At CES Microsoft has announced Kinect for Windows will be arriving on February 1st with a retail price of $249. The reason why Kinect for Xbox is about $99-$149 is because it is subsidized by Kinect games, Xbox Live subscriptions, etc. Kinect for Windows will be available on February 1st, 2012 across 12 countries (U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the U.K.). The price includes a one-year warranty.
Kinect for Windows will support gesture and voice on Windows Embedded-based devices. Microsoft is taking a hardware-only business model for Kinect for Windows, which means that they will not be charing for the SDK or run-time. These tools will be available for free to developers and end-users.
“Near Mode” on Kinect for Windows enables a new class of “close up” applications that will be beyond the living room scenarios that are used for Kinect for Xbox 360. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is working with hundreds of companies with the integration. Kinect for Windows is not compatible with the Xbox 360.
[Kinect for Windows Blog]