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Microsoft Fueling HD Wars For Own Benefit?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-they-ain't-running-a-charity-over-there dept.

Movies 359

DaveyJJ writes "According to Transformers' director Michael Bay, in a story over on Electronista, Microsoft is deliberately feeding into the HD disc format wars to ensure that its own downloads succeed where physical copies fail, he says in a response to a question posed through his official forums. The producer contends that Microsoft is writing "$100 million dollar checks" to movie studios to ensure HD DVD exclusives that hurt the overall market regardless of the format's actual merit or its popularity, preventing any one format from gaining a clear upper hand."

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359 comments

Doesn't sound like Microsoft. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584469)

Embrase, Expand, Extinguish. that is not how Microsoft works they get by by making quality products...

No I couldn't write this with a straight face.

Re:Doesn't sound like Microsoft. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584487)

"No I couldn't write this with a straight face."

"Embrase..."

Or correct spelling, apparently...

Re:Doesn't sound like Microsoft. (2, Interesting)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584857)

Microsoft is only prolonging this battle between the different formats, to enable more choice for the consumer! Nope, I couldn't write that either with a straight face...

Re:Doesn't sound like Microsoft. (0, Troll)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585163)

What if they were though, but not so consumers had more choices, but so companies can offer their own format and have more control over it? What if they are trying to mold the video market into the video game market? Where some movies will be exclusive to certain formats, but in general some movies come out on both formats. The video game console market is successful in doing this why can't the video market?

I can see both formats making lots of money and even a third joining the "war". I also see the mass market not fighting back on this. The only thing stopping this market from really taking off is the price of entry for the HDTVs and the HD movies themselves.

I call bullshit on this one... (1, Insightful)

arexu (595755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584477)

After all the tripe Michael Bay's given us, I'd doubt him if he said the sun comes up in the east.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (2, Funny)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584497)

I don't believe Michael Bay either, but how deliciously evil would this be if Microsoft actually planned this? This is the kind of evilness that requires a slow clap.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (5, Interesting)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584649)

It also doesn't make much logical sense. Bay claims that MS is prolonging the format war until they can get downloadable video working right, then swoop in and be declared "A winner is you!" Seems to me that Bay as been watching too many of his own movies.

True, Downloadable video is nice, as is stuff like Video on demand. I can picture telling my kids that "In my day, if you wanted to watch a show? You just had to wait until it was on." However, I don't think that downloadable movies will ever overtake actually having the disk in hand. If I want to watch Army Of Darkness, I don't want to wait 20 minutes for it to stream, then hope that my connection stays steady enough to prevent it from freezing. Just pop in the disk, no problem. The more steps you take from wanting to watch a movie, and pressing play, the worse off it is, in my opinion.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (4, Interesting)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584695)

Microsoft is quite obviously betting it will. In fact, they've been telling people that's the future that Microsoft will bring for years now. I went to a "Digital Home" show that was nothing more than Microsoft shilling their Digital Home products under a different name.

Throw in the added benefit of taking some of the wind out of the PS3 and it seems like a very cheap way for Microsoft to purchase marketshare in several different markets (Console, DVD Downloads, Home Electronics).

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584941)

Microsoft is quite obviously betting it will. In fact, they've been telling people that's the future that Microsoft will bring for years now. I went to a "Digital Home" show that was nothing more than Microsoft shilling their Digital Home products under a different name.
That sounds rather underhanded of them.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584717)

pppffft.

That's already the case with Tivos and Tivo-like devices.

You just wait until it's "been released" and then decide
when you're going to get around to watching it after that.
The more storage space you have in your PVR, the more it
starts to look like your own personal VOD system. You
just need to give it a little time to accumulate stuff.

Streaming is always open to problems. Whereas whole files are
a lot more reliable to deal with. It doesn't really matter if
they were downloaded from a torrent or recorded off of some
TV broadcast channel.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (2, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584769)

Yeah, it's so nice to be able to drive down to the local Hollywood Video, pick from 1000 greatest hits (who the eff doesn't have Eraserhead in their library!!) and be back to watch the movie in 15 minutes. Sooo much better than telling my computer to do it. Especially since I have to slide down the road in the snow. Oh, and keeping that downloaded video on my computer so it's instantly accessable? Out of the question. Our Commadore 64's don't have that kind of storage space!

I get your point that right now there are hardly any aspects of downloadable content that is appealing (streaming is sketchy, DRM destroys freedom, cost should be less for a soft copy, etc.), but the first company to solve these problems will kill hard copies as fast as MP3's killed CD's.

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (2, Insightful)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584873)

CDs aren't yet dead, and the mp3 format is older than a decade.
      So yes, it will take a decade for downloaded videos to kill DVDs and high definition alternatives

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (2, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585277)

Indeed, the CD is far from dead. The RIAA has been saying that MP3s are hurting CD sales for almost a decade, yet there is still a large space devoted to CDs at Wal Mart, Best Buy, etc. I don't see a lot of buggy whips at WalMart.

And his post was "insightful?" The RIAA lawyers must have mod points [slashdot.org] today!

-mcgrew

Re:I call bullshit on this one... (1)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584887)

True, once you get past a certan point, streaming or downloading will beat having a hard copy. It works now for games, I have a bunch of games on Steam that I've never owned a hard copy for. What I'm worried about though, is them going the way of Divx. So long as they don't try to screw over the customers, which I know, will be very difficult, then I think it could work. Heh, It'd save space for sure.

Alternative explanations (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584503)

...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

...Or maybe it's because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system supports, whereas they have nothing to do with Blu-ray.

Of course, I could just be grasping at straws.

