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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft is to release the Kinect for Windows SDK to developers on the 1 February. It means sample code, Kinect drivers and APIs will be available to the general public and should spur on the beginning of Kinect software development for the Windows platform.

Microsoft is currently working with more than 200 different companies to build applications for Windows that use Kinect. Microsoft's Steve Balmer announced the release date at the Microsoft conference at this year's CES, but unfortunately didn't go into any major application or functionality specifics. 

As it stands Kinect has shifted more than 18 million units, a significant number given its short lifespan compared to the Xbox 360, which has sold 66 million units to date. 

The Kinect for Windows functionality will work on both Windows 8 and Windows 7, the former also due to arrive in a test version next month according to Microsoft's chief marketing officer Tami Reller. 

One thing worth noting is that later Kinect hardware will only maintain functionality with one of the two platforms, either Windows or the Xbox 360. 

We will have more on Kinect for Windows as further details are announced. Those who want to give the SDK a try can download it free here.

Like the idea of Kinect for Windows? Let us know in the comments below ... 

Writing by Hunter Skipworth.