Microsoft to Toshiba: with HD DVD, we go down together

We've been looking for some new paper to turn here at the Engadget HD offices, and it looks like Marshall Phelps' "Burning the Ships" may be our next purchase. Penned by a top Microsoft lawyer and co-authored by David Kline, the book lays out details on how Microsoft had decided to sink right along with Toshiba even as HD DVD took its last dying breath. Apparently Microsoft pledged its unconditional support for the format in hopes of winning a rare cross-license deal with a large Japanese electronics firm. CNET reports that at the time, winning such a deal with Tosh was "key for it in its efforts to convince large companies, even those with broader patent portfolios, to cross-license Microsoft's technology." The writeup tucked away in the read link is pretty interesting for those intrigued by deep, dark secrets of the past, so head on down if that's you.