Microsoft may make a move on gamification
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Microsoft may make a move on gamification

Businesses are trying to identify better ways of connecting with consumers and corporate users, but these methods can be far fetched without the right technology assets to back them up. In recent Microsoft news, the firm may be looking to increase its hold on consumer-facing entertainment, as well as building better HR resources for corporate entities as well. The firm is starting strong in this direction, acquiring id8 Group R2 Studios.

ZDNet reported that the purchase occurred amid a range of interest from competitors in the technology industry as well as the consumer sphere. The founder of id8 will become Microsoft's head of Interactive Entertainment Business, the segment responsible for overseeing the Xbox and other media deployments.

Power to the players
Geek Wire noted that Microsoft got more than just a new department leader and a company rich in entertainment specialists. A number of patents for innovative consumer and corporate use were also transferred, including a universal remote that would work with every major electronic device in a business's arsenal. This technology taps into a central server, allowing a person to manipulate computers, stereos, entertainment devices and major household appliances all with one device. The rise of mobile applications means this tool could be any person's smartphone or tablet, creating a revolutionary new corporate resource.

R2 Studios pioneered a variety of automation technologies, many of which are still in the design phase, ZDNet wrote. This gives Microsoft the opportunity to assume these patents, take over the research process and create master control devices integrated into the company's forthcoming hardware and software solutions.

Some of the intent for these tools may already be apparent, according to EuroGamer. Microsoft announced recently that it will begin a project called Lift London, an open-source IP creation tool for mobile users in and around London, England. Backed by former Rare Software developer Lee Schuneman, who worked on titles like Fable and Kinect Sports, the project will be more business-facing, the source stated, though still churning out consumer gaming content.

The Lift London project will focus on making content that's more collaborative and accessible to users. Operating in the cloud primarily and monitoring user experiences to manage better product creation, many of these aspects are reminiscent of the marketing and analytics practices that have made Microsoft such a success in the big data arena.

Entertainment and education
Using the premise of gaming and entertainment in collaboration with new mobile device deployments in the business sphere, some companies are already taking advantage of the kinds of software that Microsoft news could soon be announcing. Computerworld wrote that Lush Cosmetics, a high-end beauty products retailer, has changed over its standard training and retention programs to something called gamification. These deployments provide the same corporate information and compliance information, yet it's delivered in a format that is more welcoming and accessible to employees.

Using more open-ended and analytic gaming launches like Lift London, Microsoft could be zeroing in on more gamification initiatives. In the meantime, the power and collaborative potential the company has gained by acquiring R2 Studios could put more emphasis on the company's entertainment and gaming options, making gamification in other aspects of its offerings an organic progression.