CNET reports that Microsoft researcher Matt MacLaurin came up for the idea for Kodu in his kitchen in the fall of 2006, noticing the way his three-year-old daughter watched her mom browse away on Facebook. MacLaurin saw how different computing is now than when he was a kid. While his Commodore Pet was like a lump of clay that he could mold by writing software in Basic, his daughter’s generation is using computers whose functions are already set in stone. So he set about creating a new developer language that would appeal to the current generation of kids. He settled on one that would work with just a game controller, using basic rules to do things like move an apple across the screen.  A few months later, the idea was working code. MacLaurin had created Boku, an all new programming language that could be run on an Xbox using only the console’s controller to craft basic logic. MacLaurin showed it at the 2007 TechFest internal science fair and later that year at an emerging technology conference.  “That’s just in our DNA,” MacLaurin said. “We don’t really trust something until it is on our screen.”  Kodu, the final name for Boku, got its big-time debut in 2009, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed the program, as part of his keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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