Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼


Microsoft, Open Source, and The Kinect SDK

Since the start of this year, developer newswires and discussion forums have been richly populated with discussion over whether Microsoft is about to open source the SDK underpinning its Kinect for Xbox360 "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" peripheral.

Attendees at the company's recent Microsoft Mix '11 web and multimedia developer event reportedly overheard Kristin Tolle, director of the Microsoft Research natural user interface team, confirm that open sourcing of the SDK was going ahead.

Founder of the OpenKinect community Joshua Blake has said that Microsoft had previously announced its plans to make the Kinect for Windows SDK available this Spring, initially for non-commercial use and later for commercial use. Blake then Tweeted celebrated ZDNet journalist Mary-Jo Foley to highlight Tolle's comments at Mix.

"During a Q&A after a session on Day 3 at Mix, Blake reported that Tolle said (twice) that Microsoft planned to open-source the Kinect SDK — the non-commercial version of which is due out in beta form "this spring," wrote Foley.

Foley continued, "It wasn't clear whether Tolle meant all of the Kinect SDK, or just parts of it. However, it turns out Microsoft isn't open-sourcing the Kinect SDK, after all — at least according to what Microsoft officials told me this afternoon. There was no explanation for Tolle's reported comments."

Foley finally received a clarifying statement from a Kinect SDK team spokesperson: "Kinect for Windows SDK will not be made available as open source. We are not releasing any source of the SDK, the SDK is in binary. The intent is to allow use of the SDK only to facilitate non-commercial experimentation with the Kinect functionality."

Whatever the future holds for Kinect, Microsoft has (over the last 18 months at least) open sourced most of its community developed projects and technologies via the Outercurve Foundation — the not-for-profit software IP management and project development organization.

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.