While posting my previous article, my eye caught a link on the PCPro.uk site stating "Microsoft bulks up Windows with Blue-ray support". The article says we are developing a feature pack that will add native support for burning to Blu-Ray media to Windows along with some feature to lock down portable devices and some new smartcard features. My favorite part of the article is this line though —
"The move may surprise some, as Microsoft heavily backed rival HD DVD during the format war."
Why is that surprising? HD-DVD lost the physical format format war. That means people are buying Blu-Ray media instead and we need to support what the public is using, right? I am sure that is one of the reasons why we are adding support for Blu-Ray but according to this article, Blu-Ray player sales are down or flat as of April of this year. Other sites report sales of Blu-Ray players are sky-rocketing. I don’t know what the real sales levels are and I really don’t care. Personally, I won’t be buying a Blu-Ray player. It has nothing to do with MS backing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray being the competitor. I just feel that Blu-Ray has a very limited lifespan.
DVD’s have been around for a little over a decade now and they have had a good run. I don’t think Blu-Ray will make it that far though. I believe that online digital distribution will supplant physical media before we hit the 10 year mark for Blu-Ray. Very few people I know burn discs for audio or video any longer. They simply plug their iPods, Zunes and other players directly into the devices and go. Some might argue that Blu-Ray would be used for storing massive amounts of computer data. I argue that is won’t find a place there either because sold-state drives are starting to pop-up with more frequency and the price will start coming down. Storage capacities on solid-state drives already dwarf that of Blu-Ray so why fumble with plastic disc based media? I suspect there will also be more breakthroughs in networking technology that will provide much faster data transfer which means having local copies is not required as often.
But! For the short-term, getting Blu-Ray support into Windows is a good thing. People have invested in the technology and have media they want to use.
What do you think?