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Microsoft Fueling HD Wars For Own Benefit? 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-they-ain't-running-a-charity-over-there dept.
DaveyJJ writes "According to Transformers' director Michael Bay, in a story over on Electronista, Microsoft is deliberately feeding into the HD disc format wars to ensure that its own downloads succeed where physical copies fail, he says in a response to a question posed through his official forums. The producer contends that Microsoft is writing "$100 million dollar checks" to movie studios to ensure HD DVD exclusives that hurt the overall market regardless of the format's actual merit or its popularity, preventing any one format from gaining a clear upper hand."
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Microsoft Fueling HD Wars For Own Benefit?

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  • Embrase, Expand, Extinguish. that is not how Microsoft works they get by by making quality products...

    No I couldn't write this with a straight face.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FredDC (1048502)
      Microsoft is only prolonging this battle between the different formats, to enable more choice for the consumer! Nope, I couldn't write that either with a straight face...
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:28AM (#21584503) Homepage Journal

    ...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

    ...Or maybe it's because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system supports, whereas they have nothing to do with Blu-ray.

    Of course, I could just be grasping at straws.

    At any rate, I do think he is right in that neither format will be the choice for obtaining and playing hi-def content, online distribution ultimately will win.

    • ...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

      Strike that word "other." I'm well aware that HD-DVD isn't a Sony format. What I said and what I was thinking when I typed that (Sony's consumer device formats other than the competing Blu-ray...) obviously wasn't quite in sync.

    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:40AM (#21584651)

      ...because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system supports...
      And, alternately, Blu-ray is what Playstation 3 supports, which I think is more like what thier real motivation is - Xbox vs PS3.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      So what you are saying is that MS has a lot of financial incentive for HD-DVD to succeed, and that they are supporting it as a good business decision, rather than to make both it and Blu-Ray crash...

      A company, that has made lots and lots of money, whever even a guy who owns barely 10% of the stock is richer than God himself, and you think they do that by making good financial decisions???

      You must be new here.
    • by PlatyPaul (690601) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:51AM (#21584743) Homepage Journal
      I was with you right up until the end....

      I do think he is right in that neither format will be the choice for obtaining and playing hi-def content, online distribution ultimately will win.

      Online distribution is only feasible if you have an Internet-enabled device connected to your HDTV. Sure, media center PCs are getting more common (and more affordable), and the numbers [vgchartz.com] on HD-ready game consoles are steadily rising, but the vast majority of HDTV owners do not possess either (a fact that will likely remain, as the magnitude of the HDTV sales figures [parksassociates.com] indicates).

      Maybe in 10 years the tide will have turned and most people will be using online distribution. However, there's serious money to be made in the meantime, and that requires physical media.
      • by Firethorn (177587)
        but the vast majority of HDTV owners do not possess either (a fact that will likely remain, as the magnitude of the HDTV sales figures indicates

        Still, that could be fixed in well under a year.

        Seriously, a gigabit ethernet chip costs how much to add onto a device? A buck or so? A DVD player can be had from walmart for $25. Get rid of the drive, use the cost savings to go to a more advanced decoding chip and HDTV output.

        Discounting development costs, I could see it costing a 'mere' $50 for a device dedica
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Quite. MS are going to cash in whether HD-DVD or their download service is a success. All they really want is for Blu-Ray to fail.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      ...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

      Some Sony formats such as compact disc, 3.5" floppy and miniDV can hardly be described as failures.

      But that's beside the point. Microsoft doesn't want any physical HD format to dominate.

      ...Or maybe it's because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system sup

    • doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

      You conveniently forget that Sony was a co-developer and strong backer of the CD format.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:28AM (#21585171)
      >online distribution ultimately will win.

      Really? So right now in the lo-def world we cant get this stuff to work and Joe Sixpack isnt goign anywhere near it and when he does the quality is shit (netflicks) but next year or two we'll have the extra bandwidth and marketshare and the equipment and joe sixpack's trust and a pricing scheme that works and and ....

      Right.

      Discs are going to be the delivery mechanism for the forseeable future. MS is backing HDDVD. Sony is with Bluray. This is just a slashdot trolling hit and run page. Enjoy the ad impressions.

      Not to mention if anyone pushes online distribution it'll be soaking in DRM. Enough to make bluray and hddvd look like Richard Stallman. This crowd will go apeshit and will never use it.
    • A "Strong Backer" of HD-DVD would have included a player in consoles by now, even as an optional model - not a side unit you have to buy.

