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Kinect for Windows + Windows 8

We have tested the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 1.8 for the original Kinect for Windows sensor to ensure that it is compatible with Windows 8, so you can safely upgrade to Windows 8 and continue developing Kinect for Windows applications just as you did on Windows 7.

The Kinect for Windows applications that you developed on Windows 7 will perform as well on Windows 8 as they did before—perhaps even better, thanks to Windows 8 enhancements. Additionally, the applications you develop by using the Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8 on Windows 8 will be compatible with Windows 7.

So if you want the optimal performance of Windows 8, there’s no reason not to upgrade. Download the Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8 and upgrade your operating system to Windows 8.

Download the Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8 to develop applications with the original sensor

Windows 8 compatibility

Is Kinect for Windows compatible with Windows 8?

Yes. The original Kinect for Windows supports the creation of Windows 8 desktop applications by using C++, C#, and Visual Basic.

Which versions of the Kinect for Windows SDK are compatible with Windows 8?

The Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8, which we released on September 16, 2013, is fully tested and supported for Windows 8 application development, as was the previous version 1.7. Earlier versions were released before Windows 8 was final; therefore, we recommend that you use our most recent SDK when you develop Kinect for Windows apps for Windows 8.

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and SDK, available in summer (northern hemisphere) 2014, will be compatible with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Embedded Standard 8, and Windows Embedded Standard 8.1.
 

Will Windows 8 limit the functionality of the Kinect for Windows sensor or SDK?

Not at all. You will be able to use all of the existing features of the original Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK 1.8 with Windows 8. In fact, you should see performance improvement due to Windows 8 operating system enhancements. The v2 sensor and SDK are optimized for Windows 8.

Which operating systems work with Kinect for Windows?

The Kinect for Windows SDK 1.8 and runtime are designed to operate on computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Embedded Standard 7, or Windows Embedded Enterprise. Learn about Kinect for Windows hardware and software requirements.  

Kinect for Windows application performance with Windows 8

If I have already built a Windows 7 application, will it work on computers running Windows 8?

Kinect for Windows desktop applications should run as well on Windows 8 as they do on Windows 7. In fact, with Windows 8, you may find the performance is improved, due to Windows 8 operating system enhancements. However, we recommend that developers recompile their applications with the latest version (1.8) of the Kinect for Windows SDK. The SDK 1.8 is fully compatible with earlier versions (1.0, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7), so the migration should be very easy.

If I build a Kinect for Windows app for Window 8, will it be backwards compatible with Windows 7?

This depends on how you built the application. The original Kinect for Windows works with Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktop applications, but the developer of the application is responsible for designing the application to work on all the target platforms.

Kinect for Windows compatibility with Microsoft Surface and Windows Runtime

Will my Windows 7 applications work on computers running Windows RT?

No. Windows RT, the ARM version of Windows 8, doesn’t run Windows 7 applications. Windows RT computers only run Windows Store applications built for Windows 8.

Why can’t I build Windows Store apps that use the original Kinect for Windows?

Windows Store applications are built by using the Windows Runtime, which is not designed for Kinect for Windows programming. Kinect for Windows can be accessed only by desktop applications.

We launched Kinect for Windows so that businesses and developers could create touch-free commercial applications for their customers. The original Kinect for Windows is optimized for Win32 and Windows Presentation Foundation applications running on computers equipped with Windows 7, Windows 8, and specialized devices running Windows Embedded Standard 7 or Windows Embedded Enterprise.

However, with the summer (northern hemisphere) 2014 release of the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and SDK, developers will have the capability to design Kinect for Windows applications targeting Windows desktop and the Windows Store.
 

Does Kinect for Windows work with the new Microsoft Surface?

Kinect for Windows does not work with Surface RT because it is an ARM-based device. Kinect for Windows supports only desktop applications on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Kinect for Windows does work with Microsoft Surface Pro devices.

Kinect for Windows application availability

May I sell the Kinect for Windows desktop applications that I develop in the Windows Store?

If your desktop application passes the Windows Desktop App Certification, your application can be listed in the Windows Store. Your listing will be discoverable in the Windows Store via searching and browsing, and will include a link to your website where customers can purchase the app. For more information on the Windows Store, visit the Windows Dev Center.

For more information about Kinect for Windows:

Visit the FAQ

Kinect for Windows sensors

Purchase the original Kinect for Windows sensor and get started today, or learn about the v2 sensor, which will be available in summer 2014.

Buy the original sensorRead our blog for v2 news

Get the Kinect for Windows SDK

Download the software development kit (SDK) 1.8 and start developing applications that interact naturally through voice and gestures.

Download now

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