At any rate, I do think he is right in that neither format will be the choice for obtaining and playing hi-def content, online distribution ultimately will win.

Before you post a correction... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584535)

...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

Strike that word "other." I'm well aware that HD-DVD isn't a Sony format. What I said and what I was thinking when I typed that (Sony's consumer device formats other than the competing Blu-ray...) obviously wasn't quite in sync.

Re:Alternative explanations (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584651)

...because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system supports...
And, alternately, Blu-ray is what Playstation 3 supports, which I think is more like what thier real motivation is - Xbox vs PS3.

Re:Alternative explanations (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584669)

So what you are saying is that MS has a lot of financial incentive for HD-DVD to succeed, and that they are supporting it as a good business decision, rather than to make both it and Blu-Ray crash...

A company, that has made lots and lots of money, whever even a guy who owns barely 10% of the stock is richer than God himself, and you think they do that by making good financial decisions???

You must be new here.

Re:Alternative explanations (3, Insightful)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584743)

I was with you right up until the end....

I do think he is right in that neither format will be the choice for obtaining and playing hi-def content, online distribution ultimately will win.

Online distribution is only feasible if you have an Internet-enabled device connected to your HDTV. Sure, media center PCs are getting more common (and more affordable), and the numbers [vgchartz.com] on HD-ready game consoles are steadily rising, but the vast majority of HDTV owners do not possess either (a fact that will likely remain, as the magnitude of the HDTV sales figures [parksassociates.com] indicates).

Maybe in 10 years the tide will have turned and most people will be using online distribution. However, there's serious money to be made in the meantime, and that requires physical media.

Re:Alternative explanations (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584959)

I have a networked device connected to my HDTV. It's called a cable box. I also have a network media player which I could imagine the next generation having some sort of internet download capability.

PCs are a stop gap measure. When more specialised technology becomes cheap enough and consumer friendly features evolve, and expensive general purpose PC will no longer be needed for this.

Re:Alternative explanations (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584811)

Quite. MS are going to cash in whether HD-DVD or their download service is a success. All they really want is for Blu-Ray to fail.

Re:Alternative explanations (1)

CleanGuy (1180155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584913)

In electronic media, companies who try to impose their will on the market will ultimately not find their efforts fruitful. Granted, in the 1980's, the VHS format won out over the superior Betamax format because more content was available on VHS. We have seen similar scenarios play out over the last 30 years. However, "owning" a media delivery format has become increasingly difficult. Now, more than ever, the market dictates. The key to success is universal compatibility and availability, not exclusivity. One may ask, "What about Windows Media Player?" Windows supports my point. Windows became the standard because of its universal compatibility and availability. The iPod would not have become the success it was if its (iTunes) software was not made available for the PC. Today trying to force a format on the marketplace either limits success or insures failure.

Re:Alternative explanations (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585067)

...Or maybe it's because Microsoft has been a strong backer of the format since the very beginning, and doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

Some Sony formats such as compact disc, 3.5" floppy and miniDV can hardly be described as failures.

But that's beside the point. Microsoft doesn't want any physical HD format to dominate.

...Or maybe it's because HD-DVD is the format that its cash cow video game console system supports, whereas they have nothing to do with Blu-ray.

Which is still only an expansion device, a pretty ugly one at that. Why does no 360 integrate an HD-DVD player? Surely the "Elite" model should at least if Microsoft is such a "strong backer" as you put it? Microsoft knows all about the power of the default, yet here they are putting distance between themselves and this format you claim they strongly back.

It looks more like they don't want the taint of a dead format stinking up their console so they've left it as an expansion so their options are open.

Of course, I could just be grasping at straws.

I think you are.

At any rate, I do think he is right in that neither format will be the choice for obtaining and playing hi-def content, online distribution ultimately will win.

And that's the reason Microsoft is doing this. They don't give a flying fuck about HD DVD. They know it's doomed. But if they can prolong the physical format war as long as possible, their own DLC offerings might have time to mature and take over.

I sure as hell don't know why anyone would be insane enough to buy DLC movies. If you think the DRM is bad in Blu Ray or HD DVD, it's ten times worse in DLC. You pay almost as much as a full price disc, and get a low quality, machine locked, proprietayr file for your efforts. I think DLC will prove very popular for rentals where no one cares too much about these issues but ownership? Not so much.

Re:Alternative explanations (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585125)

doesn't want it to end up like all of Sony's other consumer device formats. (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, SACD, UMD...)

You conveniently forget that Sony was a co-developer and strong backer of the CD format.

Re:Alternative explanations (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585171)

>online distribution ultimately will win.

Really? So right now in the lo-def world we cant get this stuff to work and Joe Sixpack isnt goign anywhere near it and when he does the quality is shit (netflicks) but next year or two we'll have the extra bandwidth and marketshare and the equipment and joe sixpack's trust and a pricing scheme that works and and ....

Right.

Discs are going to be the delivery mechanism for the forseeable future. MS is backing HDDVD. Sony is with Bluray. This is just a slashdot trolling hit and run page. Enjoy the ad impressions.

Not to mention if anyone pushes online distribution it'll be soaking in DRM. Enough to make bluray and hddvd look like Richard Stallman. This crowd will go apeshit and will never use it.

M$ BS (-1, Flamebait)

Ravengbc (1013269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584513)

Sounds like typical M$ bullshit tactics. Throw money around to get their way. I would love to see all of these major movie studios tell M$ to fuck off. But, alas, money is the root of all evil. Maybe that's why M$ has so much of it?

