Last year, in November 2010, Microsoft’s Kinect was hacked and its API was illegally published. In an interesting move, Microsoft decided to make the API of Kinect public. Not only was it very positive for Microsoft reputation, but it opened the way to thousands of hobbyists to create astonishing applications using the Kinect.
Microsoft continues to exploit the results of this initial hack. It announced the Kinect Accelerator. This is a contest where ten startups with the best application using Kinect will be supported. The application does not need to use the XBox, it must use the Kinect gear. I believe that it is a smart initiative. It is better to have hobbyists on your side rather than against you.*
Law 2: Know the asset to protect. In that case, the most valuable asset was not the Kinect, it was Microsoft’s relationship with the customers.