Earlier today, Microsoft announced that they'll be bringing the next-generation Kinect module to Windows sometime in 2014, although an early access program will be available starting in November. The early access program, which comes with an early version of Kinect for Windows plus a final version at a later stage, and substantial developer documentation and support, will cost $399.
Naturally some people were wondering whether they had to spend $399 on the hardware specifically designed for Windows, instead hoping they could simply plug the Xbox One version of the next-gen Kinect straight into their PC. Unfortunately Microsoft confirmed to Ars Technica today that this won't be possible, as there will be no adapter for changing the Xbox One's Kinect connector into standard USB.
A spokesperson told them:
The Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adaptor that allows it to plug into a computer.... the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port.
The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows. Kinect for Xbox One is being built for and tested with the Xbox One.
They also heard that while both devices will be very similar, using a "shared set of technologies", there are no guarantees that the Windows version will have identical internal components compared to the Xbox One version. On the licensing front, Microsoft has said that the Xbox One's Kinect is not licensed for commercial use and will not be supported or under warranty if anyone figures out a way to connect it to another platform (such as a PC).
Source: Ars Technica