Re:M$ BS (0, Troll)

Ravengbc (1013269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584549)

Crap, I'm gonna correct my own post. The love of money is the root of all evil. But still, M$ has so much of it, that I'm pretty sure they love it. And, they are hoping that other's love of money will get them there way. Just goes to prove that M$ is PURE EVIL.

Nothing to see here... (0, Troll)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584515)

Does anyone think that this is something Microsoft wouldn't do? This is not the first time they have thrown money to the detriment of an industry for their own benefit and it won't be the last.

If comments like these had any merit.... (2, Insightful)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584519)

... winning a monopoly case against Microsoft wouldn't Michael Bay is just PO'd that he isn't making more money hand over fist on that abortion of a commercial called "Transformers". I couldn't even tell it was a real movie through all the obvious and in your face product placement.

Re:If comments like these had any merit.... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585239)

Are you saying turning a Mountain Dew vending machine into an evil Transformer with good General Motors Transformers lacks artistic integrity?

Or did you expect an adaptation of a 80s cartoon which was a toy advertisement to be less blatant with the product placements?

Fine just fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584521)

If this is true (which I doubt), I'm fine with it. Not because I agree with the means, but I'm certainly OK with the end if both formats fail. Perhaps the Sonys and the Toshibas of the world will learn. /yeah right.

Re:Fine just fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584773)

I take it you root for M$'s format?

Re:Fine just fine. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585023)

I usually buy Microsoft stuff. It's not that it's much better than the alternatives, it's just that promote it with underhand skullduggery and ruthlessness. So it usually wins in the end. Which means early adopters aren't likely to end up owning something unsupported.

Re:Fine just fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585329)

Which is fortunate, because they're usually selling the crap most likely to need support...

Summary is awful (1, Informative)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584529)

What Bay says in the interview is, essentially, that Microsoft is propping up HD DVD as a stalling tactic until they have a download only technology that can compete.

I am skeptical of that development occurring anytime soon, but the summary does a poor job of making the point.

I don't believe it... (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584557)

From being on the inside, talking to multiple Microsoft people including execs. I don't think this is a full out company wide goal of supporting HD-DVD. They're smart, but they don't predict long-term goals that well. I think their downloadable video's were aided in an accidental benefit of no clear direction in the format wars. They have been pushing HD-DVD since the beginning. With Big Screen installs in Circuit City/Best Buy stores using HD-DVD player attachments to play movies, games, etc.

Because heaven knows.... (5, Interesting)

Churla (936633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584569)

Because heaven knows Sony hasn't thrown around a ton of money to make sure it gets as many studios and others on the Blu Ray train.

Both Sony and MS throw money into supporting the horse that their respective wagon is tied to. That's how it is.

And I agree that in the long term on line distribution will win, but before it can the internet as we know it needs some substantial upgrading. Not to support the concept (it already does), but to support what happens when the masses start using it.

Re:Because heaven knows.... (4, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584735)

And I agree that in the long term on line distribution will win, but before it can the internet as we know it needs some substantial upgrading. Not to support the concept (it already does), but to support what happens when the masses start using it.

Bingo! MS isn't trying to destroy physical media anymore than Verizon is trying to destroy the POTS. While both know that the future doesn't lay in these technologies both also know that for now they're pulling down a reasonable profit with them because of mass usage.

By the time the internet is seriously up to the task of delivering HD styled content to the masses both HD DVD and Blu Ray will have gone the way of the laser disc. The lifespan of these new formats will not be longer than that of the traditional DVD. We've been DVD for what now? 10 or 12 years? Do people here honestly think that technologies like FIOS are going to be nation wide (let alone world wide) in the next decade? I think people are fooling themselves into the ultra futuristic world of downloadable content being just around the corner. We have communities within 20 miles of a somewhat major city (if you can call Pittsburgh a major city) that still don't have DSL or Cable internet. This doesn't even bring the frail backbone of the internet into question.

Online content as a mass market is still a long ways off and it's ability to replace physical media won't be a reality in the next 10 years.

Re:Because heaven knows.... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584847)

I know for a fact that BlockBuster was trying to figure out a way to effectively do on-line on-demand content around 7 years ago (in the y2k range) and basically it was a no go because infrastructure didn't give an even enough level of availability to people to make it viable. A few people had DSL and Cable modems which would handle it, but not enough market to consider the service viable.

I personally think in the longer run it will be something along the lines of WiMax that wins out because it isn't tied to a ground based distribution network (fibre, cable, phone lines). But that's the hopeful futurist in me talking.

Re:Because heaven knows.... (3, Insightful)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584845)

Both Sony and MS throw money into supporting the horse that their respective wagon is tied to. That's how it is.

I agree. However, it is very clear why Sony is willing to dump a ton of money into Blu-Ray. It's pretty much their format. They'll make a killing if it becomes dominant, and they'll loose a ton if it looses.

Microsoft, on the other hand, isn't as heavily invested. For example, their console supports HD-DVD only as an add-on. If HD-DVD becomes dominant, they get some licensing fees on each unit sold, which is no doubt nice, but not that big a deal.

I think Microsoft wants to kill Blu-ray, but they don't care if HD-DVD succeeds or not. They don't want to be at the mercy of Sony for two reasons:

1. If Blu-Ray becomes dominant, they'll be forced to licence it for their next console, (and possibly a XBOX360 add-on). What if Sony denies them? What if the fees put them at too much of a disadvantage.

2. Microsoft envisions some soft of computerized media center in each home. They need some control of the format to do this.

