Microsoft: Kinect for Xbox One will not work on PCs

When Microsoft announced a special next-generation Kinect for Windows pre-release developer program earlier today, the move got us wondering whether Windows-based tinkerers couldn’t just plug the Kinect that came with the Xbox One into their PC instead, as hackers did almost immediately after the release of the original Kinect for Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Microsoft has confirmed to Ars Technica that the new generation Kinect that comes packaged with every Xbox One console has a proprietary connector that can not be plugged directly into a PC and that Microsoft is not planning to release an adapter to allow such cross-platform use.

“The Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adaptor that allows it to plug into a computer,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars in an e-mail. Instead, “the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port [emphasis added].”

Microsoft says the Xbox One and Windows versions of the new generation Kinect are “built on a shared set of technologies” and have similar capabilities such as 1080p video, an active IR mode, and a wider field of view than the first Kinect. But that doesn’t mean the devices are exactly the same, or designed to be interoperable with the other platform.

“The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows,” the spokesperson told Ars. “Kinect for Xbox One is being built for and tested with the Xbox One.”

Of course, hardware hackers may well develop their own adapter to allow the Xbox One Kinect to talk to a PC. Even in that case, though, Microsoft says the Xbox One’s Kinect “is not licensed for commercial use, supported, or under warranty when used on any other platform, including Windows.”

The original Kinect for Xbox 360 also features a proprietary plug that is designed to be inserted directly in to a specially shaped slot on later model Xbox 360 systems. This plug provides both data transfer between the console and the Kinect and power directly to the camera. However, Microsoft also includes an adapter with each Xbox 360 Kinect that allows the unit to plug in to standard USB ports on older Xbox 360 models and to draw power from a standard wall outlet at the same time.

Windows-based hackers almost immediately used this adapter to plug the original Kinect into their PCs and tinker with the new depth-based camera technology, which was much cheaper than other 3D cameras at the time. A variety of PC demos and unofficial PC drivers were available for Kinect months before Microsoft launched its official Windows SDK for the device, and well before Microsoft split off a separate, USB “Kinect for Windows” sensor.

Things will be different this time around. Even if you get your hands on an Xbox One launch unit this November, you’ll have to sign up for Microsoft’s newly announced pre-release Kinect for Windows developer program and pay $399 to use the new Kinect on a PC at that time. That will get you early access to a “pre-release/alpha” edition of the Windows version of the sensor in November, as well as the final version of the Windows-based Kinect when it is released some time in 2014 (plus access to official SDKs and development support from Microsoft). Microsoft has not discussed how much the Windows version of the new Kinect will cost when it is released for general availability.

It seems likely that the ability to use the original Xbox 360 Kinect on a Windows machine was an unintended bonus, born of Microsoft’s need to offer compatibility with legacy Xbox 360 systems. For the launch of the new Kinect, Microsoft seems committed to producing two highly similar yet distinct versions of the hardware for two different platforms.



Microsoft announces Bounty Programs – Report vulnerabilities & get paid upto $100000

If you are one of those who likes to break into software or OS protection, then this post is for you. Microsoft is paying you to hack into Windows 8.1! Microsoft has asked hackers, security researchers and others to report vulnerabilities in their various products, including Windows 8.1, for making their products better and protecting customers. For this, Microsoft has announced various Microsoft Security Bounty Programs.

Microsoft has announced various programs which will launch on June 26, 2013:

Mitigation Bypass Bounty- The Mitigation Bypass Bounty Program asks participants to submit truly novel mitigation bypass techniques that target Windows 8.1 Preview. Qualified mitigation bypass submissions are eligible for payment of $100,000 USD, based on the quality and complexity of the bypass technique and optional defense idea. A mitigation bypass technique is designed to circumvent protections that are built into the operating systems. The program starts on 26th June,  the launch date of Windows 8.1 Preview. The Mitigation Bypass Bounty program will run indefinitely, at Microsoft’s discretion.

Internet Explorer 11 Preview Bug Bounty – Microsoft will pay up to $11,000 USD for critical-class vulnerabilities that affect Internet Explorer 11 Preview running on Windows 8.1 Preview. The bounty period for Internet Explorer 11 Preview starts on June 26, 2013, and ends July 26, 2013. Even former Microsoft employees and even previously members of IE team can participate in this.

BlueHat Bonus for Defense – The BlueHat Bonus for Defense allows Mitigation Bypass program participants to also submit a technical white paper to describe a defensive idea that could effectively block the exploitation technique they have submitted. Qualifying defense submissions will receive an additional bonus of up to $50,000 USD, depending on the quality and uniqueness of the defense idea.

The highest rewards will go to submissions that include a fully functioning exploit which concretely demonstrates that remote code execution is possible.