Intel, Microsoft Still Backing HD DVD

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The top two tech companies in the world will announce their continued support for the HD DVD blue laser format.

Microsoft, which has had a cross-licensing agreement in place with Toshiba, will make software to support the proposed HD DVD standard, while Intel will develop processors for HD DVD players, several outlets have reported.

So this should be it for Sony. The end of Blu-ray, another loss to a rival video format evoking painful memories of the Betamax/VHS battle Sony lost so many years ago. Perhaps not, as a Bloomberg report shows Microsoft has allowed itself some wiggle room:

“HD DVD is the better solution and we are making our operating system friendly to that system,” Adam Anderson, a spokesman for Redmond Washington-based Microsoft, said in an interview. “But it’s not going to preclude us from having software that plays Blu-ray on our system.”

As for Intel, the dominant maker of computer chips has a number of plants around the world. Making processors for Blu-ray players would pose no more difficulty than making ones for HD DVD devices.

Even though Intel and Microsoft state publicly they believe HD DVD seems likely to win the next-generation DVD format war, they still have to account for OEM business. The New York Times notes how Dell and Hewlett-Packard support the Blu-ray standard.

Neither Microsoft nor Intel will sit back and watch thousands of Dell or HP PCs ship with, perhaps, Apple software and AMD chips inside their Blu-ray players. Also, the big Hollywood studios are split on their support, due to concerns about cost and content security on blue laser DVDs.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Intel, Microsoft Still Backing HD DVD
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