It was rumored earlier this year but now it has been confirmed - Microsoft are releasing the Kinect for Windows SDK. Microsoft have said "It will be available this spring as a free download, and 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."
Commercial licensing details will arrive sometime after that. The blog also goes on to say "The possibilities are endless. Natural and intuitive technologies such as Kinect can be more than just a great platform for gaming and entertainment. They open up enormous opportunities across a wide variety of scenarios, including addressing societal issues in areas such as healthcare and education."
Exciting times! This also gives Microsoft some beta work on Kinect for Windows before Windows 8 arrives next year, will we see some form of motion-sensing built into Windows 8? I very much hope so.