Despite having been out for nearly two months, the world has yet to see a decent guide to the Kinect for Windows. While the Xbox and Windows versions of the Kinect use basically the same hardware, there are subtle but important differences. Thanks to [Matthew Leone] and his awesome summary of developer resources, getting your Kinect project up and running is now a lot easier.
After getting the SDK from the Microsoft Kinect for Windows site, you might want to check out the Microsoft Programming Guide. The Windows Kinect can only be used with Visual Studio, but with that inflexibility comes a few added features. Both versions of the Kinect have a microphone array that allows for determining the direction of a sound source. The Open Source driver has very little support for audio input, but the official Microsoft version has all the APIs for audio capture, source localization, and speech recognition ready to go.
At $250, the Kinect for Windows is a fairly hefty investment. A used Xbox Kinect can be had for around $80, so we’re pretty certain the hacker community is going to steer itself away from the Windows version. Still, if you’re ever paid to develop something for the Kinect you might want the friendly APIs and features not found in the XBox version.