By far, the biggest news out of Microsoft for developers this week is the announcement of the forthcoming Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit. However, a number of other important technology stories are percolating just below the surface of the big news.

Kinect for Windows SDK. Microsoft announced on Feb. 21st that a non-commercial Kinect for Windows SDK will be available as a free download in the spring. The Kinect for Windows SDK is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with the Interactive Entertainment Business and will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to key pieces of the Kinect system – such as the audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley covered the story in her daily All About Microsoft column, as did TechFlash Managing Editor Todd Bishop with this story.

Craig Mundie’s TechForum. At the Redmond, Wash. campus on Feb. 21st, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie spoke about future trends in the technology sector and showcased a few prototypes and Microsoft Research projects. TechFlash covered the story, including more than seven minutes of video regarding Avatar Kinect taken at the TechForum event.

Windows MultiPoint Server. In this Feb. 21st post on Blogging Windows, blogger Brandon LeBlanc reports that the trial version of Windows MultiPoint Server is now available for download at the Microsoft Download Center. Windows MultiPoint Server is designed to make technology access easier and more affordable for educational institutions.

Ben the PC Guy’s favorite spring PCs. Ben the PC Guy is at it again. On the Windows Experience Blog, blogger Ben Rudolph shows off some of the hottest spring PCs out there in a nearly seven-minute video, including the Toshiba Satellite L635 Kids PC, ASUS U36Jc, HP Pavilion dm1z, Acer TimelineX 1830, Dell XPS 14, Sony VAIO Z, Samsung SF 510 and Lenovo U260.

The Future of Search. In this Feb. 18th blog post, The Bing team announced the start of a new series called “The Future of Search.” Created in conjunction with O’Reilly Radar, a company that provides research and analysis on emerging technologies, the new series will explore different themes every three or four weeks regarding how search will look and feel down the road.

Internet Explorer 9’s geolocation capabilities. The release candidate for Internet Explorer 9 includes support for the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) geolocation API, which enables Web developers to request the user’s physical location, according to this Feb. 17th post on the IEBlog. Andy Zeigler, a program manager at Internet Explorer, continues, “If a Web site requests your location, Internet Explorer will notify you and let you choose whether or not to grant the requesting Web site access to your location.”

The Silverlight Triad. In this episode of Silverlight TV, three leaders from the Silverlight engineering team – the “Silverlight Triad” – are interviewed on Channel 9 about some of their favorite features in the next release of Silverlight. Watch the video below:

That’s it for this edition of the Midweek Download. See you next Wednesday, and thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs