Microsoft: Kinect coming to Windows February 1

Microsoft's Kinect gaming peripheral will be coming to the Windows operating system in Feburary. The company says is has sold 18 million units of the motion sensor.

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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
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Microsoft's Kinect motion controller. Microsoft

LAS VEGAS--Microsoft is leaning heavily on the Kinect to up its cool factor. So much so it plans on bringing the gaming peripheral to Windows on February 1.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said there are more apps being created for the motion sensor, which originally debuted as a gaming peripheral and the Xbox 360's answer to the Nintendo Wii. Ballmer said the Kinect has sold 18 million units.

The Xbox and the Kinect are one of the few successful parts of Microsoft. The Kinect was a particularly hot item during the holiday season.

Microsoft initially positioned it as an accessory for the Xbox 360 and a response to the success of the Wii motion sensor. But in recent months, the company has positioned it as a hub for the entertainment center, allowing you to control your media through voice and motion commands. Now, the company wants the Kinect to be the center of everything, including how people use its PC operating system.

Microsoft held a demonstration of Sesame Street TV, part video and part game, and an illustration of the interactive capabilities that come from the Kinect.

The company is also in the midst of a transformation on the PC and mobile side with Windows Phone for smartphones, and Windows 8 for PCs and tablets.

Microsoft has said that the next milestone for Windows 8 will be in February, with the opening of its Windows Store for apps.

Updated at 7:51 p.m. PT: to include Microsoft's announcement that the Kinect would work with Windows in February.