In an interview with Tom's Hardware, Microsoft's director of technology strategy for Windows Digital Media, Jordi Ribas, says (apparently with a straight face, although that is not mentioned in the interview) that Microsoft only decided to commit to HD-DVD at the last minute. Why? Because Blu-ray technology didn't measure up. A couple of the listed reasons are expected, as I mentioned yesterday:

  • Authorized copies of a legally obtained disc (HD-DVD requires support of this, whether Blu-ray will and how is still up in the air)
  • Hybrid discs that play as regular DVD's and next gen discs (HD-DVD claims to have this capability ready for production, Blu-ray is still testing it)
  • Low production costs
But the last two were rather suprising given what we know of the formats so far:

  • Storage capacity (Microsoft says Blu-ray developers haven't proven that they can produce 50GB discs and that currently HD-DVD leads 30GB to 25GB in the space race)
  • Interactive capabilities (Microsoft claims Blu-ray's Java based technology is being shunned by the movie studios and that Microsofts technology iHD offers more features)
How much of this is true and how much is marketing spin will be ultimately known when the discs and players have made their debut, but trust, we won't forget what you said Jordi.


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