Microsoft at CES: Kinect, Tablets, Android Apps Coming to Windows

by on November 11th, 2010
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Microsoft has historically been one of the big names at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and 2012’s has been no exception. It’ll be the last year that the tech giant is here, though, as it’s announced that it will be holding its own events Apple-style from now on.

So, what was on the agenda for Microsoft?

Kinect (and lots of it)

Tim Stevens’ live blog for Engadget showed how Kinect took center stage. Not only were more partners announced for Kinect’s voice guide, but a “two-way” television show was shown off, called Sesame Street TV. A child demonstrating the game interacted with the on-screen Muppets.

Perhaps more importantly, Microsoft announced that the Kinect accessory would be coming to Windows PCs, starting on February 1. Kinect for Windows hardware will be available for $249.

Windows 8

Windows 8’s “Metro” interface, reminiscent of Windows Phone 7’s, was demonstrated at CES. Long Zheng of iStartedSomething posted screenshots which show popular tablet games and apps available for it, including Cut the Rope and Evernote.

These games and apps will be coming to Windows sooner than Windows 8 is, however, as the Windows Store — Microsoft’s answer to the App Store — will be opening in late February. Many of these titles are already available for Windows, but will receive automatic updates through the store and will be easier to find there.

The Windows Store is just part of Microsoft’s push to make Windows PCs more like iPad-style tablets. Windows 8’s touch interface will replace the traditional desktop for tablet PCs, and is designed to be easier to use. Some Windows 8 PCs will include the old-style desktop, though, and be compatible with earlier apps.

Android apps

While not part of Microsoft’s demos, a company called BlueStacks demoed its App Player, a program which is able to run Android apps inside Windows. The apps will integrate with Windows 8’s Metro interface, taking up tiles on its surface instead of Android-style app icons.

A free copy of the App Player is available for download at bluestacks.com. Its Cloud Connect mobile app lets you send your phone’s apps to your PC. Android apps are designed for Android devices, however, and may not be as fun or as usable on a PC without controls like a touch screen and accelerometer. They also are not designed to look like Windows apps, especially the new Metro ones.


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