With the Blu-ray Disc format now officially ratified, I wonder how HP will react to its about-face last December, when the company announced that it was throwing its weight behind HD-DVD, the next-generation optical disc format it has been opposing for the past few years.
Ironically, HP said not too long ago that Blu-ray had the support of the “vast majority” of the computer industry, and how clearly superior Blu-ray is to HD-DVD.
Consider this statement from HP, while rebutting “erroneous” claims from Microsoft:
“From a PC end-user perspective, Blu-ray is a superior format. It offers 67-150 per cent more storage capacity, higher transfer rates, slimline notebook compatibility, broadband connectivity and a proven interactive layer with BD-Java,” said Maureen Weber, general manager of HP’s Personal Storage Business, in September 2005.
How times have changed. Consider this response a couple of months later:
“[iHD*] integration will reduce development costs and provide a more affordable solution for consumers,” HP said in a statement issued Friday [December 2005]. “In addition, HD-DVD provides a rich, cost-competitive solution for the consumer and is easier to manufacture.”
*iHD is Microsoft’s HD-oriented interactivity sub-system, and will ship with Windows Vista. The Blu-ray Disc Association has already chosen Java as the BD format’s interactivity foundation, and has said that while it will consider including iHD in a future iteration of the specification, it’s not going to delay BD’s debut to shoehorn it in.