Microsoft has released Kodu, a game developed by Microsoft Research that lets users create their own worlds while teaching them the basics of game development, as a public beta for the PC. To get started, you'll need a Windows Live ID to apply for the beta on Microsoft Connect, where you'll be asked to fill out a 14-question "Kodu Academic Program Questionnaire."
Originally designed as a learning tool for youngsters using Xbox 360, Kodu was released a year ago as service with a powerful programming language that quickly became a hit in academic circles. Since its release, Kodu has been downloaded more than 200,000 times and is used in more than 60 educational institutions across the globe, according to Microsoft. Redmond thinks Kodu's biggest hurdle so far, however, has been that schools needed to purchase Xbox 360s, controllers, and so on to get started. Thus, the software giant has ported the tool to Windows as most educational institutes already have PCs with mice and keyboards.