Microsoft Acquires Start-Up id8
Microsoft bought start-up id8 Group R2 Studios, Inc, as it looks to expand further in technology focused on the home and entertainment.
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.
Microsoft Corp. have also announced the appointment of Blake Krikorian as corporate vice president for its Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB). Krikorian will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for IEB. This announcement follows the acquisition of Krikorian’s company, id8 Group R2 Studios (R2 Studios).
“We are thrilled to have Blake join the Xbox team,” Whitten said. “He’s a proven innovator and well-respected leader in both the media and technology industries, having created simple, elegant products that have transformed the way people engage with and consume content. We look forward to his contribution to our team as Xbox continues to evolve and transform the games and entertainment landscape.”
Krikorian most recently founded R2 Studios. Before that he served as the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media Inc., inventors of the Emmy® award-winning Slingbox®, which is now owned by EchoStar Corp. Krikorian served on the board of Amazon.com Inc. and also co-founded the Philips Mobile Computing Group where he co-led the team that created the award-winning Velo 1 handheld PC running Windows CE. He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the Lifetime Technology Leadership Award from Broadcasting & Cable, as well as the TechFellow Award for Disruptive Innovation from TechCrunch, Founders Fund and NEA.
“I am excited to join Microsoft and be a part of the Xbox team. As a 10-year Xbox LIVE subscriber, I have seen firsthand how Xbox has delighted us by reinventing how consumers experience games and entertainment,” Krikorian said. “I look forward to helping the team define the future of entertainment and contribute to the next decade of continued innovation.”