Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Fastest-selling Consumer Electronic Device"

On Wednesday, March 9 Microsoft announced that it has sold more than 10 million Kinect units for its Xbox 360. The device was launched by Microsoft on November 4 and has now become the fastest-selling device in the world.

On the very same day, the Guinness World Records reported that the Kinect now holds the title of the “Fastest-selling Consumer Electronic Device” in the entire world. It sold more than 8 million units in the first 60 days after its release. This statistic was released by Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer at CES in January. Between November 4 and January 3, the Kinect has sold an average of 133,333 units per day.

"The sales figures outstrip both the iPhone and the iPad for the equivalent periods after launch," Guinness World Records wrote in a blog post.
Then, between January 3 and March 9, Microsoft sold close to two million Kinect units. This is roughly the same number of devices that Microsoft sold within the first 24 days.

The Kinect has been one of Microsoft’s most successful recent products. The company’s 2010 fourth quarter revenues shot off the charts. There were rumors of a shortage of Kinects in January, and supposedly, Microsoft had to tap into February’s units.

There are more than 50 million Xbox 360 owners worldwide. Microsoft is hoping to snatch up users who don’t have a Kinect yet, as they add more than just gaming features. It now has features like controller-free Hulu and Netflix and there are hints of PC support.

"The community that has blossomed since the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360 in November shows the breadth of invention and depth of imagination possible when people have access to ground-breaking technology," Steve Clayton, director of cloud strategy at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. "Already, researchers, academics and enthusiasts are thinking through what's next in natural and intuitive technology."

There are also promises from Microsoft to release a non-commercial SDK free download for the Kinect in the spring.

"[It] 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," Clayton wrote.

"Supporting this community and enabling creativity around natural user interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts," Clayton wrote.

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