A few weeks ago, we had heard that Apple, Google and Microsoft were all vying
for the opportunity to acquire home automation startup r2 Studios, and it looks like Microsoft has come out on top of that competition. Microsoft confirmed today that it has acquired the startup, but the surprise is that Microsoft says the company will become part of the XBOX division.
Given the pretty easy connection between home automation and mobile devices, it's a bit of a surprise that r2 Studios will be part of the XBOX division, but it does make sense given how Microsoft has been working to make the XBOX the hub for everything in the home. It seems reasonable that at some point the work will spill over into Windows Phone and Windows tablets though.
As part of the deal, r2 founder Blake Krikorian is being appointed as Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, which is the division that "develops key entertainment experiences that span gaming, music, and video across multiple screens" according to the website. Given Krikorian's history as co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media, it seems likely that we'll be seeing him work on streaming video options in the Windows and XBOX ecosystems.