Kinect has been a massive hit for the Microsoft since it was released last year. Actually, “massive hit” might be an understatement; when you sell 8 million units within 60 days, “gift from the heavens” may be a more accurate description. It was no surprise when Microsoft revealed, back in February, that it was working on a Windows version of the device, but official details about the release date have been a hard to come by… until now, that is.

A new update on the Microsoft Blog says that Kinect for Windows should be expected sometime in early 2012. Additionally, Microsoft has launched the official Kinect for Windows web site and released beta 2 of the Kinect for Windows SDK.

According to Craig Eisler, Kinect for Windows’s general manager, “Next year, with Kinect for Windows, we will help the world re-imagine everything else.”

Until now, Kinect has understandably been oriented towards entertainment. Kinect for Windows, though, is being marketed as something that will have a wide range of uses, including “educating students, entertaining friends, or exploring what’s possible when humans and computers interact.”

The new beta SDK is available for download on the official website.