It was a rough week of hazing, but it looks like both Microsoft and Intel successfully rushed and are going to be accepted as full members of the HD DVD Promotion Group. We figured these guys would at least make a pretense of staying neutral in this dogfight, but in their press release Microsoft veep Blair Westlake disses on Blu-ray, saying that, "after looking at the core advantages to the PC ecosystem and how it would benefit the consumer, it is clear that HD DVD offers the highest quality, and is the most affordable and highly flexible solution available." (It doesn't hurt that Microsoft was probably going to add HD DVD to the Xbox 360 anyway to counterbalance Sony's planned inclusion of a Blu-ray drive in the PS3.) Anyway, it's not inconceivable that Microsoft and Intel won't someday also end up joining the Blu-ray Disc Association, or that Microsoft won't fully support Blu-ray in Vista, but their spokespeople aren't mincing words here, and no matter how you slice it HD DVD just got a big boost from a couple of heavyweights. Anyway, not that it bears repeating, but there's no way in hell that we aren't headed for a massive format war.