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Microsoft snaps up Slingbox mastermind's home control biz for Xbox

Lights, heating, video at push of a phone touchscreen

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Microsoft has slurped up small home-entertainment firm id8 Group R2 Studios to tie in with its Xbox business, according to sources.

R2 Studios was set up by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian who started Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox, which takes TV signals and beams them to computers and smartphones. Krikorian will join the Redmond tech giant along with a small team as part of the deal.

Krikorian sat on Amazon's board up until Monday when he said he was quitting to work for whichever company had gobbled R2. Possible suitors at that point included Google and Apple. But sources told the Wall Street Journal that Redmond was the lucky winner of R2's hand.

Microsoft told The Reg that it "does not comment on rumours on speculation".

R2 works on tech for distributing and displaying digital media on tellies and for home automation. Last year, the company released an Android app to control light and heating of a house from a phone.

Microsoft is expanding its Xbox into an all-round entertainment vehicle with the addition of LoveFilm and TV streaming like Channel 4's 4oD service for Xbox Live subscribers. ®

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