Re:Because heaven knows.... (5, Informative)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585157)

Blu ray is NOT a Sony format, anymore than the CD is a Sony format. They are the dominant member of the industry consortium that developed Blu Ray, and one of the original developers. Microsoft would never have to license Blu Ray from Sony, they would license it from the consortium just as with the regular CD.

What Microsoft does NOT like about Blu Ray is that it requires a java VM.

Blu Ray only SpiderMan ... (1)

cymro71 (1198691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584577)

...sort of destroys his argument (at least in the anti MS aspect)

Re:Blu Ray only SpiderMan ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584615)

...

You are aware which studio made Spiderman? It was always going to be a BluRay exclusive.

proof? (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584583)

Does he have any sort of proof to back up this assertion? Not to mention that TFA states that Bay has gone on record saying he prefers Blu-ray. Considering all the crap that Michael Bay has put out, I have no problem calling this his own version of FUD.

They wrote the HD content software. (5, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584593)

Microsoft wrote the software for the HD interactive [wikipedia.org] , which means they must be getting a royalty for each machine.

What's a few $100M here and there when you have the potential to collect so many licenses from consumer boxes?

Plus, the Blu-Ray content software is written in Java. What better reason for MS to hate it?

Strategically consistent (4, Insightful)

tbg58 (942837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584609)

This development appears to be consistent and predictable. Look at Vista and its license agreement, and you see M$ trying to control not only the software layer but levying requirements on hardware makers, i.e. toe the line and show commitment to DRM in every layer of hardware or M$ won't certify your drivers, and this means NOT providing any open source drivers to the Linux community. Although Peter Gutmann's essay contained some inaccuracies, it detailed these steps. Why did M$ abandon technical functionality for the end user in favor of an OS that provides a bit of eye candy to users but a whole lot of technology that is aimed at protecting content provider monopoly? Why did they release the ultra-DRM portable platform, the Zune, about the same time? Why is M$ now meddling in the media content market, apparently trying to orchestrate some sort of movement in HD media? It has looked for some time like M$ sees the revenue stream Apple has through ITunes and thought it worthwhile to put a stake in the ground for developing a media market. Which, in typical M$ fashion, they want to control absolutely. Look for M$ to either acquire or announce a media provider that offers only protected WMA and ultra-DRMed MP3 formats to compete against ITunes. M$ sees that the OS and application space has limited legs. They appear to be making a move toward becoming a content provider. Pretty savvy on their part, but I think their jack-booted super-mega-ultra-DRM approach will not be well received. They're either way out in front on the cutting edge, or a dinosaur trying to put a cap on emerging mammals in the media marketplace. Time will tell.

Re:Strategically consistent (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584793)

I thought about that too. A while back actually. If MS causes waves in the media industry. Get consumers pissed off and not buying, then stock prices fall and they can buy into some of these studios. They've already started putting up data centers. (preparing for what?) I think they saw the success of iTunes and wanted to get a leg up on the next thing. iMovies? Moviesoft? If they can buy into the studios, they can get voting privileges and coax the studios into giving the "exclusive" access to heavily DRM'd download movies. I'm pretty sure this is why Vista was so DRM heavy and the whole move behind Media Center functionality. To get that ball rolling in their biggest market. Once (if) they get to that point, they simply claim that OSX and Linux are not secure enough to protect the artist and therefore they do not support clients on those machines. They essentially turn the movie industry into the gaming industry and get a cut of every sale cementing their long term income.

Re:Strategically consistent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585069)

Will we ever get away from the "M$" thing? Hahahaha a dollar sign for the S because they have so much money! That'll show 'em!

Wait a minute (1, Flamebait)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584623)

So wait, Microsoft is actually encouraging more choice in the marketplace? And of course its taken as a negative. I sure love slashdot.

Re:Wait a minute (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584831)

So wait, Microsoft is actually encouraging more choice in the marketplace? And of course its taken as a negative. I sure love slashdot.

This reaction is easy to grok: the choice is between two closed/proprietary and patented-all-to-Hell formats.... the result is that consumers either get the Scylla format (HD-DVD), or the Charybdis format (Blu-Ray).

Either way you'll be paying through the nose. Some 'choice'...

/P

Re:Wait a minute (4, Insightful)

GranBurguesa (720088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584925)

No, the complaint isn't that Microsoft is supporting one format over another or even both at the same time. The problem is that they are allegedly encouraging "exclusives" on one format or another, i.e. you want a particular movie, you can only buy the HD-DVD version. This means consumers have less choice, not more.

Re:Wait a minute (2, Insightful)

iceperson (582205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585201)

Actually, Paramount and Dreamworks customers had a choice (they could buy movies on whichever format they wanted.) The check from Microsoft was for exclusivity. The end effect was not less choice, but no choice.

Re:Wait a minute (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585265)

So wait, Microsoft is actually encouraging more choice in the marketplace?

When Microsoft doesn't control the market, Microsoft always encourages a choice.

It'll be a choice that's incompatible with the dominant one, possibly in subtle ways that Microsoft can widen into a wedge over time. Like they tried to do to Java.

Then when Microsoft gets control of the market, only the Microsoft choice is left.

FUD (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584637)

Maybe MS sees Blu Ray as the next Betamax? (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060420-6641.html)

Maybe since they're offering their set top game box in HD DVD it's a business interest?

What's the problem here and why is this news?

They have real interest in seeing HD get the upper hand. Yes. Would they like to see downloadable content as a better business prospective? Yes. Who doesn't. MS has invested billions into their 360 product, throwing in a bit more money to give it the edge in home movies isn't unthinkable and certainly isn't unheard of.

I seriously do not understand why people are in such a twist over this. Oh, that's right, it's because it's big bad Microsoft and we all need to focus our attention for our daily two minutes of hate.

