Microsoft Claims it Backed the Right Horse in the Format Wars
Yep, HD DVD is dead and gone and Blu-ray has emerged victorious, but Microsoft’s Neil Thompson still believes the company “backed the right horse.” And no, he’s not talking about HD DVD.
What does it feel like to back the wrong horse? Thompson laughs resolutely. “What do you mean?” he jokes. “The horse that we’re fundamentally backing is the one that says the future of entertainment content is online digital distribution. I would argue that we backed the right horse.
“If we’re sitting here in 12 or 18 months time, we’ll be saying ‘why were people even thinking about a disc format when it’s really about digital distribution?’ Our strategy’s been developed for the last six or seven years, and ever since we launched the platform it [online content] has been our big, big, big bet.”
This comes by way of The Guardian, which didn’t further press Thompson on what I think many of us will find funny, but only out of irony. There’s no doubt that Microsoft intends on backing digital distribution, and has done so for quite some time. But with the way he suggests that disc formats will be looked at as being so irrelevant within the next 18 months, why did Microsoft ever bother with HD DVD? So we could all have a worthless add on once digital distribution becomes the blatantly obvious platform of choice.
I believe digital distribution is the future, but the arrogant assertion that Microsoft was only really behind digital distribution really irks me. Am I the only one? (Yes, maybe I’m still a bit upset over having bought a full price HD DVD player in December. Sigh. At least I still have Bourne.)