2. The battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray rages to a boil
They're just discs, aren't they? How different can two disc formats be, that groups of manufacturers and content providers are willing to go to war with one another to establish the leading format, when everyone knows the last great format battle drove consumers away? Today, the points of contention concern who reaps the rewards. With the HD DVD format including support for the iHD interactive layer that Microsoft jointly created with the Walt Disney Company, and with Windows Vista likely to include iHD support built-in, companies that already pay fees to Microsoft for using its operating system (for instance, Hewlett-Packard) will probably see cost savings when supporting HD DVD drives and standards. Meanwhile, the key proponents of Blu-ray are likely to reap benefits through the propagation of the competing interactive layer, BD-Java, developed by Sun Microsystems. Dell is one of those companies, and recently stated it will not join HP in its new position of straddling the fence, supporting both standards simultaneously. While all this is going on, development of the prospective next, next generation of optical storage has kicked into high gear, making it at least possible that consumers leap right over the competing formats altogether...a possibility some at Microsoft have actually advocated.