Kinect and Windows Live Messenger: soon to be BFF?

At E3, Microsoft took the lid off the Natal project today, with a new name, “Kinect”, and some details about what to expect in the coming months.  We won’t go into all the details on the new Xbox and Kinect (you can get more info in these two press releases and all over the web), but one thing we wanted to take note of was the connection between Kinect and Windows Live Messenger.  In the press release today, Windows Live Messenger gets an interesting mention:

Next year, Microsoft will link Video Kinect with Windows Live Messenger, allowing the Xbox LIVE community to have rich, real-time video conversations with hundreds of millions of PC users around the world. It will also integrate custom news feeds, weather and videos from Bing, sparking conversation just like you’re in the same room reading the paper or watching the news together.

So what does that mean for Messenger?  Enough to warrant a blog post on Inside Windows Live, for one.  In that post, Piero Sierra says:

When we told you earlier about what’s coming in the next version of Messenger, one of the things we discussed was how we’re improving the core instant messaging experience, and making big improvements to video chat and media sharing with built-in features like HD support, full-screen video chat, and more engaging ways to share photos and videos.

If you’ve been following the E3 conference, you know that today Microsoft unveiled new details about the controller-free Kinect for Xbox 360 (formerly known as “Project Natal”), including how it enables Xbox LIVE users to have real-time video conversations with hundreds of millions of Windows Live Messenger users.

This functionality will release in the next year, and we’re excited about how it helps make your communication experience even richer by bringing Messenger and your friends directly into your living room.

Are you looking forward to video (Bing results/news/etc) sharing on Messenger?