      That's exactly why it seems like Microsoft is backing HD-DVD ONLY to the degree that they keep the format war in play, to keep consumers away from either HD-DVD or, more importantly, Blu-Ray. And why behind the scenes they help fund payola to get companies to go format specific when it looked like Blu-Ray was winning too handily with a 70+% weekly market share of media sa
  • ... winning a monopoly case against Microsoft wouldn't Michael Bay is just PO'd that he isn't making more money hand over fist on that abortion of a commercial called "Transformers". I couldn't even tell it was a real movie through all the obvious and in your face product placement.
  • From being on the inside, talking to multiple Microsoft people including execs. I don't think this is a full out company wide goal of supporting HD-DVD. They're smart, but they don't predict long-term goals that well. I think their downloadable video's were aided in an accidental benefit of no clear direction in the format wars. They have been pushing HD-DVD since the beginning. With Big Screen installs in Circuit City/Best Buy stores using HD-DVD player attachments to play movies, games, etc.

    • by sm62704 (957197)
      From being on the inside, talking to multiple Microsoft people including execs... I think their downloadable video's were aided...

      Are all you Microsoft execs "morons", as Bob says? [angryflower.com] That would tend to explain some of the things I find maddening about the software ("error [n] there is no message for this error"; the fact that no two menu items are ever in the same place when an "upgrade" is obtained; the fact that an OS "upgrade" makes your computer run slower; etc. etc. etc.)
  • by Churla (936633) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:33AM (#21584569)
    Because heaven knows Sony hasn't thrown around a ton of money to make sure it gets as many studios and others on the Blu Ray train.

    Both Sony and MS throw money into supporting the horse that their respective wagon is tied to. That's how it is.

    And I agree that in the long term on line distribution will win, but before it can the internet as we know it needs some substantial upgrading. Not to support the concept (it already does), but to support what happens when the masses start using it.
    • by east coast (590680) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:50AM (#21584735)
      And I agree that in the long term on line distribution will win, but before it can the internet as we know it needs some substantial upgrading. Not to support the concept (it already does), but to support what happens when the masses start using it.

      Bingo! MS isn't trying to destroy physical media anymore than Verizon is trying to destroy the POTS. While both know that the future doesn't lay in these technologies both also know that for now they're pulling down a reasonable profit with them because of mass usage.

      By the time the internet is seriously up to the task of delivering HD styled content to the masses both HD DVD and Blu Ray will have gone the way of the laser disc. The lifespan of these new formats will not be longer than that of the traditional DVD. We've been DVD for what now? 10 or 12 years? Do people here honestly think that technologies like FIOS are going to be nation wide (let alone world wide) in the next decade? I think people are fooling themselves into the ultra futuristic world of downloadable content being just around the corner. We have communities within 20 miles of a somewhat major city (if you can call Pittsburgh a major city) that still don't have DSL or Cable internet. This doesn't even bring the frail backbone of the internet into question.

      Online content as a mass market is still a long ways off and it's ability to replace physical media won't be a reality in the next 10 years.
      • by Churla (936633)
        I know for a fact that BlockBuster was trying to figure out a way to effectively do on-line on-demand content around 7 years ago (in the y2k range) and basically it was a no go because infrastructure didn't give an even enough level of availability to people to make it viable. A few people had DSL and Cable modems which would handle it, but not enough market to consider the service viable.

        I personally think in the longer run it will be something along the lines of WiMax that wins out because it isn't tied
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Dan Ost (415913)
          My DSL gives me about 150k/sec. Is that even sufficient to stream a hi-def movie?
        • by Firethorn (177587)
          I personally think in the longer run it will be something along the lines of WiMax that wins out because it isn't tied to a ground based distribution network (fibre, cable, phone lines). But that's the hopeful futurist in me talking.

          Personally, I think that the limitations of bandwidth inherent in broadcast transmissions will be the downfall of the idea of doing everything wirelessly.

          I mean, here we are talking about streaming HDTV to, say, 10% of households. If a particular wimax cell has 2k households in
    • by Steve525 (236741) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:00AM (#21584845)
      Both Sony and MS throw money into supporting the horse that their respective wagon is tied to. That's how it is.