Re:FUD (3, Insightful)

Tom90deg (1190691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584663)

Heh, what I find funny is that if, say, Apple, did the exact same thing, people would be happy.

Re:FUD (1)

ImpShial (1045486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585317)

I doubt it. Slashdotters seem to enjoy bashing big-business, regardless of the company. Yes, Apple has a better, cleaner history than Microsoft, but if they started fueling an industry so that something big went their way, you would see a large amount of Apple-bashing on this site. And I'm sure that if put in the right situation, Apple would have no problem doing exactly what MS is doing. It's better for the bottom-line.


It seems to me that Slashdotters are the kind of people that will always root for the underdog. No matter what.

I actually applaud this. This site isn't full of mealy-mouthed yes-men (and women). If we ever need another revolution in the US, I think Slashdotters would instantly join the cause. (from their basements and with their mother's permission, of course)

:P

Re:FUD (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584853)

...

Maybe you're a gullible fool.

No seriously. Microsoft doesn't do anything to benefit anyone other than itself. We know that. We've seen that time and time again. Micheal Bay is just illustrating another reason that Microsoft has to back HD-DVD. Essentially if HD-DVD wins, Microsoft wins because it will hurt Sony who is a competitor, and get Microsoft some license money on their HD-DVD technology. If both formats loose then Microsoft still wins because they'll be peddling an HD download service to fill the gaps between the formats.

We know Microsoft is paying off people to support HD-DVD, now we know a little more about why they're doing it and what their back up plans are.

Re:FUD (1)

ImpShial (1045486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585227)

No seriously. Microsoft doesn't do anything to benefit anyone other than itself. We know that. We've seen that time and time again.

Um....this comment actually fits almost ALL large companies.

Do you honestly think the execs over at Sony think "Hmmm. If we do this, it will benefit our customers, even though we will lose money. I say we think about the people and not our bottom line this year."

No, my friend, parent is not a gullible fool. Every big corporation runs about the same way. What MS is doing is just good business sense. They'll piss a lot of people off, but like any other company, they will rationalize it with thicker wallets at the end of the day.

If any one of us became that big. We'd do the same.

Re:FUD (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584967)

Maybe MS sees Blu Ray as the next Betamax? (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060420-6641.html)

That would be possible if the physical media wasn't the same size and it wasn't controlled by a program interacting with similar hardware to read the disc. Because of that, the market will develop dual players and in the end it won't matter what type of disc you've purchased (just like DVD+/-R/W).

Re:FUD (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585047)

Plus, seriously, does anyone believe that Sony isn't doing the same thing for Blu-Ray?

I generally hate Microsoft, but this really isn't news.

Bullshit! (1)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584665)

It doesn't matter HD or Blueray. Eventually there will be one drive to read/write them all. Why do MS want to waste their money like that?

Sony got there first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584673)

ultimately, this is par the course for any technology provider that is trying to offer a format for content distribution. Sony already did this when it bought Columbia Pictures (1989), and more recently bought MGM studios(2004), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Pictures_Entertainment [wikipedia.org]

Its my understanding that Sony is buying these companies solely so that they can have the content released exclusively on Sony brand technology. This stemmed from there loss over the VHS/Betamax wars. So, Sony has done exactly what Microsoft is doing, only times 10 in terms of scale and length of time.

Why leave the success of your technology to the markets of distribution when you can just buy the distribution you want? If buying the media companies is cheaper than having them distribute on a competing tech. then of course companies are going to do it.

Government (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584693)

Microsoft would fit right in with the USA Government. Maybe they are the government.

MS / Transformer Connection (1)

Soy_Nugz (1136539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584703)

While Transformers was an entertaining movie, it was rife with product placement. One such product that was prominently shown was an Xbox 360 that transformed into a mini Decepticon (near the end of the movie). Michael Bay did not seem to have a problem with MS when he put that into his movie.

Re:MS / Transformer Connection (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584829)

I'm calling that claim that it was an entertaining movie.
Yea the first fight at the military base was good the film quickly went downhill and very very fast. It quickly became a movie of bad dialog, poor lighting and boring action. And that comes from someone who like The Rock and Armageddon.

Re:MS / Transformer Connection (1)

jmac1492 (1036880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584893)

One such product that was prominently shown was an Xbox 360 that transformed into a mini Decepticon (near the end of the movie). Michael Bay did not seem to have a problem with MS when he put that into his movie.
The Decepticons were trying to destroy the physical content industry. (Along with all of humanity... but still.)

No Mercy (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584705)

Nobody wanted two different hd formats, it was just that some companies wanted to cash in on their own stuff. Id say this time I am on Microsofts side, they are just intelligent enough to see an idiocy where everybody outside of Sony, Toshiba etc... could see it as well!

Remove the question mark from the headline (0, Troll)

invisik (227250) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584725)

There is no doubt that Microsoft is bribing and making deals behind the screens to make HD DVD come out on top.

I did buy a BluRay player anyway, but we'll see how it goes. Consumers can still vote with their wallets, and I hope they do.

-m

Re:Remove the question mark from the headline (1)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584805)

"There is no doubt that Microsoft is bribing and making deals behind the screens to make HD DVD come out on top."
There is no doubt that Sony is bribing and making deals behind the screens to make Blu-Ray come out on top.

What was your point?

Re:Remove the question mark from the headline (1)

debest (471937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584899)

Consumers can still vote with their wallets, and I hope they do.

I already have: neither!

