HD-DVD death spotlights Microsoft’s weakness

“HD-DVD is dead, and with it dies Microsoft’s aspirations to inject its proprietary software in media development. This is also a big strike against VC-1; despite being written into the Blu-Ray standard along with the ISO’s H.264, most Blu-Ray developers are moving toward H.264, which not only allows them to master HD discs, but also deliver mobile and downloadable versions using the same codec for playback on devices such as the PSP and iPod,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted.

“The death of HD-DVD also presents further evidence that Microsoft is increasingly incapable of pushing its own proprietary standards using its Windows monopoly. Building support for HD-DVD into Windows Vista did almost nothing to shore up support for the format, and tying it to the Xbox 360 similarly did little to push things toward the outcome Microsoft wanted,” Dilger writes.

“In the 90s, Microsoft maintained an invincible aura praised by loyal pundits; it defeated small companies, bought up rivals and destroyed them, slit its partners’ throats, and put startups out of business. It only ever gave the appearance of maintaining strong relationships with its partner companies,” Dilger writes. “However, in the last ten years, that strong facade has been destroyed by a series of very public failures [including]:”

• WinCE
• Windows XP
• Xbox 360
• Zune

Dilger writes, “The death of HD-DVD says more about Microsoft and its future than the general media seems to recognize. It’s not a format war, its a culture war between industry players working to advance the state of the art collectively in partnerships, and one company working to own everything while contributing very little. It’s not hard to see why Microsoft’s bruised and abused former partners are working to align themselves with open solutions rather than buy into more pain with technology tied to Microsoft. That’s very bad news for a company that exists solely as a licensee of third rate product ideas.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]


  1. WinME should have been the top of that list. 360 hasn’t done too bad, oh wait… the whole ring of death thing.

    CPU was rooted in the PPC G5 platform, which ran hotter than almost any chip on the market (G5 heatsinks, anyone?)

    All stupid M$ had to do was pull a cover off a G5, or visit apple.com to see the scoop… oh wait, they sent early devs G5!!!!

    You are not going to shove a chip like that into a shoebox with little space and a small heatsink and expect it to cool properly. Not to mention, people shove console whereever they can: plases with not much airflow.

  2. They are strong indeed. It has taken Apple a continuous string of successes during the last five years and a couple of incredible blunders from Microsoft for Apple to just double its market share. That sure proves how resilient MS is.

  3. Read the article. The sentence that begins with “Windows XP” is actually talking about people starting with Vista “upgrading” to XP. Vista is the failure mentioned. The MDN header should be corrected to reflect this.

  4. The real story here is that Microsoft’s only incentive for backing HD-DVD in the first place was to try to create a stalemate in the marketplace with Blu-ray. They didn’t want for HD-DVD to ever succeed, what they wanted was for *both* HD optical formats to die in favor of digital downloads. Thankfully that agenda has failed miserably, and now Blu-ray can move on to it’s rightful place as the heir to the DVD.

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