      I agree. However, it is very clear why Sony is willing to dump a ton of money into Blu-Ray. It's pretty much their format. They'll make a killing if it becomes dominant, and they'll loose a ton if it looses.

      Microsoft, on the other hand, isn't as heavily invested. For example, their console supports HD-DVD only as an add-on. If HD-DVD becomes dominant, they get some licensing fees on each unit sold, which is no doubt nice, but not that big a deal.

      I think Microsoft wants to kill Blu-ray, but they don't care if HD-DVD succeeds or not. They don't want to be at the mercy of Sony for two reasons:

      1. If Blu-Ray becomes dominant, they'll be forced to licence it for their next console, (and possibly a XBOX360 add-on). What if Sony denies them? What if the fees put them at too much of a disadvantage.

      2. Microsoft envisions some soft of computerized media center in each home. They need some control of the format to do this.
      • by Serge_Tomiko (1178965) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:28AM (#21585157)
        Blu ray is NOT a Sony format, anymore than the CD is a Sony format. They are the dominant member of the industry consortium that developed Blu Ray, and one of the original developers. Microsoft would never have to license Blu Ray from Sony, they would license it from the consortium just as with the regular CD.

        What Microsoft does NOT like about Blu Ray is that it requires a java VM.
        • by Steve525 (236741)
          Blu ray is NOT a Sony format, anymore than the CD is a Sony format. They are the dominant member of the industry consortium that developed Blu Ray, and one of the original developers.

          Thanks for pointing this out, and correcting me. It sounds like Sony would still get the benefit of licensing fees, if Blu-Ray succeeds over HD-DVD, but that's about it. It doesn't sound like it should be a big deal to Microsoft.

          What Microsoft does NOT like about Blu Ray is that it requires a java VM.

          Do you know whay this a
          • Wrong on two counts (Score:4, Informative)

            by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:47AM (#21585427)
            Thanks for pointing this out, and correcting me. It sounds like Sony would still get the benefit of licensing fees

            No, a neutral Blu-Ray forum gets the licensing fees [blu-raydisc.info]. Sony makes money the old fashioned way, selling hardware and software (media).

            Do you know why this (Java support) a big deal to Microsoft? It doesn't sound like there's any practical reason to me

            Why don't know why but we know it's a big deal to Microsoft, because the only thing that stopped HD-DVD and Blu-Ray combining a few years back was the refusial of the Blu-Ray consortium to add iHD (Microsofts menuing format) into the Blu-Ray standard.
    • by bendodge (998616)
      I personally don't like online distribution because unlike static optical disks, the DRM format owner can wreck it at any time they want, and I don't want to go to the trouble to convert everything to a real format.

      BTW
      "I'm a fiscal conservative, it's a pity we don't have a political party anymore"
      Have you looked at Ron Paul [ronpaul2008.com]?
  • proof? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:34AM (#21584583)
    Does he have any sort of proof to back up this assertion? Not to mention that TFA states that Bay has gone on record saying he prefers Blu-ray. Considering all the crap that Michael Bay has put out, I have no problem calling this his own version of FUD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thagg (9904)
      It is well-known that the HD-DVD association gave some $150 million [bizzntech.com] to the studios to release movies exclusively on HD-DVD as opposed to Blu-ray. Several studios have taken them up on this generous offer, as the linked article indicates.

      Now, I have no idea whether similar deals are in place for Blu-ray. Sony, of course, is a major studio on its own, so it clearly has a vested interest in releasing exclusively on Blu-ray.

      [disclaimer: I'm a bit of a Blu-ray fan, I like the higher capacities]

      It is likely tha
      • I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the HD-DVD association is comprised of a bit more than Microsoft.
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:35AM (#21584593)
    Microsoft wrote the software for the HD interactive [wikipedia.org], which means they must be getting a royalty for each machine.

    What's a few $100M here and there when you have the potential to collect so many licenses from consumer boxes?

