stop giving up so easily with these great inventions. Case in point if Microsoft had of just kept polisihing and improving the Windows Mobile experience instead of incessantly re-inventing the wheel every time going from CE to 7 and through some fruit names to 8, 8.1 and 10...if they had just refined and improved the experience going all the way back before iPhone, I'm sure the mobile landscape would look much different today.
  • Another future innovation that will live in the past. I was a Microsoft fanboy but they give me no reason to promote their products. Microsoft does not have a marketing department, it has an apology department. Apple can sell the same crap for a decade and call it new technology. I don't have a 4K TV yet so I haven't bought the One X or the One S yet. Now I don't know if it is worth it to invest in MS products anymore. I may have to throw it on the pile of future devices of forgotten dreams like my Zune, Band, Windows Phone, and Kinect.
  • One really has to consider that any investment you make in a Microsoft platform is money flushed down the toilet. When the next new cool gadget from Microsift hits the market I will not be a buyer. I'm sure Cortana will be Next in line to get the axe.
  • Satay will get the axe soon... once there is nothing left to kill then his job is complete!
  • Microsoft does have a reputation for really ******* off loyal customers in the past by EOL'ing some products.  I had great hopes for the Kinect on the PC as an input device for productivity and games.  At least, MS's efforts in Augmented Reality may be able to fill that void when the Kinect is gone.
  • Very frustrated since I had to do a warranty replacement on my Xbox One and I got an Xbox One S and now I can't use my Kinect. The camera was nice but I really miss the voice commands.
  • So disappointed. There are so many things they could have done with the connect. I was so excited when they packaged it with the Xbox one because then developers actually have more incentive to use it when they know all units had one. Then they folded because stupid executives didn't give it enough power.
    I love the Xbox and I'm really love my Xbox One X but really disappointed about the Kinect. I was hoping they would use it with the mixed reality headsets in the future. Oh what could have been. :(
  • My first Kinect came with my Day One Xbox One (You could not buy Xbox Oned without it). I never used it for games but I think their marketing was all wrong.  They should have marketed the Xbox One X with Kinect as the all in one Twitch/YouTube/etc. streaming package.  Streamers spend a fortune (One Twitch Streamer sunk $5,000 into a PC and studeo equipment just to stream) but they could have sold a 4K streaming experience to Streamers where they could have a full streamer studio for $600 (starting price).  I could just imagine a package just for YouTube/Twtich/etc. streamers where Cortana controlled everything.  Buy the Streamer package and be streaming like a professional that same day for $600 (Xbox One X plus Kinect).  "Stream Like a Pro for the cost of a good camera".. Microsoft / Xbox blew a fortune in Streamer revenue due to bad marketing decisions.  Mixer/Cortana/Kinect should have been a Streamer's dream come true. Likewise, imagine an Xbox VR system based around the Kinect.  All we would need would be the glasses and proper software to turn a Kinect/Xbox One X/Cortana into the premier VR system.
  • Such a sad article to read. I just REALLY hope that Microsoft launches a small new device or something to replace the Kinect with to allow us to speak to turn on the Xbox and etc.