“We are committed to making it as easy as possible for our customers to write to and play DVDs on their PCs," said Tom Phillips, general manager of the Windows Hardware Experience Group at Microsoft. "With support for all the major writable DVD formats, users will find it much easier, less costly and more efficient to back up personal data, transfer files between PCs and share personally edited video on DVD-Video."
According to analysts, the competing formats have refused to budge, and the industry remains split between the DVD+RW, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM camps. In the consumer space, the Panasonic-backed DVD-RAM standard is temporarily dominating the market due to Panasonic's entrenched position in the marketplace, according to analyst firm Jon Peddie Research.
The additional formats were brought into the Longhorn fold through Microsoft's support of the Universal Disk Format, which will allow the operating system software to perform defect management operations on those formats that can't already perform them in hardware, such as DVD-RAM. DVD+RW hardware can perform defect management with the help of the Mt. Rainier specification, which allows writing to a disc without formatting, in the same manner as a hard drive.
Microsoft also said it still continues to evaluate supporting blue-laser technology, which has been branded as "Blu-Ray" by Sony.