Microsoft Corp has acquired start-up id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. to bolster its expansion into technology focused on home and entertainment, especially the Xbox.

Apparently, Microsoft has won a few patents that pertain to "controlling electronic devices." The companies involved in the deal are yet to make official statements, and the price paid is yet to be revealed, Reuters has reported.

Earlier, Google and Apple were in talks with R2 Studios about a possible acquisition, but Microsoft has apparently acted before the other companies could acquire the start-up.

R2 Studios deals with the display and distribution of content on televisions. Microsoft is likely to employ the acquisition to align the Xbox as more than a gaming console and as a set-top type device that brings Smart TV functionality to gamers' living rooms.

R2 Studios has produced an Android app that turns mobile devices into a universal remote for Crestron home automation. The description on Google Play states: “R2 enables residential and commercial customers to control AV, lighting, thermostats, security systems, and thousands of other products via their Android device from anywhere in the world,” SlashGear reported.

Apparently, it also recently launched a Google Android application that allows 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 is likely to join Microsoft with a small team, according to the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft also purchased some patents owned by the start-up related to controlling electronic devices.

It is reported that Krikorian resigned from Inc.'s board in late December after approximately a year-and-a-half as a director at the company.