The Power of Enthusiasm - K4W thanks us

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Joshua Blake

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Jan 13, 2012, 10:38:22 AM1/13/12
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This was just posted on the Kinect for Windows blog. It is essentially a thank you note from Craig Eisler, General Manager of K4W to all of us for our visionary efforts with Kinect and helping teach Microsoft what can be done with the sensor.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/12/the-power-of-enthusiasm.aspx

I think this is an important message for several reasons:

* First time a Microsoft exec has addressed the community by name in an official communication (note OpenKinect in the tags).
* First time Microsoft has used hacker in our preferred form in the positive connotation when referring to our efforts.
* Admits that they didn't have all this planned out in advance and properly credits our communities and efforts as the reason why Kinect for Windows product even exists
* Clarifies that the primary goal of the commercial program and new hardware is to provide a way for businesses to use officially supported hardware on Windows. (Its no longer just a toy in the eyes of traditional business decision makers, which should help everyone get more things done in more places, even with OSS drivers.)
* Further clarifies that the K4W v1 SDK will continue to support existing Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors so that the community can keep using them as we have been.

While they didn't say it this bluntly, i think the message here is that if official support and/or the new features (with more to come) are important to you, such as if you are a business, get the new K4W sensor. If not, keep using the Kinect for Xbox sensor. (Not legal advice and I haven't seen any final license yet.)

Also notable that there has still been no attempt or even implication that they are trying to lock out the existing open source drivers, whether libfreenect or OpenNI. Instead, they are trying to legitimately compete on a technical excellence level by creating a great SDK, even though they could easily go the legal route instead. There is most definitely room for multiple drivers and SDKs and competition helps drive innovation. We drove them to innovate even more!

I think there are still ways Microsoft can work with the community better (OS X & Linux support, open sourcing components of the SDK, joint Microsoft-community development efforts) however I think this communication is a big step in the right direction. This message was in direct response to our feedback both in the other OpenKinect thread and elsewhere on the web.

Thanks,
Joshua Blake
OpenKinect Community Founder

P.S. That first picture in the blog is of me from the Kinect SDK beta launch event.

Theodore Watson

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Jan 13, 2012, 11:00:22 AM1/13/12
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I think your take on the article is pretty spot on. 
Large businesses considering working with Kinect will want the reassurance of a something officially intended for that type of use and the K4W, makes it very clear. 
One of the nice side effects for our community is that if businesses are deploying products with the K4W ( which is basically the same device we use ), then that should mean that we can count on having access to the current Kinect ( or very similar ) for some years to come.
( hopefully no need to stockpile :) 

I also read somewhere that an MS exec mentioned that they sell the current Kinect at cost and the extra $100 for K4W is basically to make the program profitable for them. 
Seems fair enough. 

drew.m...@gmail.com

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Jan 13, 2012, 11:03:46 AM1/13/12
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On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 10:38, Joshua Blake <josh...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This was just posted on the Kinect for Windows blog. It is essentially a
> thank you note from Craig Eisler, General Manager of K4W to all of us for
> our visionary efforts with Kinect and helping teach Microsoft what can be
> done with the sensor.
>
> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/12/the-power-of-enthusiasm.aspx

This is awesome.

> I think this is an important message for several reasons:
>
> * First time a Microsoft exec has addressed the community by name in an
> official communication (note OpenKinect in the tags).
> * First time Microsoft has used hacker in our preferred form in the positive
> connotation when referring to our efforts.
> * Admits that they didn't have all this planned out in advance and properly
> credits our communities and efforts as the reason why Kinect for Windows
> product even exists
> * Clarifies that the primary goal of the commercial program and new hardware
> is to provide a way for businesses to use officially supported hardware on
> Windows. (Its no longer just a toy in the eyes of traditional business
> decision makers, which should help everyone get more things done in more
> places, even with OSS drivers.)
> * Further clarifies that the K4W v1 SDK will continue to support existing
> Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors so that the community can keep using them as we
> have been.

Hooray!

> While they didn't say it this bluntly, i think the message here is that if
> official support and/or the new features (with more to come) are important
> to you, such as if you are a business, get the new K4W sensor. If not, keep
> using the Kinect for Xbox sensor. (Not legal advice and I haven't seen any
> final license yet.)

True, but promising nonetheless.

> Also notable that there has still been no attempt or even implication that
> they are trying to lock out the existing open source drivers, whether
> libfreenect or OpenNI. Instead, they are trying to legitimately compete on a
> technical excellence level by creating a great SDK, even though they could
> easily go the legal route instead. There is most definitely room for
> multiple drivers and SDKs and competition helps drive innovation. We drove
> them to innovate even more!

This is fantastic. I am so happy to see Microsoft making a public
statement to this effect. Much of the OSS world puts forth their
efforts expecting no reward but acknowledgement that they have created
something worthwhile. Our efforts have become an international
inspiration, and I'm proud to be a member of this community.

So in the same thread: thanks to all you folks for building the
impressive, creative showcase of what a hacker community can do!

> I think there are still ways Microsoft can work with the community better
> (OS X & Linux support, open sourcing components of the SDK, joint
> Microsoft-community development efforts) however I think this communication
> is a big step in the right direction. This message was in direct response to
> our feedback both in the other OpenKinect thread and elsewhere on the web.

Agreed.

> Thanks,
> Joshua Blake
> OpenKinect Community Founder
>
> P.S. That first picture in the blog is of me from the Kinect SDK beta launch
> event.

