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Microsoft CEO: 'We'll Support Blu-ray'

10 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer wasted no time last week at MIX 08 in Las Vegas confirming scuttlebutt that the company is analyzing ways to incorporate rival Sony Corp.'s next-generation packaged media format, Blu-ray Disc.

Microsoft heretofore supported HD DVD and offered an add-on HD DVD drive to its Xbox 360 video game system.

Ballmer said Toshiba Corp.'s withdrawal of its HD DVD format from the market necessitated the Redmond, Wash.-based technology behemoth moving forward.

“Toshiba has moved on,” Ballmer said. “We've moved on, and we'll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense.”

Ballmer said Microsoft went with HD DVD initially because it came to market sooner than Blu-ray, had certain cost advantages and Microsoft is not in the drive business.

He questioned the toll the format war had taken on the evolution of high-def packaged media and wondered in the future if more HD content would be delivered via a disc or over the Internet.

“Today it is important that a player has a disc drive, but in five years it might not make much of a difference,” Blamer said.

The CEO didn't elaborate if Blu-ray would be included in future 360 devices or offered as an add-on.

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