Now, of course, that could very well be because I have no extra money for a hi-def player, or HD movies, or the required HD television... but even if I did, I'd still be sitting out this upgrade cycle. Sure, HD is nice (really nice) looking, but not good enough to warrant upgrading all the equipment and titles unless the cost is trivial (and it isn't). Add to the fact that format-shifting DVD content is drop-dead easy (I hate handling the discs, and refuse to allow my young daughter to do so), and sticking with DVDs is an easy choice.

The sooner one HD format wins, the sooner that consumers will start adopting it, then the sooner the studios can start to phase out and ignore standard DVD as a format. However long that is (and I know it will be a long while), I want that extended as long as possible.

Re:Remove the question mark from the headline (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585035)

I did buy a BluRay player anyway, but we'll see how it goes. Consumers can still vote with their wallets, and I hope they do.
Yes, I can quite understand why you'd want to support Sony, After all doesn't Sony have a wonderful, spotless reputation as a protector of consumer rights? Oh, no, wait a moment, I seem to remember some incident with root kits installed on audio CDs to stop you ripping them to the hard drive.

Responsibility (2, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584741)

If they know it's going to hurt the industry, it's the studios responsibility to not take that check. They're the ones living off the industry, so it's their job to make sure it's sustained. If they repeatedly shoot themselves in the leg for (relatively) small kickbacks, they can't be surprised when they hit an artery.

Nice question begging! (1)

smitth1276 (832902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584759)

I guess I could see some merit in the article if you presuppose that I give a rats ass about bluray and that I thought that an uncontested bluray victory/monopoly would be good for such a young market. But I don't believe that, and I think the submitter is an idiot. Microsoft has a vested interest in HD-DVD's success... the XB360. They don't want to prolong the format war--they want Bluray to lose, because that disincentivizes the purchase of their competitor's product, the PS3, which is likewise hoping to see HD-DVD lose and, in fact, CREATED THE F'ING FORMAT. And, of course, Sony would never work out a financial arrangement whereby a studio or retailer only provides titles on Bluray! Oh wait... THERE OWN F'ING STUDIO provides Bluray exclusives. "blurayfanboi," indeed. Where does slashdot find such incredibly stupid people these days? I swear to God it's getting worse lately.

I don't care for the why. (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584835)

I don't care why Microsoft would support HD-DVD, I'm just glad that they do although the argument seems rather foolish because you could equally argue Sony are trying to fuel the HD-DVD war so that they can sell more PS3s and downloadable movies via their online store too.

The HD-DVD format whilst not perfect is much more consumer friendly in that it's cheaper, it's region free and it's backwards compatible to an extent.

In comparison Bluray suffers from being region locked, having much more unfriendly, more problematic DRM and doesn't support backwards compat. in DVD players.

A lot of people don't want HD-DVD to win because Microsoft are backing it, but I think Microsoft is the lesser of two evils in this case, the biggest bonus for me is the region free part, whilst this is probably largely useless for North American consumers who get films earlier and cheaper anyway for those of us in Europe this is immensly important, rather than paying £23.99 for a film we can import it for about £15 and often get it 6 months earlier. With Bluray you're stuck with your £23.99 cost and the 6 month delay between North American and European releases.

Sadly it may be too late, HD-DVD isn't holding up that well right now it would seem, for me personally if HD-DVD won I would buy an HD-DVD player because of the cheap import HD-DVDs I can buy but if Bluray won I'd go for online purchases of HD content for no other reason than I refuse to pay over £15 for a movie.

Re:I don't care for the why. (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584961)

You're wrong on the facts. I'd suggest visiting the Wikipedia pages for HD DVD and Blu-ray respectively.

Re:I don't care for the why. (1)

sudnshok (136477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584997)

I agree and hope HD-DVD wins. I hope Sony gets screwed YET AGAIN for trying to shove their format down everyone's throats. If I remember correctly from articles I've read, it is much less costly for DVD production plants to upgrade their facilities to produce HD-DVDs than to produce Blu-Ray... which would mean less costs passed on to consumers.

As for Blu-Ray "winning", does anyone know where we can find actual numbers for DISCS sold? All I've seen is PLAYERS sold, which to me, is not really all that telling. I think most people buying PS3s are buying it to play games - not to watch movies.

Re:I don't care for the why. (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585287)

The HD-DVD format whilst not perfect is much more consumer friendly in that it's cheaper, it's region free and it's backwards compatible to an extent.

Of those, only one is true and one is partially true. HD DVD is region free and its the one great feature it has. It is only partially true to say HD DVD is cheaper since it is only because Toshiba is subsidizing it. The technology for Blu Ray and HD DVD is virtually analogous and therefore incurs similar costs. It's just the Blu Ray camp doesn't have the luxury of subsidizing its players since we're talking of dozens of companies working to an industry standard, not one company trying to force it.

As for backwards compatible... what???

In comparison Bluray suffers from being region locked, having much more unfriendly, more problematic DRM and doesn't support backwards compat. in DVD players.

Some discs are region locked, some aren't - Blu Ray is not doing itself any favours by doing this. The DRM is not more problematic. Backwards compatibility is just fine in Blu Ray players that support DVDs which would be all of them.

using M$ makes you look like an idiot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584851)

Grow up!

If they ever make a movie of this story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584867)

...it will be called Ballmer!: Cultural Materials of Media Formats for Make Benefit Glorious Corporation of Microsoft .

