Gates: Natal not just for games, will arrive on PC

Microsoft was mum on whether or not its gesture-based Project Natal control scheme would show up anywhere besides the Xbox 360, and now the cat's out of the bag. Who pulled the furball out? Why, Chairman Bill himself.

"Both the Xbox guys and the Windows guys latched onto that," Gates said of Natal in a CNET interview, "And now even since they latched onto it the idea of how it can be used in the office is getting much more concrete, and is pretty exciting."

Gates went on to say Natal could be particularly useful for users at home: "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 for business folks: "And I think there's incredible value as we use that in the office connected to a Windows PC… over the years to say, why shouldn't that be in most office environments." (À la Minority Report?) Maybe we'll see a gesture-based Office after a web-based one.

Of course, you can't talk gesture control without bringing up the Wii. Gates actually sowed the seeds of Natal back in '07, talking to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D: All Things Digital conference. It's not anything like a Wiimote, Gates maintained, as "you can't pick up your tennis racket. That's a 3D positional device. This is video recognition. This is a camera seeing what's going on."

CNET, via Big Download, via Joystiq