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Microsoft Buys id8 Group R2 Studios In Deal That Could Bolster Xbox Offerings

Ryan Seacrest, left, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer listen during an XBox demonstration at the 2012 International CES trades
Ryan Seacrest, left, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer listen during an XBox demonstration at the 2012 International CES tradeshow, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp bought start-up id8 Group R2 Studios Inc as it looks to expand further in technology focused on the home and entertainment, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

id8 Group R2 Studios was started in 2011 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Blake Krikorian. It recently launched a Google Android application to allow users to control home heating and lighting systems from smartphones.

Krikorian's Sling Media - which was sold to EchoStar Communications in 2007 - made the "Slingbox" for watching TV on computers.

Krikorian will join Microsoft with a small team, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the acquisition earlier on Wednesday. Microsoft also purchased some patents owned by the start-up related to controlling electronic devices, the newspaper added.

Krikorian and a Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

Krikorian resigned from Amazon.com Inc's board in late December after about a year and a half as a director at the company, the Internet's largest retailer.

(Reporting By Alistair Barr; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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