Inner Struggle.. (1)

Medenus (1189293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584871)

As much as I hate microsoft I don't actually see a problem here. ALl they're doing is encouraging market competition. (also, on the Reply page I'm writing on, there is a blu-ray ad. I find that funny)

No, No, No... (1)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584895)

It is Michael Bay who is ensuring that his BAD MOVIES hurt the overall market regardless of the their actual merit or popularity...

oblig (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584917)

Fueling HD Wars for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Microsoft

Obviously unrelated to the Xbox360 being HD-DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584919)

Some people might speculate that the fact that the XBox360 is HD-DVD only could be a motivation for desiring that HD-DVD succeds. These people would say that it would be impossible for Microsoft to come to any agreement with Sony regarding offering Blu-Ray for the 360. The speculation could further be that neither Sony nor Microsoft intend to develop an even further next-generation hi-definition console or format in the near future, which would imply that a predominance of Blu-Ray films on the market would completely eradicate any possible motivation for buying an Xbox360 for its ability to play hi-definition films. Hence the thought might well be in those minds that spending on ensuring availability and prevalance of HD-DVD films could be a way of enabling the motivation of owning an Xbox360 for the hi-definition film ability.

This speculation refuted by the well-known fact that Microsoft is more evil than any other company and hence cannot have 'normal-evil' level motivations. I second the one that they simply want to destroy the market for physical discs.

It seems to me... (1)

SeePage87 (923251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584923)

That is Bay actually believes this he would stop investing so much in the format war and start investing in a massive and well thought out media download system. If microsoft is encouraging a (naturally viable) market, this is where they should focus their attention.

ZZZZzzzz.... (1)

sulfur_lad (964486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584929)

100 million??? Come on, get real, I doubt it. News flash: nobody cares. Most sane people will wait until there's a clear winner - if there is ever such a thing - or (like me) wait until there's an economically viable (read me: CHEAP) player that does both formats. I have a 52" LCD display just waiting for that day.

News flash 2: both formats have extremely high quality results. Great! Here's hoping they both continue to drive each other's prices down so we can all afford it.

Maintaining competition... (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584947)

Microsoft really can't do anything right, can they? First they got into a ton of trouble for attempting to help on HTML-browser implementation (their own) win — and the web-masters are still forced to maintain compatibility with completely different programs.

And now Microsoft is blasted for maintaining competition — between multiple formats, because forcing the DVD-authoring teams to make versions for various players is somehow "totally different".

Yes, I know, you'll claim, that "there should be one standard and multiple implementations". Well, if the standard is the high-quality TV-picture/sound (and who really cares for anything else?), than the BlueRay and HD-DVD can be considered just different implementations that should compete in perpetuity...

Re:Maintaining competition... (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585241)

How does paying a content provider to no longer release their content on a competing format "maintaining competition"?

DRM (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21584973)

Microsoft want to kill off HD-DVD and Blu-Ray as quickly as possible, which is probably why the HD-DVD encryption key got leaked from the 360's HD-DVD drive. That was no mistake, just a very good cover up.

Once they start getting people to download movies instead of buying physical copies they will then ensure that they're the ones supplying the DRM encryption that will only work with their software.

Breaking News: The studios are stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21584989)

The studios are killing themselves by taking this money, and I so don't care.

As for the people saying Microsoft is doing this to support the Xbox and for choice- get real. Microsoft gave the Xbox HD-DVD long after they had already chosen to support HD-DVD. When everyone was getting on the Blue-Ray wagon, Microsoft threw its support behind HD-DVD. There was only one reason- to create a protracted war that would destroy physical formats. Now they're throwing money to the studios to get more titles for no other reason than to further hurt PS3 sales. Microsoft does not care about anythign but money. They want market share and they want to run the show.

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray both will fail (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585019)

We have both formats, and use neither. They're old formats that we're quickly finding are not able to keep up with the future of media: digital transport. While I may be a video purist (and have been for over a decade), I am finding that more and more people don't care about getting the maximum quality out of their video system, and are pleased with just decent quality, even at high def. For most of my friends and family, simple SD-DVD upconverted to 1080i is enough to make them happy.

We've downloaded quite a few (mostly) legal HD videos off the net, and while they do take some time to download, the quality is impressive, considering the excessive compression of XViD or whatever codec is used to provide a high def video in a smaller file. We may be in the minority today with our media centers, but I'm seeing more and more people who are quite pleased with the quality of the newest HD TiVo, and are starting to move away from the DVD/disc format entirely.

The biggest two problems today are industry related: the big guns don't want digital transport, and few seem to be ready to jump on the on-demand bandwagon. There are numerous devices that can support on-demand downloadable HD movies, but even with the long download they are faster than NetFlix or the hassle of picking up and dropping off a rental. I still can't figure out WHY an industry is battling the obscure piracy problems, because it is obvious that there is no way to win that battle except to lower prices and increase options.

Yes, movies cost tens of millions to make, but there are over a hundred million households. Many are moving to HD (1080i/720p) flat panels, which are coming down in price. The cost of a TiVo-like box that plugs into your broadband router is negligible, and possibly offset by a monthly commitment to buying X HD movies a month (or a flat rate that includes X movies a month). The hardware is not that complicated, but it needs to be able to progress to using newer codecs as they're released. We have HDMI working fairly well as a video/audio transport, so cabling isn't a big issue (although I still use component for one device). Many households have broadband, so transport to the home is not a huge problem, considering that a 2GB file can be downloaded fairly quickly, even by bittorrent.

Yet the industry continues to try to hold on to old technology and standards, which are completely counterproductive for their growth. The movie theatre establishment is dying (or dead in some areas), and commercial-subsidized videos are also quickly falling apart. I know more people who to go YouTube to watch the news and oped pieces than deal with cable's scheduled service. Why is YouTube exploding, but Comcast is losing customers (or at least growing much slower than before)? Because people want a la carte, when they want it, and they don't want to deal with waiting for a show, storing hundreds of DVDs somewhere in their already cramped and cluttered living rooms, and trying to figure out which standard is better than the other one.

