(Update: The actual availability date is November 4 in North America, with a promise of 15 games tailored for it at launch.)
Why should enterprise users care? In April this year, CEO Steve Ballmer said the gesture-recognition camera/sensor Natal/Kinect device will be the most interesting product the company will release this year. Microsoft won't be touting the device as an accompaniment to a PC for a while, but that's where the Redmondians are going with this. A swish of a hand will advance a slide show; a flick of the wrist will allow you to scroll without using a mouse or touchpad.
Blogger Manan Kakkar recently posted about a patent Microsoft is seeking that builds on the Kinect-like gesture-centric experience in the PC space.
Microsoft unveiled the new Kinect name at the E3 show in Los Angeles. The company also showed off some Kinect-enabled games and a a new video chat service at the confab. Microsoft still hasn't shared pricing for Kinect, but it is expected to be $150 or less by most company watchers.
Kinect is part of Microsoft's continuing quest to bring to market natural user interface (NUI) technologies, like touch, voice and gesture-recognition. Maybe it's also part of a grand plan to force users to continue to exercise (even if that just means by waving a hand) while being increasingly tied to our PCs?