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A report from the Wall Street Journal states that Microsoft has acquired R2 studios. R2 Studios is a small start up specialized in home automation technology. The price of the deal is still not known and it is reported that the company will become a part of Microsoft's Xbox unit.
Microsoft has also scored some patents following the deal which is said to concern "Controlling Electronic Devices". However, reportedly, the companies have not made any official statement regarding this buy out yet.
Rumor has it that Apple and Google were also interested in buying R2 Studios and talks were on but it seems Microsoft was sharp and quick to grab the deal. R2 Studios was founded by Blake Krikorian, the Co-founder of Slingbox. R2 Studios is a company working on possible solutions for integrating home automation technology and media.
By acquiring R2 Studios, Microsoft is sending a clear message that it wants the next generation Xbox console to be a part of an integrated living room. It is planning to bring set-top type Smart TV functionality to the living room of the gamers.
As of now, R2 studios has produced only Android apps. The app turns mobile devices into a universal remote for Crestron home automation. R2 allows customers, both residential and commercial, to control thermostats, lighting, security systems and many other products through their Android powered device from anywhere in the world.
At the same time, the countdown has begun for E3 conference of Microsoft and it is expected that next-generation Xbox 720 will be unveiled at the conference. This would fix the rumors surrounding the release of the new Xbox console for the 2013 holiday season.