Microsoft today announced its Kinect for Windows fall roadmap. Make sure to mark October 8 on your calendar, because that’s when Kinect for Windows will get Windows 8 support. Redmond is giving itself plenty of buffer time before Windows 8 goes on sale more than two weeks later, just in case something goes wrong.

The Kinect for Windows runtime, as well as the software development kit (SDK), are being updated with new features. Full details are coming next month, but Microsoft was willing to share these highlights:

  • Expanded sensor data access, including color camera settings and extended depth data.
  • More tools and samples coming in October, such as a new sample that demonstrates a “best in class” UI based on the Kinect for Windows Human Interface Guidelines.
  • Support for Windows 8 desktop applications, Microsoft .NET 4.5, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.

Also on October 8, Kinect for Windows will arrive in China. Kinect for Windows hardware will be available in six additional markets “later this fall”: Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and Poland. Microsoft has yet to give an exact date for these countries, but it probably will on October 8.

Here’s a map that shows you where it already is available and where it will in the next few months:

kinect for windows map 520x322 Windows 8 support coming to Kinect for Windows on October 8, China to get Kinect hardware

In February 2012, Kinect for Windows launched in 12 markets. Version 1.5 was released in May, adding four more countries to the list. Then 15 were added in June. Soon seven more will be added. Have you been doing the math? By the end of the year, Kinect for Windows will be available in 38 markets.

Talk about a 180. Remember when Microsoft wasn’t happy that enthusiasts were hacking the Kinect left, right, and center? Now the company is doing everything it can to get Kinect, for both the Xbox 360 and Windows, into everyone’s hands.

Read also: Has the ship already sailed for controlling Windows 8 with Kinect tech?

(Hat tip to ZDNet)

Image credit: stock.xchng