“Every July, 400 of the most powerful media and tech industry chieftains meet at investment banker Herb Allen’s conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, for what are usually convivial discussions of megatrends and megamergers. But this year, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates III laid into Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer, according to two sources, including one who witnessed the exchange in a private room,” Cliff Edwards, Peter Burrows, and Ronald Grover report for BusinessWeek.
“Gates argued that Sony’s new high-definition DVD standard, called Blu-ray, needed to be changed so it would work smoothly with personal computers running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Stringer and two lieutenants defended the technology, insisting Blu-ray would work fine in PCs,” Edwards, Burrows, and Grover report. “Yet Gates’s ire only grew. ‘There must be something much deeper going on,’ Stringer said later, according to another person who heard the comment.”
“Despite the backing of the PC industry’s two biggest titans [Microsoft and Intel], it looks as if HD DVD’s days are numbered,” Edwards, Burrows, and Grover report… Sony appears to have a critical mass of support for its [Blu-ray] standard… A major factor swaying these companies is Blu-ray’s massive capacity. Its disks will hold at least 50 gigabytes and perhaps 100 gigs or more. HD DVD will start at 15 gigs, and top out at 45. ‘We want a standard that’s going to be around for 10 or 15 years,’ says one studio exec… Why is so much vitriol spilling from behind closed doors over one tech standard? The shiny little disk that Gates and Stringer tangled over has the potential to alter the landscape of the entertainment and technology industries.”
Excellent full article that explains the whole Blu-ray vs. HD DVD “war” here.
China to develop own as-yet-unnamed DVD format; Blu-ray vs. HD DVD vs ? – October 07, 2005
Paramount’s decision gives Blu-ray slight lead over HD DVD in next gen DVD format war – October 04, 2005
Record set straight on Blu-ray Disc Association’s superior high definition format – September 29, 2005
Microsoft backs cheaper, less sophisticated, lower capacity HD DVD over Apple-backed Blu-ray format – September 27, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox joins Apple, Dell, HP, others to support Blu-ray Disc format – July 29, 2005
Poll shows Apple-backed Blu-ray preferred by consumers over HD DVD for next-gen DVD standard – July 14, 2005
Microsoft allies with Toshiba on HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc backers Apple and Sony – June 27, 2005
Apple joins Blu-ray Disc Association Board of Directors – March 10, 2005