Microsoft Taps Krikorian For Xbox. Media Center Dead?

Dave Zatz —  January 2, 2013


The Wall Street Journal is out with a report indicating my former employer, and the visionary behind the Slingbox, has landed a new gig:

Microsoft Corp.has acquired a small home-entertainment technology startup to beef up its Xbox unit, according to people familiar with the matter. The company, id8 Group R2 Studios Inc., was created by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian in May 2011. Mr. Krikorian will be joining the Redmond, Wash., software giant with a small team. As part of the deal, Microsoft also acquired some patents owned by the startup related to controlling electronic devices.

Blake’s dabbled and invested in a variety of a projects since moving on from the Echostar-acquired Sling Media, but this latest move is notable as he’s once again assembled a seemingly valuable team and patent portfolio. But, unlike Sling’s exit, R2 Studios is more early gestation – perhaps ripe for nurturing and integration into the ever expanding Xbox ecosystem. Home automation and placeshifting? Sure, why not! Unfortunately, as Ross Rubin tweets, the implication remains that Media Center development has been mothballed.

9 responses to Microsoft Taps Krikorian For Xbox. Media Center Dead?

  1. Hey, I’m gonna miss Windows Media Center when it’s gone, but as long as they integrate the features into a usable 10′ interface I may not care…much.

  2. True… but I need a smaller “Xbox” and it’s time to do away with the annual service fee. Or step up the benefits (by offering DVR services)?

  3. I would be more excited if they bought silicon dust and rebranded the prime as an xbox tuner. That would be something.

    Why is it so hard to get just one box? Sling box, dvr, and roku like apps.

  4. “the implication remains that Media Center has been mothballed.”

    W7 has Softee support until something like 2086. W8 has Softee support until something like 2142.

    WMC may not be receiving any future attention, but that ≠ mothballed…

  5. “Why is it so hard to get just one box?”

    I believe this one should cover all your conceivable needs.

  6. You’re right, Chucky – existing versions of Media Center remain functional, so I added the word “development” to better convey the forgotten product status. Ceton also rightly gave up building a DVR around (embedded) Media Center and is rethinking their business as Microsoft hasn’t shown much interest in doing anything further with the platform.

  7. I’m using a Tivo Premiere 4 but I think I’m going to run a Windows 7 Media Center with Xbox too. Do both for 2013 to see which one I’m going to stay with long term. That seems the only way to get the “one box” I want.

  8. “so I added the word “development” to better convey”

    Lame fine-parsing is where I am when I’ve had only one double-shot café au lait. Correct you are.

  9. Never mind. I guess I’m getting stupider during the day after starting strong…