Microsoft and Intel to support HD-DVD

Technology giants Microsoft and Intel have announced their support for Toshiba’s next-generation media storage system, as the battle to replace the DVD heats up.

Microsoft and Intel will develop software and processors that support Toshiba’s High Definition Versatile Disk (HD-DVD) standard.

In a joint statement, the companies said they would back the HD-DVD because it is more suitable for PCs, particularly laptops. They added that Toshiba’s technology is cheaper and backed by other consumer electronic companies.

The news will be a blow to electronics giant Sony, which is developing its own storage alternative, called Blu-Ray.

The support of the two tech giants could be decisive in the fight over which format is set to replace DVDs. The inclusion of DVD drives in PCs was crucial to the standard gaining acceptance.

Sony’s Blu-Ray disks are expected to offer up to 50GB, whereas HD-DVD disks store only 45GB.

Microsoft also stated that it supports HD-DVD over Blu-Ray because the former enables consumers to make a legal copy of the disc onto the hard drive of a PC or consumer electronic device.

“Users can then transmit the content to any other device within the home and be able to enjoy the content in any room of their home,” said Jordi Ribas, a spokesperson for Microsoft.

The two camps now stand as follows: Sony’s Blu-Ray has the backing of Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, while Toshiba’s HD-DVD standard is backed by NEC, Sanyo Electric – and now Microsoft and Intel.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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