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January 2, 2013

Microsoft acquires startup R2 Studios to boost Xbox

Supports Microsoft's aim to add TV to Xbox.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has acquired the home-entertainment technology startup R2 Studios, in a bid to spread its tentacles further in technology aimed at home entertainment.

Established in May 2011 by Sling Media founder Blake Krikorian, id8 Group R2 Studios recently launched a Google Android application that converts smartphones into a remote device, allowing users to control home heating and lighting systems.

As part of the transaction, the US-based software maker also acquired some patents owned by the startup associated with controlling electronic devices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to reports, the startup has been working on developing ways to display digital content on televisions, which would complement Microsoft’s aim to add TV entertainment to its Xbox gaming console.

Prior to Microsoft’s acquisition, R2 Studios had also been in talks with Apple and Google, sources say.

The Xbox business has struck deals with firms that include Netflix, Comcast, HBO and YouTube.

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