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Microsoft robotics studio (MSRS) was publicly released in December 2006 with the explicit goal of providing an industry software standard for robot control. To become a viable standard, several technical challenges needed to be solved. In this article, we examine the composition of MSRS, looking generally at its architecture and specifically at its solutions for concurrency, distribution, abstraction, simulation, and programmer interaction. We also examine briefly the emerging industry and academic adoption of the robotics studio.