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Microsoft Unveils Kinect 2.0 for Windows v2

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) recently released the second generation Kinect, a motion sensing camera, for Windows v2. Kinect 2.0 is available for pre-order now in Microsoft stores and will hit the markets for sale on Jul 15 at $199. Kinect was originally launched as part of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.

The PC-compatible Kinect costs twice as much as the console Kinect. The device works with the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit 2.0 and requires a license for non-commercial purposes.

The Kinect for PCs is a productivity tool, with which Microsoft expects to attract more developers. It will allow them to experiment with the sensor’s functionality and explore what the peripheral can offer for their Windows applications with reduced latency. With improved technology, it will enable developers to access a high level of control and broader range of apps.

The Kinect for Xbox 360 is designed to boost the experience of gamers.  It is basically an advanced webcam packed in a box that allows users to control and interact with their console or computer through gestures and commands. Therefore, it allows gamers to utilize Kinect’s interactive motion-sensor tools to play games without a controller.

Kinect 2.0 is more or less similar to its gaming console counterpart. The product features a higher reliability 1080p camera, microphone, wider field of view, new active incorporated infrared, improved motion sensor system with the ability to identify individual users and improved skeletal tracking.

Kinect was also incorporated as part of Microsoft's latest Xbox One gadget. But last month Microsoft declared that the Xbox One gaming console would be available without Kinect, following lower demand for the peripheral. Xbox One users were previously compelled to buy an extra accessory for the system, which made the console more expensive than Sony’s new device. This likely affected sales.

Therefore, the decision to exclude Kinect from Xbox One was based on consumer response as well as to enable the system to contest with Sony's (SNE) popular, cost-efficient PlayStation 4.

Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks worth considering at this time include Aspen Technology, Inc. (AZPN) and Autodesk Inc. (ADSK), both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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