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Microsoft's $50 adapter makes your Xbox One Kinect compatible with Windows

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Kinect apps are now available from the Windows Store

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Xbox One owners with a Kinect could soon get more use out of Microsoft's powerful camera — assuming those same people are also Windows users. Today Microsoft launched a $49.99 adapter that will make the Xbox One version of Kinect fully compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1 PCs and tablets. Performance is identical between the repurposed Xbox sensor and the standalone Kinect v2 for Windows unit, but this option could save you some money if you bought Microsoft's console before the big decoupling. And if we're being honest, that Kinect's probably not seeing much activity right now aside from receiving your voice commands and maybe handling some Skype calls. Why not give it a new lease on life?

Microsoft has also announced version 2.0 of the Kinect SDK for developers and, of more interest to consumers, the company is allowing third-party devs to deploy Kinect apps in the Windows Store for the first time. "We are delighted to enable you to bring more personal computing experiences that feature gesture control, body tracking, and object recognition to Windows customers around the world," Microsoft's Alex Kipman wrote in a blog post. And that kicks off today with apps like Yakit, which lets you animate still photos by speaking, and 3D Builder.