    Plus, the Blu-Ray content software is written in Java. What better reason for MS to hate it?
  • by tbg58 (942837) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:36AM (#21584609)
    This development appears to be consistent and predictable. Look at Vista and its license agreement, and you see M$ trying to control not only the software layer but levying requirements on hardware makers, i.e. toe the line and show commitment to DRM in every layer of hardware or M$ won't certify your drivers, and this means NOT providing any open source drivers to the Linux community. Although Peter Gutmann's essay contained some inaccuracies, it detailed these steps. Why did M$ abandon technical functionality for the end user in favor of an OS that provides a bit of eye candy to users but a whole lot of technology that is aimed at protecting content provider monopoly? Why did they release the ultra-DRM portable platform, the Zune, about the same time? Why is M$ now meddling in the media content market, apparently trying to orchestrate some sort of movement in HD media? It has looked for some time like M$ sees the revenue stream Apple has through ITunes and thought it worthwhile to put a stake in the ground for developing a media market. Which, in typical M$ fashion, they want to control absolutely. Look for M$ to either acquire or announce a media provider that offers only protected WMA and ultra-DRMed MP3 formats to compete against ITunes. M$ sees that the OS and application space has limited legs. They appear to be making a move toward becoming a content provider. Pretty savvy on their part, but I think their jack-booted super-mega-ultra-DRM approach will not be well received. They're either way out in front on the cutting edge, or a dinosaur trying to put a cap on emerging mammals in the media marketplace. Time will tell.
    • by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:56AM (#21584793) Journal
      I thought about that too. A while back actually. If MS causes waves in the media industry. Get consumers pissed off and not buying, then stock prices fall and they can buy into some of these studios. They've already started putting up data centers. (preparing for what?) I think they saw the success of iTunes and wanted to get a leg up on the next thing. iMovies? Moviesoft? If they can buy into the studios, they can get voting privileges and coax the studios into giving the "exclusive" access to heavily DRM'd download movies. I'm pretty sure this is why Vista was so DRM heavy and the whole move behind Media Center functionality. To get that ball rolling in their biggest market. Once (if) they get to that point, they simply claim that OSX and Linux are not secure enough to protect the artist and therefore they do not support clients on those machines. They essentially turn the movie industry into the gaming industry and get a cut of every sale cementing their long term income.
  • FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:39AM (#21584637)
    Maybe MS sees Blu Ray as the next Betamax? (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060420-6641.html)

    Maybe since they're offering their set top game box in HD DVD it's a business interest?

    What's the problem here and why is this news?

    They have real interest in seeing HD get the upper hand. Yes. Would they like to see downloadable content as a better business prospective? Yes. Who doesn't. MS has invested billions into their 360 product, throwing in a bit more money to give it the edge in home movies isn't unthinkable and certainly isn't unheard of.

    I seriously do not understand why people are in such a twist over this. Oh, that's right, it's because it's big bad Microsoft and we all need to focus our attention for our daily two minutes of hate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom90deg (1190691)
      Heh, what I find funny is that if, say, Apple, did the exact same thing, people would be happy.
      • by Wylfing (144940)

        It's a ridiculous notion that there should be "Rule X" and it should apply universally across all entities. If an adult starts crying whenever he's hungry, that's going to be frowned upon. Babies do the same thing, and it's fine.

    • by tbannist (230135)
      ...

      Maybe you're a gullible fool.

      No seriously. Microsoft doesn't do anything to benefit anyone other than itself. We know that. We've seen that time and time again. Micheal Bay is just illustrating another reason that Microsoft has to back HD-DVD. Essentially if HD-DVD wins, Microsoft wins because it will hurt Sony who is a competitor, and get Microsoft some license money on their HD-DVD technology. If both formats loose then Microsoft still wins because they'll be peddling an HD download service to fi
    • by Kohath (38547)
      Maybe MS sees Blu Ray as the next Betamax?

      Honestly? What to Blu-Ray and Betamax have in common? What are the parallels between the formats? What is it about Betamax that the market didn't like that's also true of Blu-Ray?

      Maybe you're just repeating Microsoft PR talking points as if they were information?

      Am I the only one who is tired of this 3rd-grade playground taunting that folks use when they can't put a coherent argument together? Why not just say "Sony's mom is a slut" instead?

      Maybe since they're o
    • Wouldn't it be more correct to say that today's Betamax is the one where a single hardware maker supports the standard? With Blu-Ray you have players from Pioneer, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, etc. With HD-DVD you have - Toshiba. Want an HD-DVD drive in a laptop? Hope you like Toshiba. Want a standalone player? That's Toshiba again. There's one or two other players that look like other people make them, but they are just re-badged Toshiba players.

