Microsoft Expands Xbox Live Capabilities With Reported Acquisition


Microsoft has reportedly acquired id8 Group R2 Studios Inc., a developer of home entertainment technology that could help Microsoft expand its Xbox business.

Id8 Group R2 Studios has been working on technology that distributes and displays digital media on TVs, according to a story by The Wall Street Journal that first reported the acquisition late Wednesday.

Microsoft has not announced the acquisition and this morning a Microsoft spokesman would not comment on the reported acquisition or say what Microsoft is paying to buy id8 Group R2 Studios.

[Related: The 10 Biggest Microsoft Stories of 2012]

Xbox has been one of Microsoft's most successful products in recent years, and the vendor has been working to expand the video game console into a hub for distributing digital content, allowing Xbox Live subscribers to watch on-demand TV and Web videos on TV sets connected to Xbox devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft has previously inked deals with Comcast, HBO, Time Warner and other companies to provide content through Xbox Live.

The Wall Street Journal story said id8 Group R2 Studios had also been talking with Apple and Google about a potential acquisition.

Id8 Group R2 Studios was founded in May 2011 by Blake Krikorian who previously founded Sling Media, developer of the popular Slingbox that lets users watch television programs on their computers. Sling Media was sold to EchoStar Communications in 2007.

Krikorian had a seat on Amazon.com's board of directors, but resigned from that post just last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

PUBLISHED JAN. 3, 2013