Last year TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, Google and Apple were in talks with home automation startup R2 Studios about an acquisition. It seems that Microsoft has now trumped its main rivals in taking the prize.
This is a massive addition for Microsoft, as it also acquires various patents related to controlling electronic devices, such as the control app for Android which will now become Microsoft’s property, while the founder and a small team of experts will move over to the Redmond giant’s offices. With Microsoft striking deals with various media companies like HBO, Netflix, YouTube, Comcast and Time Warner for on-demand and web videos, the push for its Xbox to become an entertainment hub in the home is gathering speed.
With the advent and exponential growth of mobile computing, home entertainment was set to be the next big thing. It’s rather logical if you think about it. For many years it has been a dream of consumers to have the ability to make a cup of coffee while on your way home, ready when you get there. Or switch on the TV or air-conditioner without being in the room. R2 Studios has quietly over the years been doing that, undertaking the task of home automation software for mobile devices. And this has made the biggest players in the tech world sit up.
The possibilities are endless for Microsoft as they have adopted the same strategy as its rivals by going into the hardware side of computing, as proven by the Surface (a laptop/tabtop/lablet?) and the rumours about the Microsoft Surface phone. With similar OSs, these devices would create a home that is completely connected. But was that not Apple’s business plan as well? Yes, the war for dominance is heating up.
And the former big dude in computers is taking the lead again.