      Blu-Ray is the standard where a truly diverse group of co
  • Nobody wanted two different hd formats, it was just that some companies wanted to cash in on their own stuff. Id say this time I am on Microsofts side, they are just intelligent enough to see an idiocy where everybody outside of Sony, Toshiba etc... could see it as well!
  • Responsibility (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dancindan84 (1056246)
    If they know it's going to hurt the industry, it's the studios responsibility to not take that check. They're the ones living off the industry, so it's their job to make sure it's sustained. If they repeatedly shoot themselves in the leg for (relatively) small kickbacks, they can't be surprised when they hit an artery.
  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:00AM (#21584835)
    I don't care why Microsoft would support HD-DVD, I'm just glad that they do although the argument seems rather foolish because you could equally argue Sony are trying to fuel the HD-DVD war so that they can sell more PS3s and downloadable movies via their online store too.

    The HD-DVD format whilst not perfect is much more consumer friendly in that it's cheaper, it's region free and it's backwards compatible to an extent.

    In comparison Bluray suffers from being region locked, having much more unfriendly, more problematic DRM and doesn't support backwards compat. in DVD players.

    A lot of people don't want HD-DVD to win because Microsoft are backing it, but I think Microsoft is the lesser of two evils in this case, the biggest bonus for me is the region free part, whilst this is probably largely useless for North American consumers who get films earlier and cheaper anyway for those of us in Europe this is immensly important, rather than paying £23.99 for a film we can import it for about £15 and often get it 6 months earlier. With Bluray you're stuck with your £23.99 cost and the 6 month delay between North American and European releases.

    Sadly it may be too late, HD-DVD isn't holding up that well right now it would seem, for me personally if HD-DVD won I would buy an HD-DVD player because of the cheap import HD-DVDs I can buy but if Bluray won I'd go for online purchases of HD content for no other reason than I refuse to pay over £15 for a movie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym (126579)
      The HD-DVD format whilst not perfect is much more consumer friendly in that it's cheaper, it's region free and it's backwards compatible to an extent.

      Of those, only one is true and one is partially true. HD DVD is region free and its the one great feature it has. It is only partially true to say HD DVD is cheaper since it is only because Toshiba is subsidizing it. The technology for Blu Ray and HD DVD is virtually analogous and therefore incurs similar costs. It's just the Blu Ray camp doesn't have the lu

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Xest (935314)
        It seems silly to speculate that Toshiba is subsidising HD-DVD and the Bluray group are not, particularly as Sony was selling PS3s at a loss for so long which was attributed to Bluray and Cell.

        In terms of backwards compatibility I refer to the fact that HD-DVDs can use a layer of the disc for DVD such that you can buy HD-DVDs now and use them in your existing DVD player and have them play standard def. then when you do make the switch to HD-DVD you've already got a library of HD films meaning you don't have
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AnyNoMouse (715074)
        Because HD-DVD comes from the DVD group, they can make combo discs that have DVD on one side and HD-DVD on the other. In fact, there's another portion of the spec that allows 1-2 layers of HD-DVD and 1 layer of DVD on the same side (The Freedom Anime DVD released in the US is done this way). This can't be done on Blu Ray because of licensing issues, from what I understand.

        This allows, in the future, for a studio to release only one product, a Twin DVD/HD-DVD combo disc that plays in both DVD players and H
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mczak (575986)

        The DRM is not more problematic.

        This is very much untrue. HD-DVD "only" supports AACS, while blu-ray additionally supports BD+. This runs some code in a virtual machine to ensure the player integrity. Now some discs are supporting this, and apparently older players have a lot of problems with these discs (that is, they don't work at all without a firmware upgrade). And if it works, it seems to cause longer load times and other performance issues. Now, it may be true that this is the fault of the players, but BD+ inherently is another "fe

    • The HD-DVD format whilst not perfect is much more consumer friendly in that it's cheaper

      Combo discs cost $5 more than Blu-Ray discs, otherwise they are the same price. Silly consumer, when have prices ever been set by media costs?

      it's region free

      Blu-Ray titles are after a year. This is the only advantage... however the US and Japan being in the same Blu-Ray region, pretty much negates this concern for me.

      and it's backwards compatible to an extent

      You mean to the same extent Blu-Ray is? Blu-Ray players pla
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:11AM (#21584947) Homepage

    Microsoft really can't do anything right, can they? First they got into a ton of trouble for attempting to help on HTML-browser implementation (their own) win — and the web-masters are still forced to maintain compatibility with completely different programs.

