Microsoft is sitting on treasure
Everyone knows Microsoft needs a big play in the consumer market. It will obviously have the next Xbox out next year but it need something that will really get the media going crazy. This is where Microsoft research comes in.
I'm sure most of you saw the article today about Microsoft's touchless future but that's at least 5 years off. Kinect was a product from Microsoft research. The idea and technology for the device was created in, wait for it ... 1998. I'm not saying it was economically feasible back then but they had it.
So my idea is why doesn't Steve Ballmer or whoever raid the catacombs of Microsoft research for past ideas that never made it to market. Think of it the Kinect was hiding for 12 years what other innovative products could be in there. We don't know and may never know but lets hope someone decides to look through past ideas and choose to bring a couple to market.