The lightswitch has been around for 100 years and it still is basically the same technology then as it is now. Over the last century and more so in the last few decades we have seen companies and technologies come and go. Many companies like Radio Shack and IBM dabbled with X10 switches in the 90’s. Today we are starting to see a re-emergence and reinvestment in home automation by some big name companies.
Microsoft introduced the Xbox 10 years ago and the Windows Home Server about 5 years ago. With their latest announcment it looks they will continue to play in the consumer electronics market with HomeOS. It looks like they already support a wide range of electronics such as cameras, televisions, and z-wave devices.
I will post more details as I dig into the product myself, but they do offer an SDK for developers to start writing apps and adding functionality.
More information from microsoft and home automation can be found on their research site