Best,
Drew Fisher

Kyle McDonald

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Jan 13, 2012, 11:46:22 AM1/13/12
to openk...@googlegroups.com
> First time Microsoft has used hacker in our preferred form

i wonder if 'hacker' has ever been used in a positive sense by
microsoft before? that in itself is a huge step. i like that they tag
on "and enthusiasts", just to make sure no one gets confused :)

> trying to legitimately compete on a technical excellence level by creating a great SDK

this is definitely preferred to 'the legal route'. but something i'm
still confused about is why they need to compete at all? i feel like
if they were more open, the hacker community would start doing the
work of things like osx and linux porting. and as stated in a previous
message to this list, i would also expect libfreenect to borrow
windows improvements, the same way the libfreenect registration code
was borrowed from openni.

microsoft is like that one really socially awkward friend. generally
well intentioned, but sometimes they just don't understand the
dynamics of social space.

for example, i can imagine that "the kinect effect" campaign was
supposed to come off as "good job hackers! you amazed us!" but it
ended up feeling a little more like "well of course you're innovating
with microsoft products. we will now associate ourselves with your
movement and reap the fuzzy warm feelings." the only solution is for
everyone to continue doing what they do best, and over time microsoft
will find that the best way to work with the open source community is
on their own (our own) terms. i'm dreaming of a symbiotic
relationship, between a huge company with enough money to create
democratically priced hardware, and millions of people who innovate
with software because they love to... but it will take time.

kyle

baxpace

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Jan 13, 2012, 11:56:57 AM1/13/12
to OpenKinect
Great post Joshua. I'm really excited about the fact that Microsoft
has gone on the record, acknowledging the brilliant work that this
(and other) great communities have put forth using their sensor. To
use the term "hacker" in a positive light is a huge step in the right
direction. A classy -- and right -- move on their part.


On Jan 13, 10:38 am, Joshua Blake <joshbl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This was just posted on the Kinect for Windows blog. It is essentially a
> thank you note from Craig Eisler, General Manager of K4W to all of us for
> our visionary efforts with Kinect and helping teach Microsoft what can be
> done with the sensor.
>
> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/12/the-power...

Γιάννης Γράβεζας

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Jan 13, 2012, 5:41:45 PM1/13/12
to openk...@googlegroups.com
On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 5:38 PM, Joshua Blake <josh...@gmail.com> wrote:
This was just posted on the Kinect for Windows blog. It is essentially a thank you note from Craig Eisler, General Manager of K4W to all of us for our visionary efforts with Kinect and helping teach Microsoft what can be done with the sensor.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/12/the-power-of-enthusiasm.aspx

I think this is an important message for several reasons:

* First time a Microsoft exec has addressed the community by name in an official communication (note OpenKinect in the tags).
* First time Microsoft has used hacker in our preferred form in the positive connotation when referring to our efforts.
* Admits that they didn't have all this planned out in advance and properly credits our communities and efforts as the reason why Kinect for Windows product even exists
* Clarifies that the primary goal of the commercial program and new hardware is to provide a way for businesses to use officially supported hardware on Windows. (Its no longer just a toy in the eyes of traditional business decision makers, which should help everyone get more things done in more places, even with OSS drivers.)
* Further clarifies that the K4W v1 SDK will continue to support existing Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors so that the community can keep using them as we have been.

While they didn't say it this bluntly, i think the message here is that if official support and/or the new features (with more to come) are important to you, such as if you are a business, get the new K4W sensor. If not, keep using the Kinect for Xbox sensor. (Not legal advice and I haven't seen any final license yet.)


Yeah and you know what they say about the devil and details. Let's wait a bit before we throw the big party
 
Also notable that there has still been no attempt or even implication that they are trying to lock out the existing open source drivers, whether libfreenect or OpenNI. Instead, they are trying to legitimately compete on a technical excellence level by creating a great SDK, even though they could easily go the legal route instead. There is most definitely room for multiple drivers and SDKs and competition helps drive innovation. We drove them to innovate even more!
 
As long as multiple drivers can coexist. Will the K4W identify as a different kind of usb device? Let's stop mentioning the legal route, it's a null argument 
 
I think there are still ways Microsoft can work with the community better (OS X & Linux support, open sourcing components of the SDK, joint Microsoft-community development efforts) however I think this communication is a big step in the right direction. This message was in direct response to our feedback both in the other OpenKinect thread and elsewhere on the web.

The only advantage microsoft has and could make a difference, is their skeleton tracking. The act of opening that would lead to profound breakthrough and proliferation of the technology. They would also need a hybrid clone of Jobs and Torvalds(and maybe Jesus) to actually profit from doing that so I don't think they'll do it, but just opening the device driver itself could be a great contribution to the community. I don't think they'll do that either though, too much fear of the unknown. Sorry for being a pessimist but my experience is that pioneering engineers don't stand a chance against conservative salesmen inside corporations. They may be great at forcing the machines to do their bidding but CEO's just love the sweet talkers. It's an unfair fight

 
Thanks,
Joshua Blake
OpenKinect Community Founder

P.S. That first picture in the blog is of me from the Kinect SDK beta launch event.

P.S.  I thought it was good as well. I've been a sucker for all my life though and I need more guarantees before easing up. Nothing personal

Yannis 

--
bliss is ignorance

krish

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Jan 15, 2012, 7:56:58 AM1/15/12
to openk...@googlegroups.com
> Sorry for being a pessimist but my experience is that pioneering engineers don't stand a chance against conservative salesmen inside corporations.

+1

It is though great news now, and I hope the word stays... but I think
majority of us know how "big shots" at M$ change colors, words, and
what not. Today they are hugging us, tomorrow?
Only time can tell.

For now we can celebrate (but not let guard down) :)

Btw, anyone got a piece of the K4W hardware in here?

--
Krish
www.toonheart.com

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