Stephen Shankland at CNET:
Intel and Microsoft are combining their computing industry power in an attempt to make the HD DVD format the victor in a battle over a standard to succeed DVD.
Typical DVDs today can hold 4.7GB of information, but two dueling camps are trying to establish a larger-capacity format that will be allow for the recording of high-definition television and the backing up of more data. HD DVD, supported by a Toshiba-led consortium, is up against Blu-ray Disc, backed by Sony and allies including the two biggest personal computer manufacturers, Hewlett-Packard and Dell.
Intel and Microsoft believe weighing in on the HD DVD side will be enough to tip the balance. “We have a high expectation of having a single format, and that format is HD DVD,” said Intel spokesman Bill Kircos.
Needless to say, the Blu-ray side disagrees. The Microsoft press release is here.
Update: Joe Wilcox sees it as Microsoft and Intel versus the consumer electronics companies and Tony Smith at The Register has a further assessment of motivations and news of a player from Samsung that will handle both formats.