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Microsoft to Add Blu-ray Disc Support into Windows

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 10 comments

Through the lifespan of the format, Microsoft has been a strong supporter of HD DVD. Microsoft helped to design the specifications and the underlying software that is used for many HD DVD titles, and even released HD DVD hardware for the Xbox 360.

Now with the victory of Blu-ray Disc, however, the world’s largest software maker is working on incorporating new storage options in Windows.

Microsoft is currently developing a "Windows Feature Pack for Storage" for both Windows XP and Windows Vista with no announced shipment date yet.

Plans for such an update were revealed on a Microsoft Connect website for test and development purposes, which detailed three new technologies that would eventually be added into the operating systems.

Although Blu-ray Disc media is currently supported through third party software, the update will integrate burning into the OS. The upcoming Image Mastering API update "enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media," according to the website.

The other update includes Active Storage Platform, which enables the system to "restrict access to portable devices (such as a USB Flash Device) via a certificate or password authentication based on the IEEE 1667 standard specification."

The last of the three new features is a Smart Card Driver that provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID.

While some may view the added Blu-ray Disc support in Windows as a sign of the format’s victory, Microsoft is simply padding the features of its operating system. Just because one can soon burn a Blu-ray Disc more easily in Windows doesn’t mean that Microsoft is a true Blu-ray believer.

While writable Blu-ray Discs will be the optical storage of the future, Microsoft is likely still looking at at digital downloads as the true answer for HD media delivery.

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  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , August 20, 2008 12:42 AM
    Shadow703793Why not ad DVD burning to XP while your at it?

    ...No idea.

    If Microsoft claims "downloadable content for HD" then why the hell is my highest local internet connection horribly limited(based on high quality streaming 1920x1080 resolution,impossible)

    Well hell,I could possible pay a thousand bucks for half a gig of bandwidth,and the unimaginable amount for them to transfer the lines all the way down here...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 20, 2008 3:48 AM
    on the subject of Xbox360 and HDDVD, I wonder why Microsoft doesn't just us HD-DVD as a proprietary format for Xbox360 games, that way the console becomes hack proof. No one will be able to produce HD-DVDs as there are no burners for pc use. Sega tried something like this except they used tightly packed CDROMs called GDROMs. Sega messed up and used ordinary CDs which were just burnt in a highly packed manner other CDROMS emulate. I dont think any one will be able to make a blue ray burner burn a DVD with that precision and Microsoft should have a big win that way...just wondering
  • 0 Hide
    ZootyGray , August 20, 2008 7:13 PM
    that should be a nice 87 KB download.

    ditto re include xp. At least the update for bluray includes xp.

    more ways to sell 'wishta'.

    Easier to wait for wishta successor - heard it's coming.
  • 1 Hide
    Iscabis , August 20, 2008 9:26 PM
    Imgburn already does everything efficiently and for free. It it nice I guess that Microsoft is adding this support, but I stopped using the built-in burning software when I started using Imgburn. Seriously, check it out.
  • 0 Hide
    1pp1k10k4m1 , August 21, 2008 8:24 PM
    "While some may view the added Blu-ray Disc support in Windows as a sign of the format’s victory, Microsoft is simply padding the features of its operating system."

    Is that what you say when one country wins a war against another...? "Oh well...they were just padding their territory." That's why its called a "format WAR", blu-ray won. By adding support they are admitting that they lost. They may be adding to the versatility of their OSes too, but any support for blu ray is an admission of defeat for HD DVD.
  • 0 Hide
    1pp1k10k4m1 , August 21, 2008 8:33 PM
    @ Ikeoth

    One of the reasons microsoft would choose not to use HD DVD as their format for an "unhackable system" is that the 360 does not play HD DVDs. The add on did, and those addons were mostly produced by Samsung. Samsung is no longer producing them, and Microsoft doesn't make HD DVD drives. They would end up in a shortage in their ability to supply people with the drives needed to play their games. Also, if they were able to put that much of a demand on their games, the drives cost would go back up (saw them for $40 at a local best buy), then they would be asking customers to reinvest in a dead format that is useful for only gaming. Sega did do that with dreamcast, and then they got out of the console business altogether. With the media integration people expect today (especially with the PS3's ability to play many formats other than blu ray such as WMV, DivX, mp4, and Xvid, ect.) some people are beginning to expect more than just games from their console. Microsoft would be setting the whole industry back a step with that kind of move, in addition to the logistics problems that supplying HD DVD drives would cause.
  • 0 Hide
    wavebossa , October 6, 2008 10:20 PM
    Man, can any of you guys read???

    It clearly says that they are adding it for "both Windows XP and Windows Vista"

    Shadow, Jaragon, and ZootyGray, come on. Read the article next time please...
  • 0 Hide
    wavebossa , October 6, 2008 10:21 PM
    This pack also covers regular DVD burning as well, google it
  • 0 Hide
    Emiley Smith , November 26, 2013 11:13 PM
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  • 0 Hide
    Emiley Smith , November 29, 2013 4:10 AM
    This is good job that Microsoft is doing for the support of blu-ray disc. I like the blog post and it has grabbed my attention.

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