updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed July 15, 2009
Gates on Natal and Windows
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates today hinted that his company's Project Natal technology for the Xbox 360 should also come to Windows. The future add-on, which detects full body movement and real-world objects, is now expected to reach the desktop both for work purposes, like collaboration, but also media tasks in the home. Gates wasn't specific in details with CNET but teased that the prospects are "very exciting."
"I think the value is as great for if you're in the home, as you want to manage your movies, music, home system type stuff, it's very cool there," he said. "And I think there's incredible value as we use that in the office connected to a Windows PC."
He also provided a possible clue as to the launch window for Project Natal and stated that it should be expected in "a little over a year."
The addition of Natal to Windows would represent a further attempt by Microsoft to move away from conventional input methods on computers. While Apple has been making some strides with multi-touch trackpad input in Mac OS X, Microsoft intends that multi-touch displays will be a major interface option for Windows 7. The OS will recognize certain touch gestures in all apps and has programming tools to add more advanced touch features.