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Millions Kinect

People sure do love to bust Microsoft's chops over its consumer foibles. But these same folks are eating a little crow now that Microsoft has set a record for the fastest selling consumer device in history. Who says this? Steve Ballmer? Bill Gates? No, the Guinness Book of World Records, that's who. Redmond sold 8 million of these little beauties in two months.

For those of you who aren't gaming buffs (I'm not) or don't have kids (I've got four), Kinect is a voice and motion control add-on for the Xbox 360. The Wii has had motion control from the get (remember how people used to lose control of the controller during a rambunctious game and send it flying through their flat screen TV?) but got steamrolled by the Kinect.

The record, and the Xbox itself, prove Microsoft can do consumer stuff right. In fact, Flight Simulator is one the most popular games ever made.

So who invented motion control? It actually happened in the '80s with a product for the Amiga called Mandala. It was way cool at the time and was used to drive interactive video games for a Nickelodeon game show (I think it was Nick Arcade). 

What do you think are the biggest breakthroughs in technology? Pick any decade and get back to me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/14/2011 at 1:18 PM


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