Back in December, we reported that Apple was in a three-way battle with Google and Microsoft to acquire home automation firm R2 Studios. There is now a winner, and Apple isn’t it. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has grabbed the firm to beef up its Xbox unit.
The company, id8 Group R2 Studios Inc., was created by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian in May 2011. Mr. Krikorian will be joining the Redmond, Wash., software giant with a small team. As part of the deal, Microsoft also acquired some patents owned by the startup related to controlling electronic devices.
The price of the deal couldn’t be learned.
It’s been reported that R2 was working to expand its existing line of business, which focused on Android software used to control Crestron home automation systems. It was reported to be developing technology for distributing digital media to television sets.
Microsoft has been working to push its Xbox platform as a digital hub, striking deals with various content providers, HBO, Netflix, and Comcast, among others, for on-demand and web video.
It was thought that Apple interest in R2 was connected to their rumored plans to remake home television viewing.