If you believe this, I have a bridge I want to... (1)

notaprguy (906128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585045)

sell you. Seriously folks, this is funny on so many levels. First, how in the hell would this "Director" know anything about what Microsoft is doing on this topic? He's pulling this out of his ass. There is no way in hell that MSFT is writing $100 million checks to keep this "war" going. MSFT may have a lot of money but they're not famous for wasting it. Who would they write those checks to? Second, all the nonsense about "OMG - companies are fighting over formats!" is laughable. Of course companies disagree about which format is better - for them and for their customers. If anyone is surprised by that they're asleep. Sony certainly has an axe to grind on this topic, as does Apple and many many others. So what? Is that somehow "evil?" As a not totally unbiased observer I'll say that as long as the movie companies keep us firmly attached to the teat of the DVD and its successors, the longer the user is going to be paying for the same content over and over again. Eventually they'll need to realize that all-digital/downloadalbe content is the way to go. If I have to pay a little more to ensure that I can replace my copy if I lose it or if they offer a new version with better graphics sound I might do that. Or, I can just buy a downloadable copy one-time. But buying physical discs is going to go the way of the do-do eventually.

Re:If you believe this, I have a bridge I want to. (1)

notaprguy (906128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585267)

I thought of a good way he can prove that MSFT is writing big checks. Show us a scan of one written to him. Maybe they convinced him to do Transformers in HDDVD?

Shocked. Shocked I Say! (1)

endeavour31 (640795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585057)

Alert the media - a business is spending money to further it's market strategy. Of course many will think this is ipso facto proof that MS is using its monopoly to further illegal ends, etc. Wrong. Obviously each side in a competing format situation will take all necessary steps to ensure that the format dooes not become irrelevant. How much did Sony do to protect Betamax? Every company siding with Blu-Ray or HD-DVD has made an investment and wants to further the technology. Cutting deals with movie studios to ensure that the format is represented on the latest releases seems like smart business. I do not see where MS is strong-arming the studios to not release Blu-ray formats but if the studio agrees to take money in return that is a simple business transaction.. Unless someone can show me that MS has undus influence in the entertainment industry somehow.

Oh Poo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21585087)

Oh Poo, you mean Big Bad MSFT is picking on little ol defensless Sony? Sony would never use any advantage it had to push BluRay!

Oh wait, I meant to write "senseless Sony".

For the people asking, what's wrong with this? (1)

Reverand Obscure (822344) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585159)

Some of you seem to be forgetting... It has been demonstrated that Microsoft has something called a "monopoly" in operating systems and office software. When Microsoft uses cash reserves obtained from this monopoly to manipulate new, developing, or emerging markets, it could be deemed anticompetitive behaviour. To be clear, I don't think we're talking about the usual attempts to round up some support for a standard here... This seems to be going much further, not dissimilar to their recent attempts to get the new office XML format forced through ISO standardisation by stuffing the approval body with cronies. Microsoft are actually throwing large sums directly to studios in order to get the releases out on HD-DVD. I really find it difficult to believe that they can still get away with this sort of rubbish, and even more surprised that people don't really see it for what it really is!

Re:For the people asking, what's wrong with this? (1)

smitth1276 (832902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585223)

So you don't believe that Microsoft should be allowed to put an HD drive on their machines? Should Sony be forbidden from leveraging their own studios to push Bluray? Should Sony be forbidden from throwing around equally large sums of money to prop up their format, which they actually CREATED and own? Microsoft's windows marketshare has absolutely zero to do with this--as evidenced by the fact that Sony doesn't have an operating system and does the same thing--so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Being anti-MS simply for the sake of being anti-MS quit being cute about 7 years ago.

Tricky Choice.. (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585247)

This is something everyone should be used to by now... picking the less evil entity.

In this case, we've got Microsoft, universally derided on slashdot and elsewhere...so you might think the choice is clear.

But... against Michael Bay ?

My employment biases aside.. I'm going to have to support MS on this one. Whatever Michael Bay says he doesn't like must be a gem in an otherwise steaming pile.

The "Team America" movie didn't include a song about how awful Microsoft is.. but DID have several Michael Bay sucks references. That's a pretty compelling barometer.

Bay's comment just demonstrates his ignorance (1)

LiveOne (1066928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585257)

If you follow the links back to the article or even as far back as his boards you'll find several references to "his stated preference for Blu-ray." Anyone who has seen both HD DVD and Blu-ray know that there really is no discernible difference! They use the same encoding and display the same picture. The only real difference is in Blu-ray's superior capacity which has yet to be taken advantage of. Doe he prefer Blu-ray over HD DVD because the Transformers special edition could have been packed onto 1 disc instead of 2? It can't be for economic reasons because then he should support both formats in order to maximize sales. It amazes me how much of this "format war" has been fueled by the consumers. I also saw several unanswered posts asking him why he preferred one over the other when noone can tell the difference. Hell, the original post over there that started this all can best be classified as flamebait.

You are listening to Michael Bay? Really? (1)

affeking (315129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585289)

Wait...did I just wake up in some kind of bizarro alternate universe where people actually debate the merits of something Michael Bay said?

I can't wait to see if my crap tastes like fudgecicles!

Faulty premise. (3, Informative)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21585307)

It's pretty pointless discussing why Microsoft might give Paramount $100M in advertising assistance if it's actually Toshiba that did it instead.

This rant from Bay is about as logical as the plots to his movies.
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