    And now Microsoft is blasted for maintaining competition — between multiple formats, because forcing the DVD-authoring teams to make versions for various players is somehow "totally different".

    Yes, I know, you'll claim, that "there should be one standard and multiple implementations". Well, if the standard is the high-quality TV-picture/sound (and who really cares for anything else?), than the BlueRay and HD-DVD can be considered just different implementations that should compete in perpetuity...

    • by iceperson (582205)
      How does paying a content provider to no longer release their content on a competing format "maintaining competition"?
  • Microsoft want to kill off HD-DVD and Blu-Ray as quickly as possible, which is probably why the HD-DVD encryption key got leaked from the 360's HD-DVD drive. That was no mistake, just a very good cover up.

    Once they start getting people to download movies instead of buying physical copies they will then ensure that they're the ones supplying the DRM encryption that will only work with their software.
  • We have both formats, and use neither. They're old formats that we're quickly finding are not able to keep up with the future of media: digital transport. While I may be a video purist (and have been for over a decade), I am finding that more and more people don't care about getting the maximum quality out of their video system, and are pleased with just decent quality, even at high def. For most of my friends and family, simple SD-DVD upconverted to 1080i is enough to make them happy.

    We've downloaded qu
  • sell you. Seriously folks, this is funny on so many levels. First, how in the hell would this "Director" know anything about what Microsoft is doing on this topic? He's pulling this out of his ass. There is no way in hell that MSFT is writing $100 million checks to keep this "war" going. MSFT may have a lot of money but they're not famous for wasting it. Who would they write those checks to? Second, all the nonsense about "OMG - companies are fighting over formats!" is laughable. Of course companies disag
    • by notaprguy (906128) *
      I thought of a good way he can prove that MSFT is writing big checks. Show us a scan of one written to him. Maybe they convinced him to do Transformers in HDDVD?
    • sell you. Seriously folks, this is funny on so many levels. First, how in the hell would this "Director" know anything about what Microsoft is doing on this topic? He's pulling this out of his ass.

      This "director" was responsible for this summer's #1 hit which became #1 best selling HD DVD title. Therefore I think he's in a slightly better position to know more about the background shenanigans behind why his movie is on one format and not another than you are.

      • by notaprguy (906128) *
        As I said in my reply to my original, maybe he can send us a scan of their check to him for Transformers? ;)
    • You didn't hear the news then.

      HD DVD Paid $150 million to Studios for "Promotional Consideration" [gizmodo.com]

      This payoff for Paramount exclusive support of HD-DVD (instead of Paramount's previous support of both HD formats) directly affected the release of Micheal Bay's big movie: Transformers.

      Not a PR guy? No, of course not.
  • This is something everyone should be used to by now... picking the less evil entity.

    In this case, we've got Microsoft, universally derided on slashdot and elsewhere...so you might think the choice is clear.

    But... against Michael Bay ?

    My employment biases aside.. I'm going to have to support MS on this one. Whatever Michael Bay says he doesn't like must be a gem in an otherwise steaming pile.

    The "Team America" movie didn't include a song about how awful Microsoft is.. but DID have several Michael Bay sucks
  • Faulty premise. (Score:3, Informative)

    by iainl (136759) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @11:39AM (#21585307)
    It's pretty pointless discussing why Microsoft might give Paramount $100M in advertising assistance if it's actually Toshiba that did it instead.

    This rant from Bay is about as logical as the plots to his movies.
  • They can write all the $100 Million checks they want.

    I think online is the way to go. One it keeps telcom folks employed (good for geeks). It is also way better for the environment. Why should I have to drive to a big box store to buy a disk that was produced in another state and shipped 100's or 1000's of miles to my city? What a waste of energy and recourses. I'd rather have the high paying telcom jobs than the sales drone jobs at Big Box Inc.

    However I'm likely to buy my video from Apple or Google
  • As long as Microsoft's practices are hurting distribution of Michael Bay films, I really don't see an issue.
  • If M$ wants to write a check (another check?) to Wal-Mart so I can get a $98 HD-DVD player--completely subsidized by 5 free movies--then I'm all for that. Some free M$$$$$$$$$ coming my way for once...
  • Wow, lotta people flaming the guy. Does this mean TFA is flamebait?
  • into researching which one would be better long term I discovered Battlestar Galactica would only be on HD DVD

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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