In an interview with CNet today, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates hinted Natal’s integration with Windows in the future. Project Natal is Microsoft’s project to integrate motion sensing capabilities into Xbox 360, similar to what has been done with the Wii but without the use of any controller. He stated that the Windows team have latched onto the idea of Natal and is working in collaboration with the Xbox team to research on how the concept can be used in the office environment.
I’d say a cool example of [what's going on in Microsoft research labs], that you’ll see is kind of stunning, in a little over a year, is this (depth-sensing) camera thing… Not just for games, but for media consumption as a whole… If they connect it up to Windows PCs for interacting in terms of meetings, and collaboration, and communication, you put the camera in now it’s a cool thingThe Microsoft chairman did not go into specifics, but hinted at possible examples of the concept’s utilization:
Well, I think the value is as great for if you’re in the home, as you want to manage your movies, music, home system type stuff, it’s very cool there. And I think there’s incredible value as we use that in the office connected to a Windows PC. So Microsoft research and the product groups have a lot going on there, because you can use the cost reduction that will take place over the years to say, “Why shouldn’t that be in most office environments?”The fact that Microsoft is latching on to a potential opportunity to change the conventional way of interacting with computers is exciting. While Apple has been using multi-touch gestures as a productivity feature for Mac laptops for a while now, Microsoft is responding with numerous multi-touch display features that are integrated into Windows 7. Gates wording of the Windows team picking up on the idea suggests that Natal may play a role in next generation Windows.